Prominence Poker was released in 2016 from developer Pipeworks Studio and published by 505 Games. When most people think of video games and poker, they often go to games that feature the card game as a mini-game. Red Dead Redemption 2 is a good example of a video game that features poker as an optional part of the game, but there are more than a few pure poker games out there to try. If you’re tired of playing poker on the usual gaming sites or just want to play on your PS4 or PS5, then Prominence Poker is a great, free option.
Unlike most games that feature card games as a mini-game, this is one with the card game at its heart from the start. It is touted as a poker RPG, though the RPG aspects of the game are limited to levelling up the stack of chips you’re able to play with. The vast majority of the game is spent being dealt in against other players in the multi-player aspect of the game. Sure, you can design your character and purchase new costumes and clothes with in-game money, but these are primarily aesthetic choices that will allow you to stand out against opponents and brag about your disposable income.
The game’s story-mode is a fairly simple affair that focuses on playing poker against various crime bosses, their henchmen, and, eventually, the city’s Mayor. There isn’t much meat to the single-player mode of Prominence Poker, but this is a good way to earn funds that will help you stand out against the other players when you do decide to try your luck at the multiplayer tables.
You’ll want to try your luck with other players after not too long in the game, as they are where the real challenge lies. A number of the common tips for improving at poker boil down to learning from interactions with other players and this is something that Prominence Poker facilitates. Even though the animations are a bit stiffly animated, you’ll learn to discern different players’ playstyle and use that knowledge to your advantage when necessary.
There is only one variety of poker on offer in Prominence Poker and that is Texas Hold’em. This style of poker remains one of the most popular versions of the game, so most players should be at least passingly familiar with the rules. The AI players will be frustratingly aggressive with their money in the early stages of each hand, making it almost comically easy to take their chips and send them packing.
They will often bet heavily on hands that have almost no chance of winning the pot, but the AI players are mainly there to drive you through the game’s story and help you build your bankroll for other players so you won’t find us complaining about that. As you’d expect, there is the option to spend real-world money in Prominence Poker, primarily in giving yourself a cash injection should you crash out of a table prematurely.
However, these transactions are thankfully rarely needed and entirely optional. If you do manage to run out of funds, you can simply wait a day before you get a “Daily Cut” which will give you seed money to get you back at the tables. Unless you make some very questionable bets, this seems like an unlikely outcome. For the most part, there are plenty of opportunities to cut your losses and find another way to get ahead if a player is giving you particular trouble.
In all, where Prominence Poker shines is in its unique place as one of the few purely poker-based games available on the PlayStation Store. Its free-to-play model doesn’t feel like it holds the game back and, in fact, allows for tension in hands that would otherwise be lacking drama. It’s somewhat basic sound design and animation, however, keep it from being a complete triumph. For players looking for a poker game to play on the PlayStation, this might be one of the best options but that doesn’t mean it will keep you coming back forever.
Prominence Poker is one of the better poker-based games out there, though players will need to join the online multiplayer if they want to experience any real challenge. The atmospheric music and cosmetic options are nice, but overall, it is a straight-forward game with little to offer outside the video poker option.