Grand Theft Auto V is set to rock the video game world later this month and videogame fans are wondering if the venerable series will finally offer some form of poker.
(Image above is GTA fan art by Maxiter)
Given the sandbox nature of GTA, it’s kind of strange that poker hasn’t been on the table yet.
How can you live the life of a criminal without playing in an underground poker game every now and then?
It’s even stranger considering the number of references to poker in GTA games over the years.
We’re going to take a brief look at the history of poker in GTA and Rockstar games below:
Welcome to the Venturas Poker Classic
GTA has a long-running gag that features a WSOP-like show called the Venturas Poker Classic. The show could be seen on the TV in GTA IV.
The game includes its own poker personalities like “Cocksure” Chris Cummings, Steve “Buffet Car” Jabowitz, Phil “Deadman” Davidson and Jennifer “Trashcan” Zelinski.
The show even features a Lon McEachern and Norman Chad-type hosts in Malcom Fitzherbert and Troy Burger.
It’s obvious someone on the GTA team is very familiar with poker as the fake TV show offers a wry commentary on the state of televised poker.
You can check out the complete show below:
Gambling in GTA: San Andreas But No Poker
Going even farther back, GTA: San Andreas offered a variety of gambling games including Blackjack, Roulette and video poker.
Interestingly San Andreas originally included poker and craps but both mini-games were never completed and the game launched without them.
You can still see the poker table and craps table in the casino, although you can't play.
While poker hasn’t been confirmed in GTA V yet, there does seem to be a casino in the game and you’d think that would include some form of poker.
Another reason that GTA V should have poker is that Rockstar games already implemented a pretty strong No-Limit Hold’em mini-game in western Red Dead Redemption.
If the GTA V crew just transferred the poker engine from Red Dead Redemption (complete with the ability to have shootouts) they’d already have a pretty solid poker option.
Build multi-player into the game and you'd have one of GTA's most popular mini-games ever.
Poker a Perfect Fit for Underground Nature of GTA
Regardless of whether poker is actually included in GTA V, it certainly should be.
Making a huge bank heist and then blowing all your money in a high-stakes cash game would fit the GTA universe perfectly, especially since there are a lot of things you can spend your money on in GTA V.
GTA V is considered the most ambitious GTA game ever with a scope that approaches San Andreas.
While we won’t officially know if you can play poker in GTA V until it launches on Sept. 17, 2013, we’ll leave you with a list of the mini-games that have been confirmed (it’s pretty insane):
- Bike races
- Stunt plane trials
- Shooting range
- Stock market
- Car racing
- Taking pictures
- Liquor store robberies
- Buying real estate
- Scuba diving
- Strip clubs
- Bus Tours
- Arms Trafficking
- Car customization
- Buying pets and pet customization
- Jet skiing