Poker Rivals (or friends, as the case may be).


The Playfish office atmosphere is really very special. There’s always something fun going on and I think our games represent this quite well in the colourful designs and the casual gaming structure we present in our titles.

Poker Rivals is in the small cluster of games we’ve recently released that is in contrast to our other titles such as Pet Society or Country Story. It’s different because of the inherent notions poker carries with it: a serious, competitive and quite mature game. So when I was asked to write something for our blog to give our fans insight into the game, I realised that I don’t really think of myself as a poker player. In fact, mention ‘poker player’ and I immediately imagine some guy (yes, male) wearing a black leather jacket and denim blue jeans with slicked back hair. Or, if I really thought about it, maybe the more sophisticated Ocean’s Eleven type of ‘playa’ who smirks at everything and steals your shoes from under you.

But no one at Playfish is a stereotype and I don’t think our players are either. So as a loyal Playfisher, I sat down and dedicated some serious time to playing Poker Rivals (research, you see) to give our readers a good idea of what the game offers if they weren’t so familiar with poker.

Mark Bendon, a self-proclaimed seasoned poker player and our Game Designer, happened to pass my desk while I was playing Poker Rivals in a search for inspiration. Seizing the opportunity, I flagged him down. “Mark! Fancy a game of Poker Rivals?”

Card One: Queen of Hearts

The first cards are dealt and I set my avatar to ‘relaxed’. A message bips up on the screen…

Mark: You shouldn’t have asked me to play. I’m a Poker Rivals-aholic.

I smile…

Chorna: Gah. Do I have to confess something now, too?
Mark: Yes, you do. We’re all friends here, Chorna.

Chorna: Very well. I hid someone’s stapler as a joke then forgot where I put it… and never told them. Moving on… I’d thought you were playing Poker Rivals a lot! It’s difficult not to notice when you’re cheering at your screen or slamming a fist on the table.

Mark: Haha!

Chorna: For a game was released back in December it’s really popular! It’s surprisingly easy to get into as well…
Mark: Yeah… I think people sometimes associate online poker with remortgaging the house. Poker Rivals is based around friendly rivalry, and playing with your friends, not machismo or smack talking the competition.
Chorna: Hrrmm – it is focused on having fun above everything else, which I noticed straight away. I was surprised at how quickly I started playing poker considering how little I knew to begin with. Did you find the tutorial quite helpful?
Mark: Uhm… I wrote the tutorial.
Chorna: … Oh. Well… it was good!! Quick and easy. 🙂 I liked that I got chips…
Mark: Haha…! I think it makes a huge difference to get through a simple tutorial and start playing with friends straight away. It’s less like jumping into the ocean and more like sitting in your bath tub with your favourite rubber ducky. No, that sounds wrong… I don’t… do that…

Card Two: Jack of Diamonds

Another card is put down. So far, looking good…

Chorna: Poker Rivals looks really slick – not intimidating at all. I thought it would be like stepping into an ultra serious casino but instead it’s more like picking up a deck of cards at a dinner table.
Mark: Yup. I like the way we’ve kept things simple. A nice simple interface means you don’t have to wonder where the ‘let’s play cards’ button is. Just go to the app, click ‘play’ and whaddaya know, there’s all my friends playing poker too.
Chorna: Speaking of friends, this chat function was really fun. Definitely makes it more about me and my friends and less about an anonymous encounter online. I still get competitive though, even with friends.
Mark: You’re not limited to playing with friends if you don’t want to. You can still mingle with the masses and just play with anyone you like, which is cool. It’s a nice mix.
Chorna: Do you find random players intimidating?
Mark: Yes, I’ve been intimidated by some. But usually I’m more disconcerted by my Playfish colleague’s fashion choices for their Poker Rivals avatars…

Chorna: It’s quite fun being able to customise myself – er, my avatar!
Mark: Heh, it does add a nice element. That’s one of the things Poker Rivals does really well – the level of customisation is brilliant, and it’s growing all the time.
Chorna: That’s like all Playfish games; I think what we’ve started off with is good but it’s going to be really interesting to see all the new content coming out soon.
Mark: Yeah, we’ll be supporting it long after release. What you see when a game is released is only a small fraction of what’s to come.

Card Three: Ten of Spades

I’m starting to get nervous and take a peek at my cards. Must distract Mark…!!

Chorna: Poker Rivals has surprised me at how easy it has made getting into the game, even though it’s potentially a complicated card game.
Mark: Well, poker is about making a better hand (collection) of cards than your opponent. The nitty gritty of it is in the different variations of cards you can have. In Poker Rivals, we’re playing Texas Hold ‘Em, where everyone has 2 cards in their hand which is a secret only known to them. Cards are added to the middle of the table…
Chorna: So the more confident you are about your hand, the more you bet, but of course you can bluff because nobody really knows what the other person has.

I prepare to raise the bet by $550…

Mark: Right. One of the things which makes online poker such a great place for beginners is that the pressure is off – nobody can see you so you don’t have to worry about whether anyone can tell you’re bluffing!
Chorna: You say that but when I’ve played Poker Rivals before – and even now – I really get the feeling someone real was there playing against me. I think the whole thing about personalised avatars, real time chat and real time bets really has that effect.
Mark: The emphasis with Poker Rivals is to make it feel like you have the freedom to communicate and express yourself, as well as enjoy a game quickly and easily.

Mark raises the bet by another $550…!

Card Four: Ace of Diamonds

It’s getting tense. I begin to wonder if Mark is psychic and can sense my nervousness…

Chorna: We really have made it easy to start playing when you’re logged into the game.
Mark: It’s as easy as “Oh look, they’re playing!” *click*
Chorna: There’s always the envelope function – you see someone already logged into Facebook, click the envelope and it sends your friend a quick invite. Next thing you know, they’ve responded and you’re both at a table.
Mark: But also, if you don’t want to invite anyone specific, you can always announce that you’re now looking for players via the megaphone.
Chorna: Shall we invite others to join us then?

Mark: No. I’m winning
Chorna: Haha… oh goodie.
Mark: You can also send your friends gifts, which means you could send your mate Dave a totally ill advised tight fitting T-shirt and see if he feels honour-bound to wear it.
Chorna: You do look good in pink, Mark. I thought that V-neck Playfish tshirt was awesome on you.
Mark: Thanks, I liked it too. With the megaphone, though, we wanted to get all your friends’ attention, let them know that they really should play some poker with you because it’s so quick and easy.
Chorna: These tables are pretty big – they can handle up to 10 players. Which makes it pretty interesting. You’re positive you don’t want anyone to jump in? 😉

Card Five and winner takes all…?

Darn. Mark does indeed win. I lose about $2,000 and I stare at the screen dejectedly…

Chorna: Bah… Congrats, Mark! One to you, then. So, what’s the most you’ve ever won?
Mark: Oh well… I think it was like $90,000?
Chorna: Liar!!
Mark: It’s true!
Chorna: NO – really??!
Mark: I posted on my Facebook profile about it and everything!
Chorna: Who were you playing against?!
Mark: Oh, random folks. And then I lost it all again almost instantly.
Chorna: Hahaha!! … You know, I’d like to see the Mayor of Pet Society sit at a Poker table. I bet he’s got an awesome poker-face.
Mark: Oh man. The Mayor would definitely scare me.

I look over my shoulder and notice Mark grinning from ear to ear. Taking a sweeping glance about the office I can see other staff checking into their Pet Society houses, harvesting some fruit in Country Story and others still logging into Gangster City.

I decide that whilst my poker chips count might be low, the spirits in the office were very high and that was good enough for me.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

26 Responses to “Poker Rivals (or friends, as the case may be).”

  1. Alexander Johnes Says:

    Wow, the graphics look really cool. I will try it.

  2. Quakeulf :3 Says:

    This game is dangerously addictive, but it plays so nice! x3

  3. Miyavi Says:


  4. Brian V B Says:

    hey let`s play

  5. tio rioco Says:

    que so

  6. susanna figini Says:

    nice and fun.really a good job

  7. gangsterwill007 Says:

    ” Can SomeOne Tell me Where I Can Find The Tips Or Strategies On Poker Rivials

  8. sky Says:


  9. Merchas7m4 Says:

    I’d play any Playfish Rep at Poker Rivals…

    I’d make it all or nothing!

  10. ahmad Says:

    nice game i wish to play it

  11. Ava Says:

    Hi 😀

  12. maraz Says:

    oyun sok guzel

  13. ilia Says:

    i love poker

  14. Joey Says:

    It’s nice to play Poker Rival except some players r very slow making decision.

  15. Moshe Knieriem Says:

    N’hesitez pas visiter

  16. Robert Says:

    poker lovers, I have a new software creation Chris Weisberg, to send without any subject of poker chips banned. 100% honest and successful.

  17. adrier Says:

    i love this game

  18. karen1 & only Says:

    Like the old way better,just like that you can top-up stack & don’t loose your seat…would like to be able to pick own seat when i come to table…with new format…need more $5/$10 tables..would like to be able to buy more than drinks at table..have a lot of fun have chatted with peeps all over the world..a few have dirty names for instance S – – k my 69, Big D – -k etc..saw them a coulpe of times but not in past 2 weeks..good luck getting the bugs worked out…would really like to play tonight..thx

  19. fabiana Says:

    no se puede abrir el pet societi ayuda plis tengo varias mascotas y no quiero perderlas

  20. tshepang Says:

    best game ever

  21. small envelopes Says:

    Very interesting post!
    It includes a wealth of information!
    Thank you for sharing 😉

  22. poker Says:

    Very good article, thank you

  23. cyndi Says:

    y the Hotel City cannt load in?always ‘Click here to retry’,even i log out and log in again,the matter still same.. or something wrong today?thks..

  24. Reino Says:

    Good poker Blog, it has a really good content, in my opinion the only thing it lacks of is a tranlate tool! Also see mine at it has some good content like this but it talks about free poker bankrolls!And leave your ponion there like I did here of flaws and good things that it has!
    Keep up the hard work!

  25. Cella Says:

    Good poker Blog, it has a really good content, in my opinion the only thing it lacks of is a tranlate tool! Also see mine at it has some good content like this but it talks about free poker bankrolls!And leave your opinion there like I did here of flaws and good things that it has!We blog writters shoul support each other!
    Keep up the hard work!

  26. Zabel Says:

    Good poker Blog, it has a really good content, in my opinion the only thing it lacks of is a tranlate tool! Also see mine at it has some good content like this but it talks about free poker bankrolls!And leave your opinion there like I did here of flaws and good things that it has!We blog writters shoul support each other!
    Keep up the hard work!

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