It doesn’t look like that long-awaited second poker boom is coming any time soon. So in the meantime, smart entrepreneurs are looking for innovative ways to repackage poker. Enter HoldemX, which is played like Texas Hold’em, except with a few exciting twists.
As you can see in the video below, these twists revolve around Xcards, which serve as “weapons” against your opponent. Specifically, you can use Xcards like “Pot Block” and “Card Switch” to swing the odds in your favor. At the beginning of a round, you select three Xcards that your opponent is banned from using in the game. Once this is done, you and your opponent will pick from six Xcards that you can carry into battle.
Max Rabinovitch, who heads the product development team at Mediarex Entertainment, offered an inside look at how they came to invent this intriguing game. Global Poker League founder Alex Dreyfus tasked Mediarex with creating such a new style of poker, which proved difficult in the beginning.
Namely, they were stuck on the idea that it needed to be a totally extreme version of poker, with “dragons and explosions.” Ultimately Rabinovitch and his team opted not to get this crazy, but they did create a pretty interesting game. Rabinovitch’s entire post is definitely worth a look, and you can see one excerpt of it below:
The more I thought about what players “wanted” the more I remembered dozens upon dozens of bad beat stories that had eerie similarities: “any diamond, jack or ten – and I’m chipleader…”, “got it all in good then the flop from hell hits while we’re three handed…”, “so I value bet and this a#$%*&@ has literally the only hand in his range that beats me.” – if you listen to enough poker players you’ll actually hear them utter phrases like “if only that 9 was a 10…” once in awhile. So the follow-up question seemed simple – what if you could make that happen? what if you could re-deal a flop, or turn that 9 into a 10?