How Microsoft’s Wild HoloLens Could Change Live Poker Forever

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22 January 2015, Created By: Arthur Crowson
How Microsoft’s Wild HoloLens Could Change Live Poker Forever

You know how heads-up displays, or HUDs, have changed the way people play online poker?

Well Microsoft’s pie-in-the-sky Sci-Fi headset HoloLens that was announced this week could bring exactly that kind of tool to live tournaments.

Here’s the skinny on the futeristic device:

It’s a self-contained headset, somewhat similar to Google Glass, but more advanced because it will actually overlay 3D holograms onto your real-life environment.

While HoloLens offers some features of Virtual Reality headsets like Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus it actually has even more potential because VR devices are limited by their screens.

HoloLens has a transparent screen/lens so it can project objects onto your real-world settings. This is Microsoft’s promo video for the device:

It’s Sci-Fi technology to be sure and Microsoft didn’t provide any sort of specifics like pricing or even a release date but if they can pull it off it will be a game changer.

Of course before anyone gets too excited about its potential uses for poker it’s important to look at the reality of the situation.

For one you’d look fairly ridiculous at the table (hey that hasn’t stopped poker players before!) but more importantly there’s a good chance such a device would be banned by most poker rooms/casinos faster than you can say "All-in."

There’s also no telling when Microsoft will release the HoloLens, how much it will cost or even if it's as functional as Microsoft implies in the promotional videos.

HoloLens Might Mean Real-Life HUDS and Hand Histories

hololens portrait
The HoloLens prototype.

This is purely theoretical but for a moment let's consider the potential uses for a HoloLens device at a poker tournament or even at home:


  • HoloLens could provide a heads-up display while you are playing that gives you real-time stats including Pot-Odds and percentages.

  • The device could use facial recognition to recognize opponents, search online for lifetime statistics, or even play videos of famous hands they have played in the past.

  • In addition the HoloLens could start tracking your opponent's playing style and give you real-time notes if they don't have an online record. It would give you an idea how aggressive/tight they are playing among other stats.

  • It seems far-fetched but HaloLens might even be able to recognize bluffing faces on amateurs with some sort of pattern recognition software.

  • Beyond the augmented reality aspect the HoloLens, like Oculus Rift, could transport you into the most lifelike online poker game with three dimensional tables, cards, chips and opponents.

  • In the demo for HoloLens a user was transported to the surface of Mars. The same idea could be used to put a player in Bobby’s Room at Bellagio or the Aria Poker Room.
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