The game starts with you creating your avatar, with the look of said avatar being practically identical to that found in YoVille.
Afterwards, the game runs through the basics of betting and folding. You’re dealt a hand of two hole cards, are told to bet on them, and are then immediately taken to the end of a typical hand of Texas Hold’Em, where the five community cards are visible. This is the way of Poker Blitz – there’s no wasted time on the flop, turn, and river segments – it’s all laid out in one fell swoop.
There’s a percentage tracker in the game’s earlier levels that shows you the probability of your winning the hand, along with a “more info”’ button that explains your hand in detail, whether it’s a high card or something as rare and fantastic as a straight-flush. It should be noted that as you become more comfortable with the game, and unlock more levels, the amount of in-game help lessens.
The game then details power-ups, which can allow you to swap your hole cards with other cards from the deck to make a better hand, or trade your hand for a luckier one, double the amount of chips in the pot and so on. You can build up a streak by winning hands, which increases the amount of chips in the pot in each successive hand, and depending on your performance in each 60 second segment, you can earn mystery chests containing more chips or experience points, and even medals.
After the basic tutorial, you’re set loose into the gameplay proper, which takes place in 60 second intervals. You’re challenged with earning the most amount of money from each 60 second “blitz” of poker (hence the game’s name), with the funds being added to your team total, just as point totals are combined across networks in Bejeweled Blitz. Teams that have totals above $1 million are entered into contests for real prizes (for now, it’s an iPod Touch) – another nod to Bejeweled Blitz.
Eventually, you’ll unlock new locations in which to play the game, with Las Vegas being an obvious inclusion, and you’ll also eventually be able to decorate your own home in the game, but this is currently listed as coming soon, as are the game’s trophy case and power-up inventory screens.
While you wait for these areas of the game to unlock, be sure to head over to the game’s page and try out this new take on Texas Hold’Em Poker.