It is worth mentioning, though, that some players aren’t sure whether to play mobile poker through their smartphone or tablet. And those who are looking for an answer should know that it largely depends on the individual and their specific tastes. That said, here’s a look at some key points that you should consider before playing tablet or smartphone poker.
Smartphones are Pocket-sized
While both smartphones and tablets are fairly small devices, many people like phones better because they actually fit into one’s pocket. This is especially handy for those times when your hands are full and you don’t want to be carrying a tablet around everywhere. Of course, this isn’t to say that tablets are completely unhandy. Anybody who carries a bag, bookbag or purse around can easily store this device away. However, it’s just so much easier to pocket your smartphone and take it out whenever you feel like playing mobile poker.
Tablets have Larger Screens
The uber convenience of smartphones is sometimes counterbalanced by how small the screen is. Sure, anybody with decent eyesight can see what they’re doing on these devices. But this certainly isn’t to say that players will be picking up all of the fine details in a mobile poker game. So if you’re somebody who likes bigger screens for your gaming experience, then tablets are definitely the way to go.
Tablets offer Superior Multi-tabling Capabilities
One feature that many sites have added to their poker mobile repertoire is multi-tabling. This capability has long been a favorite of serious players who look to maximize their profits and get more hands in per hour. It’s also good for recreational players who want more action and hate waiting around for others after folding. Unfortunately, smartphone poker isn’t exactly the best way to multi-table. As we discussed earlier, the screen is smaller so it’s harder to move between tables. A tablet is much better for players who want to use multiple tables simultaneously. In fact, there’s not much of a drop-off when multi-tablers move from a laptop to tablet.
Smartphones are Great Multi-Purpose Devices
Moving to another perk of smartphones, they are great for doing a lot of things beyond playing poker. Now, this isn’t to say that tablets aren’t also handy for various tasks. But when people want to send text messages and make phone calls, they reach for their phones. So recreational players would definitely do well to use their smartphone for poker purposes, especially if they send a lot of texts and make plenty of calls.
Ending the Debate
Based on what we’ve discussed, there’s no clear-cut winner in this mobile poker debate. Those who value convenience above all will likely find that their smartphone is the best device to use. However, anybody who’s a little more serious about their poker sessions should consider using a tablet due to the larger screen and multi-tabling capabilities. So once again, it all depends upon you as an individual.
However, the saturation of mobile reviews also creates a dilemma because players have trouble sorting through biased information that’s simply meant to push them towards depositing. So the key is to find quality affiliate websites that provide visitors with legitimate info on poker mobile rooms, rather than fluff that makes every site sound amazing. Keeping this in mind, here are a few specific points that you want to look for in websites that offers valid reviews.
1. Affiliates should list Pros and Cons on Mobile Poker Rooms
It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about the best mobile poker site in the industry – every room has its shortcomings. That said, your first tip-off to finding good mobile reviews is a site that lists both good and bad points. Now, this doesn’t mean that the review has to be written by some self-loathing individual who bashes most of the poker rooms. But you want to feel like the writer is telling both sides of the story, rather than whatever will convince readers to deposit and start generating rake.
2. Good Reviews should touch on a Number of Points
The whole purpose of reviewing the poker mobile industry is to provide readers with information that will make their decisions easier. That said, any quality review will cover a variety of topics that you’d be interested in knowing about a site before signing up. For starters, the best mobile poker reviews explain details about the signup bonus, such as how much it’s worth and instructions on unlocking the reward. Another point that should be covered is what features the mobile site offers.
Are multi-tabling, hand histories and hand-evaluation functions available? You should be able to answer this after reading a good mobile review.
3. Is an Exclusive Signup Bonus Available?
Not all legit affiliate sites have to offer exclusive signup bonuses. However, some affiliates have special deals with poker sites that allow players to earn more signup bonus money than if they visited the site directly. The idea behind this is to reward poker mobile affiliates for pushing the sites by giving them a better chance to draw signups. In any case, it’s good for you because there’s more bonus money available. For instance, if you visited a site directly, you might only be able to earn a 100% up to $100 bonus. But if you signed up through an affiliate review link, you could earn 100% up to $200.
There are a number of other aspects that you want to look for in mobile reviews, like game selection, banking options, promotions and tournaments. But what we’ve discussed in depth is what you especially want to focus on – unbiased reviews that discuss some of the main factors that go into making a great poker mobile site. Also, be sure to check out a few different reviews so that you’re finding the right mobile poker room for you!
1. Fast-Fold Variants
Do you hate waiting on other players to make a move? Don’t like wasting time trying to document your opponent’s 4-betting range and preflop tendencies? Then you should definitely try a fast-fold variant. Many different mobile poker sites/networks offer fast-fold variants, which see players moved to a new table with new cards right after they fold. This means that you’re constantly playing poker, rather than waiting for several other players to finish out a hand when you fold.
2. 3D Mobile Poker
Okay, so we know that the whole 3D phenomenon is nothing new. But it’s still really neat to be playing through a smartphone or tablet, yet feel like you’re closer to the action. And this is exactly what 3D poker apps do because they make the table, players, cards and chips feel like they’re right in front of you. What’s especially nice is that many real money mobile apps offer 3D play, meaning you get the realistic benefit along with playing for real cash.
3. Social Games
Some poker players aren’t out just to win money. Instead, they simply enjoy playing free mobile poker while meeting other people in the process. This is the whole idea behind social mobile gaming, where the focus is on the chat box and the cards are secondary. When you play social poker apps through a smartphone or tablet, you can expect really loose play and huge pots, rather than the typical tight play seen in real money games. Of course, it’s always fun to play tight yourself in social games because you can amass a large number of play chips. But just remember…the key is to chat with other players and have a good time with social gaming.
4. Fresh Deck Poker
Developed by Google, Fresh Deck takes the whole social gaming experience to a new level. Fresh Deck’s angle is to give players more options with their avatar and table backgrounds. The cartoonish avatars say it all – this mobile app is all about letting recreational players have fun! Besides the amateur angle, another interesting thing about Fresh Deck Poker is that it uses a 20-card deck, which leads to fast play and bigger pots. So anybody who’s looking for a totally new experience should definitely try this free app.
5. Omaha, Stud, Badugi, Razz, PLO and more
Okay, so these are variants that we’re talking now. However, we thought that it’d be good to lump all of the different poker variations besides Hold’em into this category just so players have an idea of what’s available. Some sites are now offering every variant under the sun to appeal to a broad range of players. After all, the poker world has evolved greatly and so it’s always nice for advanced players to enjoy all of the variations they love through a mobile device.
Some people even say that all of this is too convenient for poker players. Moreover, they may worry that poker Android apps could be extremely addicting. In theory, it seems like a valid thought to think that mobile gaming is even more addicting than Mac or PC-based online poker. But as we’ll discuss below, theories don’t always equate to facts, no matter how much some people want you to believe so.
Mobile Myth or Reality?
If you’ve ever paid much attention to Sheldon Adelson, the CEO of Las Vegas Sands, you know that he’s staunchly opposed to wireless gaming. The 80-year-old casino magnate would rather go bungee jumping off of Mount Everest than ever be caught playing a poker android app.
Adelson hates both mobile and online poker and states that these activities will further addiction and lead to a decay in society. He’s explained that the ease of access that internet and mobile poker offer players means nobody is monitoring them. Allegedly, no safeguards are in place, in contrast to land-based casinos, where the staff members are actually present.
Again, this sounds like a logical, albeit self-serving, argument for Adelson. But he lacks any legitimate studies or statistics to prove online/mobile addiction. And while such data is pretty scarce, there’s a recent Australian study that does offer some clarity on the subject.
The Problems start Inside
In 2014, the Australian government commissioned Gambling Research Australia to carry out an extensive study entitled “Interactive Gambling.” The group conducted interviews with nearly 19,600 Australians and found that only 0.6% of the participants had a gambling problem.
After finishing all of the research, Gambling Research Australia stated that “there is currently insufficient evidence to conclude that interactive gambling (online/mobile) is causing higher levels of gambling problems.The study goes on to conclude that “for a substantial proportion of interactive gamblers experiencing difficulties, these problems are related to non‐interactive modes.”
So there you have it: a huge, unbiased study shows that there’s nothing verifying online and mobile gaming being any more addicting than brick-and-mortar gambling. In fact, the study suggests that problem gambling usually begins with land-based casinos, then the addiction transitions to online/mobile modes.
Don’t forget Bankroll Management
It’s refreshing to know that the vast majority of players won’t have to worry about becoming highly addicted to poker Android apps. However, this certainly isn’t to say that smartphone and tablet players don’t still need to be cautious.
Bankroll management is important to every player, regardless of whether they’re grinding in a land-based poker room or through their Android phone. That said, the first thing is to make sure you’re playing at the correct stakes. A good rule of thumb is to have 20-25 cash game buy-ins for your particular level and/or 60-75 tournament buy-ins.
Of course, the importance of studying poker strategy can’t be overstated. The better the player you are, the less likely you are to lose money and put a dent in your bankroll. Assuming you do lose, though, stick to your bankroll management plan and don’t play again until you can afford it.]]>
But solid gameplay and nice visuals have become the norm, rather than the exception. Poker players demand far more from their gaming experiences nowadays. This being said, when you’re looking for good mobile poker rooms, there are some specific factors that you should be aware of. So let’s look at several points that players need to keep in mind before signing up and depositing at a mobile poker site.
1. A Wide Game Selection
Like we said in the introduction, the poker mobile industry has advanced by leaps and bounds from its humble, mid-2000s beginnings. But this certainly isn’t to say that you’re going to get the exact same game selection through every mobile room that you will through traditional online poker play. So the first aspects that you want to consider with mobile poker rooms are the availability of certain stakes and games.
A nice start is any wireless room that allows you to play cash games, SNG’s and MTT’s through the mobile app. It’s also great if the cash tables and tournaments offer a wide variety of stakes/buy-ins. Some mobile rooms are still only offering micro stakes play and small buy-ins for cash games and tournaments. Also, look to see if other variations besides just Hold’em are present if you like playing different games.
2. Plenty of Features and Options
Are you still able to enjoy a full poker experience on your iPhone, iPad or Android? Or are you getting short-changed in this department when you play at certain poker mobile rooms? These are very important questions that you should be asking yourself because players shouldn’t have to sacrifice fun for convenience.
Check out any prospective poker room and see what features and options they offer to mobile players. For example, you should still have easy navigation, well-designed tables, the ability to choose avatars, multi-tabling and resizable tables. If a site is missing any of these options, it’s not a total deal breaker since not every app is perfect. However, you really need to think about the features that you can’t do without at online poker sites and apply this thought to your search for mobile rooms.
3. Good Bonuses and Promotions
Wireless players shouldn’t have to feel like second-class citizens at their poker site. They should still have the opportunity to participate in cash-filled promotions and chase huge bonuses just like desktop and laptop players. And in some cases, mobile players can even expect special bonuses!
For example, a poker site might offer an exclusive bonus to any player who deposits through their mobile device. Or they may even hold a freeroll that’s only open to those playing through smartphones and tablets. Aside from any exclusive rewards, worthy mobile poker rooms should offer all of the typical promotions like leaderboard races, freerolls, a VIP program and varying monthly offers.
Once again, if you’re going to play poker through your mobile device, you’ll definitely want to look for rooms that score high in the previously discussed categories.]]>
Before the Smartphone
To many players, it seems like the poker mobile idea came about in 2010, when Switch Poker and Full Tilt began offering games on smartphones. We’ll get to this later, but the truth is that PokerRoom and Ultimate Bet were the first poker sites to enter the mobile scene in 2006. Many recognize the latter as a scandal-ridden room that closed down after Black Friday (April 15th, 2011) with millions of dollars in player deposits. However, Ultimate Bet was instrumental in opening up the poker mobile market as they offered Java-supported wireless play.
As cool as this advancement was back then, it was also frustrating for players. These play-money apps were prone to frequent disconnections, and the graphics left more than a little to be desired. Cake Poker brought a new development in this era when they unveiled the first real-money Windows app for mobile devices. Other sites like Betfair, bwin and Party Poker entered the fray, but nobody was really able to improve upon the visuals or playing quality at the time.
Smartphones and Tablets save the Day
Luckily, wireless gaming wouldn’t remain in the dark ages forever. Released in 2007, the iPhone really did wonders for the poker mobile industry over the next few years. Companies began releasing play-money apps on the iPhone that offered a significant upgrade, both in graphics and gameplay. Of course, we have more sophisticated technology and 3G connections to thank for this.
The only problem with the iPhone was that they didn’t allow real-money poker apps in their store. But Switch Poker somewhat cracked this market when their room became available through direct play on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch in 2010. Thousands of players rushed to the newly launched Switch to take advantage of this opportunity.
Full Tilt opens up the Market
While Switch Poker got the ball rolling for real-money play on smartphones and tablets, they were a rather obscure site to the majority of the poker world. One could easily say that Full Tilt truly opened up the poker mobile floodgates when they introduced their Android app in the same year as Switch Poker’s launch.
Unfortunately, they had immediate trouble when Google Market banned the app due to their policy on real-money gaming. But Full Tilt responded by making their app available for download straight from the site. Full Tilt eventually closed a couple of months after Black Friday (later reopening in 2012), but their huge mark on the mobile gaming industry had already been made at this point.
Apple loosens up
One last significant development for mobile poker rooms was when bwin (now part of bwin.party) made a deal with Apple, whereby they were the first to offer a native real-money poker app. Since this time, dozens of other poker rooms have begun offering mobile products through the Apple App Store.
As long as you own an iPhone, iPad or Android product today, you won’t have any trouble playing poker through a mobile device. The games run as smoothly as they do on a desktop or laptop, and the convenience is unbeatable!
Now then, the poker iPhone experience isn’t a bad one either, but the sort of poker iPad devices can handle is much more engaging and graphically much more impressive of course, if for no other reason than because of the much larger screen size. Despite the fact however that the screen size offered by an iPad is almost as big as that of a smaller laptop computer, the poker iPad experience is still not quite as complete as the actual PC-based online poker experience.
The reasons behind that are mostly about game selection and there are certain special features available in a downloadable PC-based client which are simply not available for poker iPad players.
Take the world’s largest online poker operation for instance: PokerStars. While most of their real money games have indeed found their way into their mobile apps, they run a series of extremely interesting freerolls which offer beginners were close to real money excitement for zero buy-in, quite a number of times every day. These freerolls are not available through any of the mobile apps that the site currently offers. While we haven’t exactly tried any of the mobile apps offered by the other online poker operators, it is safe to assume that the situation is similar with those as well.
The poker iPad experience isn’t the only one that stands out through its quality, playability and ease of operation. When it comes to the mobile online casino experience, iPads stand out by a head and a shoulder. While the quality of the graphics and the actual graphical detail generated by an iPad is similar to what an iPhone is capable of putting out, there is just no comparison in the actual gameplay experience: the iPad’s screen size is once again a major winner.
Obviously, there are drawbacks to the iPad casino experience in addition to all those advantages too: the device itself is much too bulky when compared to a phone. While it is certainly reasonable to imagine someone playing real money blackjack or roulette on his or her iPhone at the bus station, doing the same using an iPad is much more cumbersome. Obviously, mobility and the quality of the visual experience generated by online gaming in general will never really be truly married off. There is always a trade-off involved, but that does not change the fact that when it comes to quality mobile gaming and mobile online casino gambling, the iPad is simply unbeatable from just about every angle.
Online casinos are obviously aware of the advantages offered by the iPad, and those that really spare no resources when it comes to developing proper mobile apps for their customers do not miss the opportunity to take full advantage of the capabilities and strengths of the device.
The bottom line: when it comes to playing online poker and gambling online through a mobile device, stick with an iPad whenever possible. iPhones should be viewed as a poor man’s iPad in this respect.
As far as poker iPhone devices can handle is concerned, the games are pretty much the same as in the regular online client of the online poker room that one plays at, although the game selection is likely to be a tad poorer.
Poker strategy is the same though, starting with bankroll management, starting hand selection, preflop play, various post-flop strategies and wrapping up with the mathematical odds, pot odds, the fold equity and you-name-it. In order to be a successful poker iPhone player, one needs to be an overall good player, one who has at least attained the third level of poker thought, with everything that it entails.
Poker iPhone action is one thing, but pretty much the same goes for mobile sports betting too. When it comes to turning a profit, the platform that one uses to place his/her wagers makes no difference whatsoever, although an iPad or an iPhone can effectively act as a bookmaker’s office and a major handicapper’s aid as well. While that certainly means something for the gambler, at the end of the day, when betting mobile, it all comes down to his/her skills and abilities to locate and to exploit the hidden value. Like poker iphone action, mobile sports wagering can be turned into a positive long term expected value activity through skill and through work, not to mention discipline. In sports gambling, bankroll management is a huge part of the equation of success, and it works in synergy with bettors’ handicapping skills.
The first objective of every mobile bettor who intends to be successful in the long-run is to secure positive EV (the same goes for poker, whether it’s traditional online poker or poker iPad action we’re talking about). That is achieved through handicapping, reverse handicapping and often through gut-feelings which help the player locate the hidden value. Expert handicappers have a feel for the market and they know exactly when something is tilted out of balance, giving birth to the much sought-after hidden value.
Positive EV in itself won’t take one far though. Without proper bankroll management, it will inevitably fall victim to the variance. Bankroll management is meant to make sure that one can stick around for long enough to allow the positive expected value to work its magic, and that goes for poker as well as for online (and live) sports betting.
The bottom line: the mobile platform these days is one mature enough to perfectly accommodate real money online poker and sports betting action. How successful one is at these activities though, is entirely dependent on individual skill.
What is there to know about poker for Android though? Android-based devices are indeed extremely popular, and what that means is the fact that online poker rooms focus a great deal on coming up with a state-of-the-art app for this platform.
Installing the poker for android applications of an online poker room on an Android-based mobile device is truly a cinch. The online poker rooms go to great lengths to make the installation and the download process as simple and straightforward for players as possible. Once the app is installed, most players can simply use their regular username/password combinations to log into the interface and to start playing real money poker. There may be sites out there which will require existing players to create a new account for the mobile app, but these are few and far between.
Now then, once the software is installed and launched, first-time players will probably be pleasantly surprised by the intricacy of the games, the excellent graphics and the unexpectedly rich game selection. Poker for Android is a lot like regular online poker. Game selection is pretty much the only respect in which it is still struggling to keep up. In their poker for Android applications, most online poker operators still do not offer access to multi-table tournaments for instance. The reasons for that are obviously technical in nature, but it is a huge impediment nonetheless, especially considering that the majority of the online poker traffic of every online poker room out there is made up of tournaments players.
PokerStars’ state-of-the-art poker for Android application is pretty much the only one in the industry which currently offers access to multi-table tournament action. Still, with its excellent game selection, the PokerStars Android poker app falls short when it comes to freerolls: none of these can be played through the Android app. The world’s largest online poker operator runs several interesting and engaging freerolls each and every day, and there are indeed recreational players out there who play at the site solely because of these freerolls, looking to just have some fun and maybe snatch up a few VPPs in the process.
The bottom line is that the poker Android devices can currently handle, is still not sophisticated enough to offer players a mirror image of the games available through the regular online interface. The games are enjoyable indeed, but those into certain specifics may not find the current setup fulfilling enough just yet.
By far the best is the PokerStars Android app. PokerStars have the manpower to knowhow, the financial resources and pretty much everything else that is required to put out a world-class poker Android app, which has quickly become the gold standard of online poker mobile gaming.
The PokerStars app is a wonderful piece of mobile gaming engineering. The graphics are sharp, superb, and one often feels like they’re actually better than the graphics of the main client. PokerStars is among the very few (quite possibly the only one) out there to offer an Android app through which multi-table tournaments can be played in addition to cash games and SNGs. Offering superb compatibility, the PokerStars mobile app covers pretty much the entire mobile market, and is available in no fewer than 15 languages. In addition to all the above said game types, PokerStars’ Android poker players will also be able to play Zoom Poker, and they will even be able to play at multiple tables at the same time.
With the superb game selection, it still comes as a rather nasty surprise for recreational players to learn that none of PokerStars’ generous daily freerolls are available through any of their mobile apps. In addition to the actual poker app, PokerStars also offer other mobile applications such as their PokerStars TV one and the PokerStars clock.
Unibet may not be in the same weight class with PokerStars, but its mobile apps come in second, right after those of the poker giant. The Unibet Poker Android interface is clean and the graphics are great. The actual value of the Android app is indeed second only to PokerStars’. Like PokerStars, Unibet offer a number of additional apps related to poker as well.
888 Poker’s Android poker app is third on this list. While it only offers access to online cash games and SNGs, the 888Poker Android app features a clean and user-friendly interface with responsive controls and a superb flow of the action.
PartyPoker were definitely not among the trail blazers of the mobile app movement, but when they finally put out their poker for Android app, they hit a homerun with it: in addition to the usual cash games and single table tournaments, the PartyPoker Android app also offers access to the fast folding poker variant pushed by the site, known as Fast-Forward Poker.
William Hill are fifth, for the simple reason that they were the last among the great online poker sites to come up with their own Android poker app.
The bottom line: like the blackjack Android devices can handle, Android poker is enormously popular, and therefore it is safe to say that in the future, whoever controls a large share of the mobile online poker market, will have a major edge over its competitors.