Poker: America's new national pastime? You'd think it from the sudden explosion of TV shows, books and paraphernalia littering the pop culture landscape. Video games have jumped on the bandwagon, too, but every poker title seems to be missing ... something. Usually it's either smarts or speed. Stacked featuring Daniel Negreanu promises both.
Stacked is powered by the Poki AI, which doesn't sound like much, but has the potential to make all other poker games look utterly ridiculous. Developed over a period of 10 years as a university experiment, Poki analyzes how you play, learns, then reacts. In theory, Stacked can do the same thing, including some uncanny human-style observations. Every time you peek at your cards, your computer opponents factor that into their decisions. Did you really forget your hand or do you want them to think you did? Most games don't dive that deep into bluffing and human behavior - and that's what Stacked hopes will set it apart from the competition.
Some of those competitors move so slow, you can play two or three of them at a time. Not Stacked - as in Internet poker rooms, you can pre-select your options to raise, check or fold, which keeps play flowing quickly. After you fold a hand, you can speed up the action just by tapping a button. This removes the unnecessary animations and runs the game as fast as the AI allows. You can still see what your opponents are doing and learn their habits, but you don't have to sit there and watch those choices play out in real time.