Mobile Poker

Everything you need to know about playing multi-player poker for real money on your smartphone.

Top 5 Multi-player Mobile Poker Games

When it comes to playing smartphone poker for real money you so far have a lot less choice than if you were looking to play at one of the 600+ different online poker sites, which can only be a good thing!

Still, there is choice (and we’re not just talking about video poker games like Jacks or Better and Sexy Poker). Here are the top apps available currently. All are compatible with both iPhones and Android handsets but only the mFortune mobile poker game is playable on Blackberry devices.

No. Mobile Poker Software Network
1. PokerStars App Poker Stars
Love it or hate it, PokerStars is still the biggest network out there [read more…]
2. mFortune App Independent
Texas Hold’em only but comes with private tables feature for friends + free £5 no deposit [read more…]
3. Terminal Poker Browser Instadeal
Rush poker format means less waiting between games.
4. WinPoker.com App Playtech
No mobile poker tournaments but another easy-to-install app.
5. SwitchPoker Browser / App Independent
Multi-table option with Android download poker app.

Notes:

  • Browser-based web poker apps typically require JavaScript to be activated on your phone. This is usually the default installation on most phones but if you run into difficulties then it’s worth checking your phone’s settings.
  • While all three apps above are available through the UK iTunes app store, you won’t find any of them in Google Play (formerly the Android marketplace) yet – Android/Google do not allow gambling apps to be advertised in the market place. Download these poker apps from the poker sites themselves.
  • Your phone’s screen resolution will have a big impact on your game player. Some mobile poker apps recommend a resolution of 400×800 or more, which rules out many of the earlier / cheaper smartphones like the HTC Wildfire or Samsung Galaxy Ace.

Poker can be played on most mobile phones, especially modern mobiles as long as you have a poker app for Android phones or iPhones. It is more difficult with Blackberrys. Still need more on the basics? Click here…

iPhone Poker Apps

The availability of poker apps to download for iPhones and iPads is currently extremely limited – Apple only recently allowed gambling applications into its App Store. First through the door were bwin (via its Ongame network) and PokerStars.

Though limited, they are still worth trying out for one fundamental reason: your iPhone / iPad is an awesome game playing machine – playing poker on iPad 2s and 3s especially as the potential to be an incredible experience.

The Ongame mobile poker network looks to be the one with the most potential to grow – it offers software for both iPhone and Android handsets plus there are already two apps available – from bwin and Bet24. However, it will need to add the ability to play mobile poker tournaments if it is to compete with PokerStars.

Also, the PokerStars mobile app for iPhone even makes hand histories available. And it offers the greatest variety of game types – play everything from Texas Hold’em and Omaha tournaments to heads up ring games. You will need an iPhone model 3GS or higher to play. Check here if you’re not sure what model your iPhone is.

What players are saying…

The most popular iPhone poker app appears to be PokerStars at the moment. The browser apps each offer something a little different – Rush Poker, private tables or helpful payment options (see Bitcoin at SwitchPoker) – but JavaScript can be a little sluggish on iOS browsers, which can impact on gameplay.

Android Poker

The poker apps Android handset owners can play are more varied, although it’s a shame you can’t search for them easily in Google Play / the marketplace. See Android’s content policy which states it does not “allow content or services that facilitate online gambling”.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t exist: you can still download several real money mobile poker apps for Android, you just need to go to the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

The fact that the Bet24, bwin, SwitchPoker and PokerStars Android apps are not available through the marketplace does have implications for installation: whether you’ve got an HTC Desire, Samsung Galaxy, Nexus, LG Optimus or whatever, you will need to change your phone’s settings to allow non-marketplace apps to be activated.

Meanwhile, the mobile poker games offered by Unibet and Ladbrokes are played on the Microgaming poker network. These require Adobe Flash player to work (probably the reason they’re not yet available on the iOS). You can check if your Android handset supports Flash here. Meanwhile, we also have more specific information on playing Android poker, in case you need more detail.

Additional Mobile Poker Features

Mobile handsets’ size clearly mean that your online poker experience is going to be somewhat different than playing via your desktop or laptop computer. Even iPad poker apps typically had had to make a few concessions.

However, some features you might not expect are still available:

(a) Multitabling

Giving players the ability to play several poker tables at the same time was always going to be a challenge on the small screen. So far only two apps have tried:

  1. PokerStars (Android, iPhone and iPad)
  2. SwitchPoker (Android download app only)

Multitable mobile poker is achieved by ‘stacking’ your games one on top of the other.

(b) Heads Up Displays – Mobile HUD

As you might imagine, so far there are no mobile poker apps for displaying player and odds data at the same time as you play. For those of us accustomed to playing with a HUD we might feel disadvantaged when playing in the competitive PokerStars or Ongame networks.

It’s hard to imagine how this limitation will be overcome, although you can be sure someone somewhere will try. In the meantime, if you are a successful poker player with or without a HUD to help you then some of the independent mobile poker networks may offer an interesting opportunity.

(c) Hand Histories

PokerStars and SwitchPoker are so far also the only two apps to make hand history poker data available to players.

(d) Mobile Poker Rakeback

There is no reason why you shouldn’t get the same rakeback deal when playing poker on smartphones as you do when playing via your PC, Apple Mac or laptop.

However, with a few new companies entering the market of poker mobile phone owners can play, they may offer a different kind of poker bonus / rakeback, e.g. mFortune offer a £5 no deposit mobile poker bonus for new players but no rakeback yet.

Popularity

Online poker has taken the online world by storm, and it is now, without a doubt, the most favoured and preferred way of playing the trendy card game. But now, comes the arrival of mobile poker; a game that gives you the chance to play poker against players from around the world through nothing more than your mobile phone, allowing you to play anywhere you are in the world, whether that be at home, out and about, and even travelling.

Getting Started

Many online poker websites now have their own ways of playing poker on the go through apps, and they are all very easy to access and use. One of the best ways to get started is with a social poker app, like the ones available on Facebook.

Meanwhile, online poker websites such as Wild Jack, Lady Luck’s, BWIN Poker, Switch Poker and 888 Poker all have their very own mobile poker apps, and if you fancy getting started in the world of playing poker on your mobile, then log onto the websites themselves, as they will present you with a download link, and will even send a link to the app straight to your mobile which with just a click, will begin downloading to your phone’s dash board.

Mobile poker games are extremely easy to play and use, and if you’re used to playing poker online, or are even used to playing poker in real life, you’ll find the system and process very straight forward and easy to grasp. Like online, you are given the chance to play against the computer or against other players from across the globe, and as you log on or register, you’ll be given the option to deposit chips into your account which is done safely and quickly with just a push of a button.

You can then select your mobile table like you usually do online, buy in, and begin playing poker. Your hand will be shown to you on your mobile phone’s screen, and with just the push of your touch screen, you can easily keep betting or fold and even bluff. Everything you can do in a real poker game both in real life and online can be replicated and enjoyed in mobile phone poker games, and all from the comfort of wherever you are.

Mobile Poker 2013 and Beyond

We’ve been expecting poker for UK mobile phones to become popular for several months, if not years now, but especially since so many people have owned smartphones. However, it’s only really been in the early months of 2012 that mobile poker in the UK has become widely available.

There are two reasons to think that 2013 could be the year that mobile poker really takes off:

  • Conspicuously, there are still some big gaming organisations missing from the mobile poker party: (i) as of February 2013, a serious offering from the Playtech operated network is still missing – the iPoker mobile app is still yet to launch – despite promising one as far back as 2010; we do now have WinPoker (ii) meanwhile an 888poker mobile app (beta) became available to download for testing (Android devices only) in 2012 but the full app is hard to find now. What happened?
  • With the Ongame and Microgaming poker networks already mobile, it surely won’t be long before other poker sites follow the lead of UniBet and Ladbrokes with poker apps of their own.

Of course, a real boost to the mobile poker market would be if it were legal for US players to join in but it looks like we’ll be waiting until 2013 for that to happen, if it ever does.

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