On Sale – Poker Stacks

On February 26, 2009

I’m a big fan of the iPhone game Poker Stacks. It is 

based on games like Bejeweled 2, Tetris, or Bubbles and builds on them in that you are trying to match real poker hands to clear the board and move to the next level.

The game is great!

Here’s is how the game is played-

The idea is to select poker hands to clear the board so that all of the remaining card tiles fall into the given bottom rows(arrows on the side) before the time runs out. Advancing levels bring new challenges. You can slide your finger over up to 5 cards to select the poker hand. Order isn’t important so straights don’t have to be in order and pairs don’t have to be right next to each other. Tiles not directly involved in the hand’s scoring,’kicker cards’, will remain on the board. Bigger hands mean bigger points. You can also swap a piece exactly once with an adjacent piece between each hand played and the back will then turn blue showing the swapped piece is frozen in place. Finally, you can slide pieces vertically into open spaces, gravity will pull them down if it can.

I started playing the game and, quite honestly, didn’t want to put it down.


In similar games such as Bejeweled or JewelQuest 2 there are set options for what moves can be made. A jewel of a specific shape and color is always going to be a jewel of a specific shape and color and those are the game pieces that need to be lined up into threes, fours or fives. In Poker Stacks, however, you are creating any variety of poker hands so you might use cards to create a pair, a full house, a flush etc. As a result, there is far more strategy involved in playing the game. In addition, with each round the minimum hand increases. For example, in the first round you must at least have one pair in a "hand" of five. A short time later three of a kind will be minimum. And it gets increasingly difficult as time goes on. You can also create your own challenges. For example, you can play a round and ONLY choose to create pairs. Or you might do a round with only three of a kind.

The more I played he game when first reviewing it, the more I found myself getting drawn into the game and moving through levels more rapidly.

In all, it is a great game that requires a good deal of thought and strategy. It is a good deal of fun in the short term and, I suspect, it will also have "legs".

Normally $2.99, Poker Stacks is just $.99 right now. You can get it HERE.