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Poker-Themed Video Game Proves To Be A Hit

Game Sees 250,000 Downloads In 72 First Hours


The new poker boom that the game has experienced in recent years has included media efforts geared toward a younger generation of players – including Twitch streaming and YouTube vlogging. The online video gaming platform Steam as well as other gaming options have now seen a poker-related game attracting some attention.

The game Balatro features poker-like play using Jokers to build a hand, and has sold more than 250,000 copies in the first three days of release across all platforms.

“We cannot begin to show enough appreciation for the support you’ve shown this game,” the company’s publisher Playstack noted on Twitter last week after reaching the milestone.

Game Receiving Nice Reviews

The game is available for PC, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox, earning a Metacritic score of 89. The game turns poker on its head a bit, but also includes some terms and action from the more traditional game.

Balatro offers a chance to introduce gamers to poker and has earned some positive reviews so far.

“In this mesmerizing poker roguelike, each stage is made up of three blinds – small, big and boss – with the blind essentially being a high score you have to hit by playing different kinds of poker hands – your traditional flushes, straights, pairs, and so on,” the Rock Paper Scissor gaming site notes.

“Each hand has its own number of chips and multiplier bonuses associated with it, and Balatro’s whole deal is about shuffling closer to victory by making the most of the cards you’re dealt. While some blinds are tiny, stretching to just 300 or 450 early on in a run, they quickly start ramping up into the tens of thousands as each successfully defeated boss blind ups the ante and the accompanying stakes. Reach an ante of eight, and bingo, you’ve won a run of Balatro.”

Whether that popularity continues remains to be seen but gives poker another spotlight in general pop culture. Several other video games have featured poker through the years as well including the popular Red Dead Redemption old west series. A World Series of Poker string of games was even produced for Xbox and other platforms.