Is this a game of the future, in which Hold ’em poker has been bred with billiards? Fortunately not. Not that it hasn’t been pitched, just the cards don’t roll properly. Triple Pocket Hold ’em Gold is a table game treat, served up by gaming giants Microgaming, with a few twists in its tail that set it apart from other casino games of this ilk.
Solo-play versions of traditional community games like poker often take either the birds eye view or the 3D view. This title favours the latter, adding a nice perspective to the gameplay that heightens the realism without having a pimply croupier leering at you. A lilting jazz riff accompanies the action, though this game should therefore come with a warning that your mouth will be hankering after straight-up cocktails.
Betting commences as we choose which chips to throw down. There is only the ante, and with payouts framed at 1:1 aside from all bonus hands (see below in our helpfully entitled “Bonuses” section) this makes gameplay nice and quick and easy. The Triple Pocket aspect of this game comes in as we have the option to discard the first two hands dealt, though we must take the third. While this is a decent strategy point in Blackjack, it is less clear in Hold ’em, but because the game is played with a single deck it gives us an opportunity to read the game and bring our Hold ’em expertise into play.
Without the free spins bonanzas that accompany today’s video slots, casino table games offer bonuses based on winning hands. And so it is in Triple Pocket Hold ’em Gold, where a Royal Flush pays out 50:1, a Straight Flush runs at 20:1, Four Of A Kind brings in 10:1, a Full House lands at 4:1 and a Flush brings up the rear at 2:1.
For this reason – and how Microgaming have done superbly to evoke the real community card game of Hold ’em – strategy becomes important in Triple Pocket Hold ’em Gold. Our only access to the game’s bonuses lies in our own ability to craft the bigger winning hands from our two hole cards based on our gaming expertise. If you don’t have any, now’s the time to learn.
This is a decent effort from Microgaming to take us into the realm of solo-play community cards. The single round of betting makes for straightforward gameplay with potentially quick-fire rounds, without any of that umming and ahhing that accompanies bluffing. Die-hard table gamers may turn their noses up, but there is plenty for casual table flirts to drift with.