BLACK BELT BETTING – PokerStars Unveils Poker Dojo Training App

A big part of growing the poker world is bringing new players into the game. Twitch has been a part of that as well as efforts to reach more female players. PokerStars is hoping its new free poker-training app helps in those efforts to become a black belt on the poker felt.

Poker Dojo offers players of all levels the chance to learn, test, and perfect their skills. Players can work to perfect their online game or for battling at the live tables. 

“We wanted to provide an entry point for new players to have fun while improving their confidence in their own skills,” PokerStars associate director of public relations Rebecca McAdam Willetts told PokerScout.

“Poker Dojo can help players develop some important poker skills quickly. It also provides an opportunity to introduce poker to new players or help more experienced players stay sharp and improve in an entertaining, gamified format at home or on the go.”

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Mastering skills in the PokerStars dojo

Those entering the dojo will find three fast, engaging mini-games. They’re designed to help learn the game or just have fun with a training app.

The app was created to feel like a mobile game, with score history and leveling systems to challenge users. There are also leaderboards allowing players to challenge each other.

The app teaches players to quickly recognize strong hands and make decisions under pressure. Players can also learn when to go all in when appropriate. Available games include:

  • Grid Poker – Trainees select five cards on a grid to make a poker hand. The goal is to score as many points as possible before time runs out. The stronger the hand, the more points scored.
  • Strongest Hand – Players pick the best hand out of three or rate their hand to earn points.
  • All-in or Fold – Dojo students fold until they’re confident enough in a hand to go all in against an unseen hand.

App timed well with growing online poker market

Online poker has seen a boom during the Coronavirus pandemic. New players have gone online as more players begin hitting the virtual tables.

Initially, the Poker Dojo app is only available in the United States and United Kingdom. Users can download the free app at the App Store and Google Play Store for mobile phones and tablets.

In the US, PokerStars is available in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. March and April produced record revenue numbers for online poker in those states as well as Nevada and Delaware.

Poker Dojo’s appeal to mobile gamers comes as operators tweak their apps to appeal to social players. Throughout the design process, a simple game that could help players was the goal.

“Poker Dojo was named after a space for immersive learning, which informed the creative process throughout,” Willetts said. “Our dedicated innovation team, with the support of others across the business, took the project from concept to roll-out.

“Once we’d developed an iteration we were happy with, we rolled out a beta product and invited everyone in the company to join in and compete for prizes while sending feedback. That final stage was vital and provided us with invaluable feedback and insights. It meant we could hone in on what makes the app genuinely useful to players of all levels.”

Fighting it out on the PokerStars felt

Those looking to win some money on Poker Dojo will be out of luck. The app only offers training. A quick test drive of the app by PokerScout finds a fun social game that new players may enjoy.

Along with learning traditional poker game play, players can fine tune their speed in recognizing hands. The All-in or Fold feature is nice at working on speed calculating at strength and draws.

Grid Poker mimics puzzle games and allows players new to the game to focus on making hands. As they create hands, poker recognition skills become easier and faster.

While players won’t win any cash via Poker Dojo, users can earn a free PokerStars Sit and Go voucher. The goal is to battle it out in the dojo then put that poker black belt to work.

“Poker Dojo is a very engaging poker mini game app that helps users develop key skill sets that any poker savvy player should know, like hand rankings, hand strength, and how to assess an all-in decision,” Willetts said. “As a bonus, the game-like format of the app makes it fun and accessible for all levels.”

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