Late last year developer HexiGames launched a new mobile game called Play 21 which combined elements of Blackjack with elements of Solitaire and wrapped it all up in a package where you could play for the opportunity to win real money against other players. While the real money gambling aspect can be polarizing, the actual gameplay in Play 21 was really entertaining, and if you didn’t care about trying to win money you could simply play for the sake of playing. Now HexiGames is back with their newest release which does something similar to what Play 21 did with Blackjack and Solitaire but this time they do it with Poker. It’s called 5-Hand Poker, and as the name implies it has you playing 5 different hands of poker at a time in a way that’s possible to do all by yourself like in Solitaire.
The way they do this is very similar to how things work in Play 21, where you were playing 4 vertical hands at a time and trying to get as close to 21 as possible in each one. In 5-Hand Poker, you’re playing 5 vertical hands at a time. Each game starts with a random card dealt as the first card in each hand, then you flip the top card in the deck and play it to one of those 5 hands. The tricky part is that you have to finish off each horizontal row of cards before you can move down and start placing new cards in another row, so there’s a lot of strategizing involved instead of putting each and every card you flip over into whichever of the 5 vertical hands is most ideal. To help you out with this you can place a card into a “Hold” position up to 3 times per game, similar to how you can hold onto a certain block in Tetris and then play it when the situation is just right.
The entire gameplay concept is built around the head-to-head multiplayer aspect of 5-Hand Poker. Each player will play the exact same deck to see who can make the most high-value Poker hands out of the five available, and opponents are matched up based on their in-game skill level. As was the case in Play 21, you can play against other players in casual matches using the in-game currency of HexiCoins, which are given out for free at set intervals. These are more or less practice matches and don’t require you to risk any real money.
If you ARE interested in the prospect of winning real money, those matches range from 60¢ buy-ins with the opportunity to win $1 all the way to a $55 buy-in where the winner takes home $100. Those real money payouts also come with an award of Skill Points, the amount of which depends on which tier of game you’re playing and how high you get your multiplier number through playing games, and those Skill Points can also be converted into real money in your account. It’s kind of like a rewards system in a casino. Another new feature in 5-Hand Poker is the ability to directly challenge a friend by sending them a link to the same game that you already played.
As I mentioned before, real money gambling through an app isn’t for everyone, and in fact there are some states in the US where skill-based cash gaming with cards still is not legal. If that’s the case where you’re at, you’re still free to download 5-Hand Poker and play the free games using the in-game HexiCoins system. In fact, even if you’re not interested in the real money aspect at all, I’d suggest downloading the game and trying out the free games just because this is such an interesting blend of Poker and Solitaire. You can find 5-Hand Poker on the App Store for free right now and you can find out even more information over at the official HexiGames website.