Séverin Rasset, Managing Director & Commercial Officer, Poker

Two new and intriguing games are going live today, and we can’t wait to see which you choose to play!

Introducing Deep Water and PokerStars Tempest.

Let’s start with the similarities. Both games are 6-Max No Limit Hold’em, but with three blinds instead of two. Alongside the traditional Small Blind and Big Blind, we have added the Giant Blind, which is double the value of the Big Blind. On top of this, both games have antes which escalate whenever there is no showdown.

For example, when the blinds are $0.25/$0.50/$1.00, the ante paid by all players will initially be $0.10. If there is no showdown in the hand, the ante paid by all players in the next hand will be $0.20, then $0.30 and finally $0.40. At any point, a hand that reaches showdown will reset the ante for the next hand back to its initial value, which in this example is $0.10. We are really excited by these new mechanics. They encourage creative play and wider ranges than traditional NLHE, while retaining NLHE’s long-standing appeals.

Now for the differences. As the name suggests, Deep Water is a deep-stacked game designed for players who want to immerse themselves in high-strategy, with buy-in ranges between 50-150 Giant Blinds. Sticking with our example stake of $0.25/$0.50/$1.00, this means you would be able to buy in for between $50 and $150. Deep Water is a great opportunity to develop a new way of thinking about NLHE and the combination of three blinds, escalating antes and deep buy-in is sure to shake things up!

On the other hand, PokerStars Tempest is a simple, no frills all-in or fold game designed for players who want to storm in and experience the thrill of a brand-new variant. As I’m sure you can imagine, with a buy-in range of 5-10 Giant Blinds and a cap equal to the maximum buy-in ($5-$10 buy-in, with $10 cap in a game with blinds of $0.25/$0.50/$1.00), this game will be fast-paced and action-packed. With simple pre-flop decisions, it’s the perfect game to practise your push or fold strategy.

If you’ve followed along for the last couple of years you will have noticed our commitment to poker innovation hasn’t dampened. We’ve been busy continually trying out new formats and game types, listening to your response, and going back to the lab. The classic games that we all love aren’t going anywhere, but creating new and exciting variants is vital to our mission of growing poker and meeting, head on, the expanding variety of other entertainment options the modern world provides. Plus, it’s one of the best parts of the job.

Of course, with their twists and turns, not every new game is right for everyone and one common piece of feedback we receive after a launch goes something like, ‘I just want to play No Limit Hold’em’. We want players to be excited every time they open PokerStars, and are committed to providing something for everyone. That’s why we’re thrilled to unveil not one but two new NLHE variants.

We recognise that poker players have different motivations for playing, and we continue to learn more about them with each new game we develop. Whether you’re drawn to the strategic battling of Deep Water, the quick-fire action of PokerStars Tempest, or any other of your favourite poker games, our goal is to have something for you every time you open PokerStars and to get better with every hand you play. And remember to keep your eyes peeled, because there are more exciting variants coming soon!

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