Our Rating: 70 /100 ( )
Heads Up: Hold’em HD App
As of May 3rd, there are two free Texas Hold’em iPad apps in the App Store. Heads Up: Hold’em HD by far obliterates PokerFreeHD. Hold’em HD has a brilliant interface, ads are not intrusive, features three available opponent A.I. settings, provides two player or WiFi playability, and all-in-all presents a fun and easily re-playable heads up game of Hold’em.
Unlike other apps that append ‘HD’ to their name to draw attention, Hold’em comes with truly brilliant graphics for cards, chips, holders, and realistic table velvet. The table texture is lifelike and easy to vieaw nd overall the user interface is beautifully designed. Heads Up truly deserves the HD title.
As for gameplay, Hold’em utilizes the iPad’s touch-screen functionality beyond simple button tapping to check, raise, or fold. Instead, to fold, slide your cards into the muck as you would at a real poker table. To check, slide the check mark to your bet area (although a double tap would have been much more realistic and cool). To raise, adjust the sliding bar to grab chips from your stack, and to make the bet, slide the chips with your finger into the pot.
In-game A.I. isn’t bad and the developers created a solid algorithm for each opponent. I’m actually a very poor poker player, so I don’t know if Hold’em HD is for rounders, but for casual players, the available personas to play heads-up-hold’em are challenging and fun to replay.
Now, Hold’em HD is loaded with plenty of free features, but the app is heavily incentvized with in-app purchases required to unlock additional personas to play against, larger chip stacks (100 chips per round is the max), and awards such as having fun hole card protectors.
Hold’em also features a two-player shared iPad mode and WiFi heads-up mode. For two-players sharing the iPad, your hole cards are placed at the top and bottom of the screen with the iPad in portrait mode. What’s cool is the app is set up for you to cover your cards as you would at the actual poker table, and slide open to take a peak. Betting, raising, and folding from there are all the same as if it were a real game.
Do note, Hold’em HD is a heads-up Texas Hold’em game, and there is not and will probably not be a full table version for you to play against multiple opponents
Overall, in terms of design, execution, and interaction, I’m very satisfied with Heads Up Hold’em HD. If you’re addicted to cards, and want a poker app to pass the time, Hold’em is definitely the best free choice and definitely better than PokerFreeHD with it’s lighter graphics, in-your-face advertising, and poor interface.