Those of you who are old enough to have been to a casino may have encountered a video poker machine before. Effectively a virtual simulation of the timeless card game, these offer up something a little bit different than the slot machines: a game where planning, luck and a bit of savvy can see the player receiving a decent bit of cash. The thing to stress here is that video poker machines usually pay out real money; take that factor away, and you're left with something that feels relatively pointless. 6-Hand Video Poker aims to bring the experience of a video poker machine to your Wii U, and while it ultimately succeeds in doing so, the experience feels hollow and empty without any real stakes.

The rules of the game are simple enough. You're given a set amount of credits to begin with and six are subtracted from your total with each new hand. After deciding how you want to play your cards, the game compares your hand against six opponents and determines how many credits are due to you. Rinse, repeat until you inevitably get bored. The structure itself isn't terrible on paper, but the way it's executed here leaves much to be desired.

The most glaring fault is that credits are effectively meaningless. Not only do they obviously not have any bearing on your real life status, but they are simply used as an arbitrary measure of how well you've been doing for the past few games. If your credit count inevitably falls to zero there's no game over screen, it just keeps right on going into the negatives. Play well in the next few rounds and it'll be positive once again, as if nothing ever happened. By refusing to enact any sort of consequence for player actions, good or bad, the game quickly becomes tedious when you realize that there's very little reason to keep playing.

Moreover, the presentation is as half-baked and shoddy as could be possible. As you play, a roughly thirty second track plays in the background that captures the din of conversation in a casino. The sound quality is poor and it loops endlessly, soon becoming more of a nuisance than an immersive factor. Behind the playing field, an artistic rendition of the Las Vegas Strip slowly scrolls by, once again looping until oblivion. It even jumps slightly when it resets. The cards lack any sort of interesting features, merely settling for a few different colors, and what little text there is looks like it was pulled from ClipArt. Granted, one does not have high expectations for the presentation of a cheap video poker game, but this comes off feeling like it was tossed together in a weekend.

Conclusion

Ultimately, 6-Hand Video Poker is a poor attempt at bringing the video poker experience to the home. The game makes absolutely no attempt to motivate the player to continue playing, so mileage is entirely dependent upon how much you enjoy winning meaningless hands of cards against a few randomly generated opponents. Couple that with the barebones presentation and you have a game that has little to no appeal. Unless you absolutely must play poker on your Wii U, we'd recommend you skip this one. You can probably easily find a free equivalent online, and it wouldn't have to do much to be more feature heavy and exciting than this.