One phenomenon that’s growing in the poker world is mobile gaming. Now, smartphones and tablets make it easier than ever for poker players to enjoy the game. So if you play poker for Android smartphone, for example, you could enjoy tournaments and cash games while riding in a taxi, during a work break or even in an airplane.
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.