‘Jesters Poker’ Review: This Poker Game Is No Joke

Cards on the table: I’m not a big poker guy. I mean, I do understand the basic rules of Texas Hold’em, but I’d still describe myself as a complete novice at the game. This means that I find most iOS poker apps — which are largely aimed at experienced players — pretty intimidating and inaccessible. You can imagine my delight then when I discovered Jelle Baars’ Jesters Poker (out now, free), a poker-based title that strives to be as approachable and fun as possible for players of all skill levels.

Jesters Poker is about as far from your average po-faced poker sim as you can get. Instead, it’s a mystery-driven adventure game that sees you journeying through a circus-themed world, solving riddles and taking on a cast of eccentric and comical foes in fast-paced Texas Hold’em battles. The game is set across ten levels, each of which features a multi-stage poker tournament with a boss-type character that you must defeat to progress.

Even though you’re not playing against real flesh-and-blood opponents (Jesters Poker is an offline-only affair), the game’s poker matches are still thrilling, challenging and thoroughly absorbing. This is due to the fact that your computer-controlled rivals all possess impressive AI and realistically unique play styles; for example, Boulder, the circus Strongman, plays a lot more aggressively than Sonia, the Fortune Teller. Having to figure out — and adapt to — the different characters’ personal strengths and weaknesses adds a really compelling element of strategy to the game.

In addition to the lengthy story mode, Jesters Poker also features two additional modes: Survival and Challenge. The former sees you trying to survive your way through a knockout poker tournament, while the latter tasks you with completing increasingly tricky challenges, such as winning 3 hands in 3 minutes. Playing these secondary modes allows you to earn in-game currency, which can be spent on cosmetic items and other perks.


Jesters Poker is a unique story-driven take on Texas Hold’em poker that features fun characters, vibrant visuals and accessible yet deep gameplay. Whether you’re a poker noob or pro, it’s well worth checking out.

Accessible enough for casual poker players to enjoy, while still packing enough challenge and depth to satisfy die-hards
Fun story and characters
Lots of content and gameplay modes
Serious poker fans may be put off by the cartoony visuals and lack of online multiplayer features
Download on the App Store