PokerStars has launched Duel by PokerStars, a new mobile poker game that ramps up the game’s social elements by allowing users to challenge their friends to play one-on-one against each other.

The new variant is based on the game mechanics of no-limit hold’em, the post popular form of poker worldwide, that sees players compete against an opponent over a set number of hands.

The competitor with the highest score at the end of the hands wins the duel in a format that combines simplicity and accessibility with a depth of strategy new to poker.

Designed exclusively for Android and iOS devices, it features a clean design and intuitive interface, allowing users to challenge friends and other players with just a few clicks.

“Duel by PokerStars is a fun way to play poker, in a format that is perfect for mobile phones,” PokerStars director of poker room operations Severin Rasset said. “Whilst I could put the game down any moment, I don’t want to - it offers all the depth of one-on-one poker, but playable whenever and against whomever I want.”

Former world champion of poker Chris Moneymaker added: “I love being able to play it so easily. It fits easily into my hectic life since I can pick up, and put down, anytime I want. It also manages to represent the depth of poker that I love.”

The game has been designed to reflect the needs and lifestyle of smartphone users, PokerStars says. With a turn-based format and one-on-one gameplay, users can pick up and play any time, and also leave the game and return to it whenever convenient.

It has been developed as part of the operator’s strategy to bring poker to new audiences, namely by creating formats that fit in with a person’s busy lifestyle by offering a bite-size version of the game rather than traditional game formats that require longer time periods to play.

The “pick up and play” nature of the game is designed to reflect more popular mobile games, the operator says, with the social aspects enhanced by the one-on-one gameplay and a built-in chat box encouraging interaction with friends and other competitors.

Duel by PokerStars will initially launch in Norway exclusively as part of a limited beta test, before being rolled out to other countries in the coming months.