Just a few weeks ago, Faded Spade launched the Faded Spade Card Club, essentially a new online poker platform designed to facilitate private games.
I’ve been a big fan of Faded Spade’s playing cards since discovering them about a year ago. They are elegant, contemporary and durable.
Now I’ve organized several virtual games using the Card Club platform, so it’s time for a quick review.
Overall, the site is excellent. All play is through a web browser, with no software to download or app to install. Registering an account is easy. Setting up my own private table was easy. Joining a table and the mechanics of game play are highly intuitive. Customer service is outstanding. My friends like it.
I’ve only set up a single private ring game table (which requires a monthly subscription fee), and hosted three home games, so the rest of this review will focus on that offering. Sit-n-go and multi-table tournament offerings also are available.
Especially praiseworthy features:
- Browser-based, with no software to download or app to install.
- Outstanding customer service – quick to respond and eager to help
- Multiple game options, including Texas Hold’em, PLO, PLO8, Big O and more
- Multiple blind and buy-in options
- Straddle option
- Easy to get started with intuitive interface
- 30 seconds to act, plus 60 second time bank
To be clear, the site is brand new and has room for improvement. I expect some tweaks to come quickly, but that’s easy for me to say since I’m not a programmer or software developer.
I’d like to see:
- Table admin authority to changes table settings. Currently, once you establish your private table settings – blinds, buy-ins, etc. – as the owner of that table you cannot modify any of the settings without requesting a change and waiting on Faded Spade. My homeys wanted to add straddles and increase the maximum buy-in, which Faded Spade implemented for me… but I cannot adjust the table settings myself.
- Full flexibility as to blind levels. Currently there is a drop-down menu that includes the most popular options, ranging from 0.10/0.25 all the way up to 25/50. But I cannot set up a 1/1 or 2/3 game. Why not have have separate inputs for the small blind and the big blind?
- Easier to follow hand histories
- Ability as table admin to start the game when I’m ready. Currently the game starts automatically as soon as two players are seated. There is no setting to require a higher minimum number of players, or allow me to wait for some stragglers to login before we “shuffle up and deal.”
- Ability to change the table password, or otherwise restrict its use. Once I give out the table password, it’s out there. I cannot block a player from returning, nor from sharing the PW with others, nor change the PW.
- Better control over the sizing of the table on my laptop screen. When I try to maximize the table, a control bar across the top disappears.
- Better tracking of player buy-ins and win/loss totals. It’s a “play money” site, sure, but just suppose me and my buds wanna play for keepsies and settle up after the fact. Each new player is automatically awarded 50,000 in chips. While I can limit the buy-in at my table to, say… 300, once a player leaves the table, I cannot find any record of his or her results for the session. Nor can I prevent anyone from checking a box to auto rebuy up to the maximum buy-in, which can result in chips being added to a (bad) player’s stack constantly. Suffice it to say that if you want to use this site to play “for keeps,” instead of PokerStars home games (which is deficient in many ways) or any of the trendy smart phone apps such as PPPoker, PokerBros or Pokerrrr2, some workaround is necessary along with a high level of trust and compliance amongst the players.
- Run it twice or three times option
- At showdown, an extra couple of seconds with the cards tabled to be able to absorb the outcome, before the next hand begins
The overall player feedback has been strongly positive. “Let’s do this some more!” they basically said, at least until the world is right again.
Hopefully, that will be soon. Until then, shelter in place like the “preppers” have been prepping for, and be safe.