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Relax and Play (Legal) Poker with the Cross-Platform PokerTH

Danny Stieben 01-07-2013

play pokerThere’s absolutely nothing better than a nice card game at the end of the day. If you happen to enjoy playing cards on your computer and are tired of Solitaire and other card games 5 Fun Free Card Game Sites For When You Are Bored Read More , there are plenty of other options available. Playing poker on your computer tends to be risky business because most time-worthy poker games are online and actually involve gambling, making its legality uncertain from country to country.


If you’re worried or even affected by this, don’t think that you’ll have to forget about playing poker on your computer. Instead, you can try out PokerTH, a fun and complete poker game for users of any desktop operating system (and Android) to enjoy.

Why Is PokerTH Legal?

PokerTH is a better, safer way to play poker because it works like the other card games installed on your computer — a simple game rather than a gambling service or other online poker entity. And because it doesn’t include a gambling feature, PokerTH is legal for everyone to play of all ages. It should even satisfy the software activists, as PokerTH is also entirely open source so anyone can look at the code and verify or improve the application.

Getting Started

PokerTH, as you may discover is implied by the name, specializes in Texas Hold ‘Em. If you’re wanting to play other versions of poker, you’ll be out of luck, but Texas Hold ‘Em is the most popular form of poker anyways, especially online. Additionally, there’s not much difference between 5-card poker and Texas Hold ‘Em, so you can get used to it with a little time.

play poker
When you first launch PokerTH, you’ll be presented with a few different game modes of how you want to play. Your options to play poker games here include starting a local game against AI players, creating or joining an Internet game, starting a network game (within your currently connected network), and joining a network game. Because you’re able to do more than just start a local game, you’re still able to enjoy playing against other human players as if you’re playing poker online. And if you really wanted to, you can agree on some gambling terms with your opponents, but I definitely wouldn’t recommend that for an Internet game; only a network game against people you already know and trust.


play online poker
For local games, you can configure how many total players will play poker games (yourself included, up to 10) as well as how much money each player starts out with. After that you’ll get right into the game! I find the graphics to be superb for an open source card game, and it’s easy to understand what choices you have during each turn. Keyboard lovers will be happy to know that all game functions (such as calling, raising, betting, etc.) can all be called via keyboard shortcuts, primarily using the F-keys.



play online poker
While in game, you can also choose how fast the game goes and what default action your player should take in case you’re away from your keyboard. Additionally, as references, you can find the different card combinations on the bottom left, and a log of recent events or a table of your chances in the bottom right. These are extremely useful to make the game less taxing on your mind and allow you to make educated decisions. Of course you don’t have to use or look at any of this, but I’m sure it’ll be very helpful for poker beginners.


play poker
Of course, the game is also highly configurable so that you use it exactly how you want to. You can change things like the table design, card stack, and card backs, as well as game mechanics such as when to raise blinds and by how much. There are also settings for the sound, network settings for Internet and network games, as well as a few options for network games such as delay between hands and timeout for player action. For Internet games, PokerTH even supports the use of IPv6 – it’s too bad most internet service providers don’t yet IPv6 vs. IPv4 : Should You Care (Or Do Anything) As A User? [MakeUseOf Explains] More recently, there's been a lot of talk about switching to IPv6 and how it will bring a lot of benefits to the Internet. But, this "news" keeps repeating itself, as there's always an occasional... Read More .


Installing PokerTH is very easy and takes just a minute. Simply head over to their download page and get your respective installer. For Linux systems, you should rather check your respective package manager for PokerTH first, as it’ll be easier to install it that way rather than via their installer. Once it’s installed, just launch it to get going!


Overall, this is a very easy game to get addicted to because of how simple it is to use. I’m also very happy about the quality of the game; it can recreate a poker game very well. The only complaint I really have is that there is no option available to choose the difficulty of the AI players that you go against in a local game, but instead uses a standard algorithm of luck for all games. If you ever get too bored by the CPU players, you can always catch yourself a few pros and play poker in a network or Internet game.


Which card game is your favorite? Is PokerTH the best one for poker? Let us know in the comments!

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  1. Ezekiel S
    July 11, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    nice thanks for this