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Texas Cheatem – Fun Fad or Bad for Poker?

texas cheatemTexas Cheatem, that’s what Wide Load Games calls their version of Texas holdem poker. Their advertisements say “Do it in Vegas, and you’ll get blacklisted. Do it in Atlantic City, you get arrested. But if you cheat in this game, and you just might win.”

According to the advertisement, you can cheat with magical powers like x-ray vision and precognition or regular skills like chip stealing and card swapping. The more you cheat, the more you win. Some people out there in the poker world are aghast that anyone would offer such a game. After all, it teaches people to cheat at poker, and even glorifies it.

I have to disagree. It reminds me of a spoof article I once read about a boy being arrested for jumping on turtles, kicking them around, eating mushrooms, and then jumping down a drainpipe to escape after playing Super Mario. Let’s face it, we know the difference between a video game and the real world. Back in the 90′s, there was a racecar game called Wacky Wheels. You drove a racecar, and you could fire rockets, bomb your opponents, and even fire hedgehogs in order to win the race. Did the children who played this game then try those tricks when they went go-carting? Not likely.

X-ray vision and precognition aren’t even an option in reality, so players understand that the game is not the same as real life. As a game, it’s probably quite a lot of fun to be able to play with rules that don’t apply at a regular poker table. It probably appeals most strongly to teens who like to break the rules, rather than to older players.

What Texas Cheatem has going against it is the fact that it teaches players poor technique. Instead of learning how to play Texas holdem with good strategy and leaning the logic and odds behind the game, Texas Cheatem adds bells and whistles to keep up the players’ interest. There are roulette, horse-racing, slots, and blackjack rounds that are used to determine whether the player is allowed to switch their card with the community card. In some ways, it gives a whole casino in one game.

On the whole, it’s a game that’s likely to appeal to some. It’s fast-paced, and it has more going on than an average game of poker. For those who really enjoy Texas holdem, this is not the kind of game that’s likely to appeal, though. It’s more likely to annoy.

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