A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Simulated gambling doesn't have positive or negative messages; merely recreates the experience of the game.
Positive Role Models
You play as yourself against other poker players; role modeling doesn't enter into play.
Ease of Play
Though controls are simple, playing poker requires skill, strategy.
Products & Purchases
Players can use real-world money to buy in-game funds. But players can't convert in-game funds into real-world money.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Pure Hold'em is a realistic downloadable poker video game. After learning the rules of Texas Hold'em, you sit at a photo-realistic table and start playing poker, either against the computer or fellow online cardsharps. Players can even use real money to buy more in-game funds, though you don't have to because there's a freebie table where you can win game money. You also can't trade your in-game winnings for real money. Wannabe gamblers can communicate via voice chat with people they're playing with, which results in unmoderated communication.
Is It Any Good?
For those who don't live somewhere gambling is legal or would rather not lose their kids' college funds to a straight flush, this poker simulation is a fine placebo. Not only do the photo-realistic graphics make you feel like you're sitting at a casino's poker table, but it follows the real rules of Texas Hold'em, right down to how much you need to bet and at what points. You can play against other people online or set up a private game with your friends.
That said, Pure Hold'em's realism and attention to detail make it feel like a serious game. Which means that if you're not a serious player, you should probably take your action somewhere else (there are plenty of other poker games available that let you play with a range of crazy characters). Also, if you play offline, your virtual opponents aren't the brightest bunch, so don't expect much of a challenge. All that aside, if you're looking for a strong game of poker, Pure Hold'em should deal mature players a fun hand time after time.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate