It seems like as poker surges in popularity games that utilize familiar poker mechanics to do non-poker-y things have been popping up all over the place. My personal favorite(s) still are Sword & Poker ($2.99) (and its sequel/expansion Sword & Poker 2 ($3.99)) but the recently-released Alice of Hearts (Free) sure is a worthy contender in this weird genre, especially at the current asking price of free. Like other poker battlers (That’s a genre, right?) gameplay revolves around using cards from your Scrabble-like rack of cards and placing them on a grid to form the best hands you can. It sounds simple, and to some extent it is, but there’s a surprising amount of strategy that goes in to these games as your opponent can also use these cards after you place them. So, while you might think you’re super clever playing a three of a kind, you need to consider that you could potentially be giving your opponent the opportunity to counter with a full house.
So, Alice of Hearts is a totally competent poker battle game, but it actually kicks things up a notch further via the “Ego" system which essentially gives you multiple characters with different bonuses to play as. Additionally, if you’ve found yourself annoyed by the AI of other similar games, Alice of Hearts also has online multiplayer. At first look, the IAP systems powering the game seem fairly optional, allowing you to buy coins and various “premium" upgrades such as allowing you to have a wider stable of “Egos" to choose from with additional slots to store them in.
If you haven’t yet tried a game with this sort of card battle mechanic yet, give this one a shot. These always seem to work really well on iOS devices.