What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this game is a gambling simulation. No real money is at stake, but players may still feel the addictive pull of gambling. There are some mature elements (most of the female characters are dressed in skimpy, revealing outfits), but casinos are free of drinking and smoking. Players gamble against computer-controlled opponents or real players online -- Common Sense Media does not recommend online play for anyone under 12.
What's it about?
STACKED WITH DANIEL NEGREANU focuses on just one kind of poker: Texas Hold 'Em. The game includes more than 30 minutes of instructional video from Daniel Negreanu (aka \"Kid Poker\"), one of the winningest professional players. And at every decision point in a game, players can get advice from Negreanu.
Players are dealt two cards. The dealer then turns over three communal cards (the flop), another communal card (the turn), and a final communal card (the river). At each step, players evaluate what's in their hands and in the communal tray and make bets accordingly.
Is it any good?
Stacked lacks the sizzle and flash of the real Las Vegas, but it does provide a highly competitive poker game. Beginners will need help, because they face off against some impressive computer opponents. A table full of Stacked bots feels like a table full of real people. Players may be able to sniff out some bots that easily fold in the face of a big bet, but others are a bit more unpredictable -- it's only when gambling against other real people online that players will encounter crazy nonsense play.
Despite the solid poker, Stacked falls flat in presentation. The game only offers a few casinos and fewer than 20 avatars to choose from. The audio doesn't help matters: Characters repeat canned phrases, and there's little music. The graphics are also disappointing: When characters leave the table, they stand up, fade to black, and then pop out of existence, and the amount of chips shown in front of a player has no relationship to how much money they actually have.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about gambling. Does playing a game like this make you more interested in gambling in real life? What's going on in our culture that makes gambling so popular right now? Families might also discuss problem behaviors related to gambling, such as gambling addiction. They should also discuss proper online manners.