How to play Power Up
Here you'll find everything you need to know to get started with Power Up and how to play this great new game from PokerStars.
• Introduction to Power Up
• Logging in to play
• How to play
• Power cards and what they do
• How to use your power cards
• Frequently asked questions
Introduction to Power Up
So, you're ready to play Power Up, the brand-new game from PokerStars that introduces game changing powers to Texas hold'em for a brand-new poker experience. You might already have read our introduction to this brand new game. On this page you'll find everything you need to know about Power Up, from where to access games in the PokerStars lobby, to details of how to play. The winning will be down to you.
So bookmark this page, or print it out, or commit it all to memory for a quick and easy guide.
PokerStars players are going to find this feels familiar. First, load up the PokerStars Lobby. It's here you'll find the Power Up tab between the familiar tabs for Cash, Sit & Go, and Tourney options. The Power Up tab is right in the middle so you can't miss it. Select this option to get started.
From there you'll see games to join at various buy-ins (ranging from $1 to $15). Select these in the same way you'd select any PokerStars tournament or cash game. Welcome to Power Up.
How to play
If you've read our introduction to Power Up you'll know Power Up combines Hold'em with game changing powers. But what does that mean exactly?
Power Up's game changing powers
Power Up looks like a typical game of Hold'em, played in a three-handed Sit & Go format. You're dealt two hole cards and, if the action gets that far, a flop, turn and river follows. The difference is that Power Up presents a few game changers along the way.
In addition to your hole cards, you'll also receive three "powers", each of which can make a vital difference to the way the hand plays out.
Each power will be different, so you'll never have two of the same (unless you deploy a clone power - more on that below). And, after playing a power card, you'll get a new one at the end of the hand so that you always start each hand with three powers.
You'll also start a Power Up tournament with an energy level of 10. It's this energy that allows you to use your power cards during a game and something to keep track of. You'll receive two more energy points at the start of each hand (up to a maximum of 15).
What are these powers?
This is where things get interesting. There are nine powers in Power Up, each bringing unique features to the game and requiring different levels of energy to be played.
This power allows you to see through your opponents, or more specifically their hole cards. If you've ever been curious what hand your opponent is playing then you'll love this card, which forces your opponent to expose one of their hole cards.
If you've ever looked down at your hole cards and felt a sense of anti-climax, the upgrade card can help. This power allows you to draw a third card, and then discard the one you no longer need.
This card allows you to view the top two cards in the deck and choose whether to discard one of them, a great advantage if you're not quite sure how to proceed in a hand. Your opponents will know if you discarded one, but not which card it was.
Like the upgrade power card, this card comes in very handy when your hole cards don't add up to very much. This power card allows you to change one or both of the cards you're dealt at the start of the hand.
Information is everything, and this card allows you to get vital intelligence and an advantage over your opponents. How? This power allows you to view the deck's top card for the rest of the hand.
Fix things to your advantage by playing this card, which allows you to choose the deck's next card from three options. All players can see them, but only you can choose (while the other two options are discarded)
A powerful card for when you're worried your opponent might play a card on a street you need to protect. Playing the EMP will protect that card, and prevent opponents from playing powers on this street.
Cut out the nonsense - if you don't like a card why not destroy it? This power allows you to do just that, removing the card dealt on the current street, or one of three cards if used on the flop.
You'll never start a Power Up tournament with two Power Up cards the same. But if you like what you've seen this card enables you to receive a copy of the last power played in the hand.
How to use your power cards
First, click on your power up card to activate it. Make sure you have enough energy to use it as each card consumes your energy balance (shown at the top of each power card).
Now you can target a card, but only those dealt on the current betting round.
There's one way to protect the cards already dealt and that's to move all in. Do this and the cards already shown on the board will be protected from further powers and highlighted in red.
After the conclusion of each hand your power cards are topped up, ready for the next hand.
A few frequently asked questions about the game...
How do I get new powers and more energy?
You'll start the game with three random powers. If you use a power card during a hand you'll get a new one at the start of the next hand (two new ones if you happen to use two during a hand). As for energy, you start the tournament with 10 energy, which then regenerates between hands. You get 2 more energy at the start of every hand, up to a maximum of 15.
All right, so why do the cards go red?
That's the all in shield. Moving all in locks down the cards already in play. That makes them safe from and power cards your opponents might be planning to use.
I want to check my hand history but I can't seem to find it.
Owing to the complex graphics involved in Power Up, the hand replayer doesn't support keeping track of your hand history. However, you can use regular text hand histories to review Power Up hands.
How do I know the Power Up shuffle is fair and random?
We take this issue very seriously at PokerStars, so you can be assured we use an independently tested and certified random number generator (RNG) for Power Up, just as we do for our other games. You can read more about that on the FAQ page of the Power Up website.
Do technical problems get dealt with in the same way as other games on PokerStars?
Yes. The same disconnection policy is in effect for Power Up. If for any reason the game crashes, or gets stuck, we'll cancel the tournament and the usual PokerStars tournament cancellation policy will be used to determine pay-outs. Also, it's worth remembering that Power Up is in the Beta phase, so if you spot something wrong, or find a bug, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about these policies on the Power Up website.