Telltale Texas Hold'Em Review

Screenshot from Telltale Texas Hold'Em
Telltale Texas Hold'Em was the first game released by Telltale Games

  • Reviewed by: Mark Goninon
  • Developer: Telltale Games
  • Publisher: Telltale Games
  • Release Date: 11 Feb 2005
  • Time played: 0.2 hours

What is it

It seems quite melancholic playing a game by Telltale Games nowadays, considering it's for all intents and purposes, defunct. The company developed some of my favourite games over the past decade and in this review, I'll be talking about a game that pretty much started it all, the very first game that Telltale released: Telltale Texas Hold'Em.

This game was released 7 years before Telltale's breakthrough game The Walking Dead. During the studios early years, they tended to focus on adventure games based off old Lucasarts IP (e.g. Sam & Max and Monkey Island) as well as adventure games based off IP from other media such as "CSI", "Wallace & Gromit" and "Homestar Runner". Telltale continued to mainly focus on adventure games so Telltale Texas Hold'Em is a bit of an oddity, although the game was followed up by two more poker games by Telltale: Poker Night at the Inventory in 2010 and Poker Night 2 in 2013.

The game has a Mixed rating on Steam with 57% of the 56 user reviews being positive. It is unrated on Metacritic.

For those who know how to play poker, you'll know how to play this game, so I won't go into the rules. Whoever manages to be the last man/woman standing (in terms of virtual chips) is the winner.

How I got it

In July 2017, I purchased the Humble Telltale Bundle which included a whole bunch of games such as Batman: The Telltale Series, Minecraft: Story Mode and Telltale Texas Hold'Em. If I were to be completely honest, I wasn’t really getting the bundle for this game but since it's in my library, I decided to give it a shot.

Screenshot from Telltale Texas Hold'Em
There's a handy tutorial when you play the game that will teach you the basics

What I like:


If you're new to Texas Hold'Em the game actually gives you some pointers on how it works, so it's educational.

It's as fun as the real game

Your enjoyment of this game will be directly correlated to whether you enjoy playing poker or not.

Screenshot from Telltale Texas Hold'Em
This is the kind of humour you'll either enjoy or have to endure when playing the game

What I dislike:

Characters can be annoying at times

Although to be fair, the same could be said for all the characters in the Poker Night games (also by Telltale).

Ugly graphics

I couldn't run the game at my monitor's native resolution and the character models, lighting and animation are pretty poor – but the game is more than a decade old, so you can't expect the graphics to be cutting-edge.

Poor audio quality

While the voice acting is generally fine, the quality of the audio seems a bit lo-fi.

Score – 5/10 (Average)

A very basic, dated, single-player PC version of poker; you're better off buying one of the Poker Night games that Telltale developed later which features better visuals and licensed characters if you're into single-player poker; if you're looking for a multiplayer experience, best look elsewhere.

Is the game worth $2.99 USD?: Yes, if you're desperate for a single-player PC version of Texas Hold'em, although there are probably better (and free) versions of the game out there and ones that offer multiplayer too.

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[ LINK: Telltale Texas Hold'Em on Steam ]