The world seems to have pulled through the most symptomatic period of Wordle fever. At this point, the prodrome pattern of green, yellow, and grey has all but vanished from our Twitter feeds. The New York Times’s puzzle page is probably wondering if that million-dollar cheque might have been better spent on an open bar at the office Christmas do.
However, you may have recently noticed the poker players in your life posting a new set of greens, yellows, and greys. This time with captions like, “Pokle #14 4/6.”
There have been plenty of apps aping Josh Wardle’s surprise hit. These include things like Worldle and Globle (based on guessing a country), Quordle (Wordle with four words at once), Evil Wordle (where the word changes after each guess), and Chessle (guess the first three moves of a chess game).
Now there’s a new puzzle in town for anyone who wanted to combine their Wordle obsession with their poker obsession. It is called Pokle. And it’s great.
What is Pokle?
The premise is artfully simple. You are given three sets of hole cards and told which hand is winning — by hand ranking rather than equity — on each of the flop, turn, and river. You then have to guess the board. Get a card wrong it shows up as grey. Get the rank or suit right, it shows up as yellow. Get the card spot on, it turns green.
When I spoke to the creator of Pokle, they explained that the details of the game grew pretty naturally out of the premise.
“It pretty much went like this,” they explained. “I asked, What’s the equivalent of the 5-letter word in Wordle you have to guess? Answer: the 5 board cards in Texas Hold’em. Then what clues can you have to make that an interesting puzzle? It would have to be the players’ hands.
“But that’s not enough. So, add in the players’ hands and a table that shows who’s winning and losing on the flop, turn, and river. Right. Now, what do yellow clues mean?” And so on…
The creator preferred to remain anonymous, but they did explain that they enjoyed poker as a recreational player, taking part in “casual, low stakes, monthly games with friends.”
However, their real expertise is in coding, modestly describing themself as a “run of the mill developer who has worked on embedded systems and large-scale websites. But is now looking at ways to work on [their] own projects.”
They’ve already got the thanks of the poker community, or at least the puzzle-obsessed portion of us. We’re looking forward to seeing what comes next.
Featured image source: Pokle