888poker’s Pick’em8 Details Emerge

PokerStars tends to corner the market on new cash game offerings, but 888poker is about to horn in on that action. We don’t know when exactly it will happen, but 888poker plans to launch a new game called Pick’em8 sometime soon. There is a page for the game on 888’s website and though it just says, “Coming Soon,” we were able to gather some information on the game from the page’s code.

Pick’em8 is not exactly a traditional cash game, but more like a casino table game that uses poker as its gimmick. It’s not really played against the house, nor is it really played against other players, at least not directly. Yes, that explanation is confusing, so let’s just go through how it works.

“A new round starts at least every few minutes,” the site’s hidden text says, “so players can jump in pretty much whenever they want. It’s a fantastic game if you want some high-speed action or simply a fun way to pass a few minutes while waiting for your next poker tournament to start.”

When a round does begin, every player is shown eight cards face-up and is able to select two of them as their starting hole cards. I assume everyone is given the same cards from which to choose, but that is not totally clear.

If players don’t pick cards within the time limit, the system will give them whichever cards they currently have highlighted but not finalized. If no cards have been highlighted by the player, the system randomly chooses two.

After that, the game is over. The five board cards are dealt and everyone’s best five-card hand is determined. Every player that ends up with the best possible hand shares in the prize pool equally. It’s as simple as that.

When Pick’em8 launches on 888poker, the buy-ins will be very low, just 25 cents or one dollar. Everyone’s buy-in is put into the prize pool and from the appearances of a screen shot, it seems that the rake will be 9 percent, at least at the dollar buy-in level (the screen shot shows a single player with a 91 cent prize pool).

As mentioned, Pick’em8 is not really a game that directly played against other people, though indirectly, it is. If you end up with the best hand, you want as few people as possible to also have that hand in order to maximize your winnings.

It is theoretically possible to win every single Pick’em8 game you play, as you could select the correct two hole cards every time. Really, though, it is a game of chance, since even the two worst hole cards could end up combining with the community cards to create the best hand. After all, even deuce-seven wins sometimes.

Each game seems to be opt-in, as the site’s text says that players can “click to continue, or return to the casino lobby.” Thus, players won’t be automatically dealt into hands after the first one, a proper player-friendly feature.

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