PokerStars Changes All-in Showdown Rules for Ring Games

One of the prime concerns of the poker industry these days is to make the online game as inviting as possible for recreational players and mainstream audiences. The world’s biggest poker site, PokerStars, has been instrumental in introducing a number of innovations with that goal in mind, including Spin & Go tournaments, preferential reward programs for novices, as well as the sponsoring of high-profile celebrities from the world of sport, such as Neymar Jr and Cristiano Ronaldo.
On July 15th, PokerStars subsequently rolled out the latest of its poker innovation, this time designed to make all-in showdowns “slightly more fun” and a “slightly fairer playing experience” for players. As a result of the software update, all-in cash game players who lose the hand no longer have the option of keeping their hole cards hidden, and elaborating further on the reason for the change, the PokerStars blog explained:
“Hole cards from all-in confrontations had always been displayed in the hand history anyway, so advanced players who were familiar with the software were able to retrospectively find out what opponents had in all-in situations. Going forward, all players will be able to view these hole cards in real-time, taking away this advantage, and adding to the excitement of the hand.
In other words, while the function has always been available to check on the players’ hole cards in all-in situations, such software intricacies may have been lost on less experienced online players, thus giving an advantage to more savvy players. Furthermore, players using third-party software, such as Holdem Manager or PokerTracker, will automatically have had such information displayed to them, anyway.
By changing the rules to enable players to see what their opponents are prepared to move all-in holding, PokerStars has thrown a particularly useful life-line to recreational cash game players. As a result, cash players can subsequently re-buy into the ring-game after losing their table money, but having gained knowledge of their opponent’s play, as opposed to tournaments situations where the all-in player may be eliminated, and not be seen again in another tournament for some time.


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