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Mobile Poker

Mobile poker player

The rise of online poker came just a few years before the smartphone revolution and the game is a natural fit on mobile devices. Online poker is one of the greatest ways to kill time while taking the train or bus. There are countless mindless games available for smartphones but there are very few where you can potentially earn a little cash while doing it. Meanwhile poker is a unique combination of skill and luck that’s easy to learn but hard to master. In recent years, online poker sites have become particularly adept at creating first-rate mobile experiences.

Why Poker on Mobile?

Poker is a near-perfect fit on mobile. The system requirements to run poker software are lightweight compared to modern video games. Players can be seated at a table playing cards within seconds of opening the app. Try doing that in your local casino.

Mobile poker is also a fantastic option if you’re a chronic multitasker and enjoy watching TV or YouTube in between hands. With a mobile phone or a tablet, it’s very easy to sit on the couch and play without the bulk of a laptop or a computer. It’s also a fantastic emergency option if you’re deep into a poker tournament and you need to catch a bus or train. You can simply close your laptop and load up your smartphone app.

The recent proliferation of the fast fold variant of online poker has also been a godsend for mobile players. Fast fold, which is also known as speed poker, makes it easy to play a large number of hands despite having just one table open.

Is Poker on Mobile Any Good?

Modern online poker apps are shockingly good, especially when compared to their predecessors.

If anyone played poker in the early 2000s, then you’d know that smartphone technology still had a long way to go before providing a first-rate poker experience.

The future is here and the majority of online poker apps offer slick interfaces and lightning speed. It’s possible to play cash games, tournaments and Sit & Go’s using mobile poker apps. Speed poker was practically designed for poker on a touch-based device like a tablet or smartphone.

Most online poker apps have also been heavily optimized to take advantage of touch gestures so that you can literally slide your hand away to fold or move the bet slider with your fingertip to indicate a raise.

There are of course some limitations. Mobile poker is almost exclusively restricted to No-Limit Hold’em with a select few sites also offering Pot-Limit Omaha. Less popular games like Seven-Card Stud, 2-7 Triple Draw and Five-Card Draw would clutter the screen with numerous cards so they are generally not supported.

What’s the Difference Between In-Browser Play and Stand-Alone App?

Poker sites generally go about designing for mobile poker in two fundamentally different ways.

The arguably ideal way is to create a stand-alone app and release it onto either the Apple Store or Google Play.

Of course the laws regarding online poker around the globe are constantly in flux and there are some regions where Apple or Google will refuse to admit said apps.

For Google it’s possible to download poker apps directly from websites but that’s nearly impossible for Apple devices. There are numerous gray-market regions where poker isn’t outright banned but it’s nonetheless not allowed by major app stores.

That leads us to the second method of mobile play: in-browser play.

In-browser play simply offers a poker client that runs inside a browser using HTML5 or similar technology. You can run it on any device that can run a browser, which includes Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS and Android.

The in-browser clients tend to be less reliable but that doesn’t make them inherently bad. For one thing, your gaming experience is seamlessly meshed between multiple devices and all you have to do is log in to your account on any device that has a browser and get playing.

Do Mobile Poker Apps Take a Lot of Space?

For the most part, online poker apps are lightweight and shouldn’t take up more than a couple hundred megabytes on your phone. Poker software is simply much less intense than modern video games where advanced 3D textures take up gigabytes of hard drive space.

Of course there are also the in-browser versions of poker sites that take up absolutely no space on your device, so that would be a good option for someone who is extremely short on hard drive space.

What Are the Best Poker Games on Mobile?

Hold’em is probably the best poker variant for mobile poker because there’s a lot less information that has to be displayed on the screen vs other games. Pot-Limit Omaha isn’t bad but anything like Seven-Card Stud would be extremely difficult to play.

There are some Hold’em variants that work extremely well for mobile. In general, cash games work a little better because of their pick-up-and-play nature. Sit & Go’s also work well provided you have a short block of time so that you can play them to their conclusion.

Big multi-table tournaments are less ideal but there is one advantage. If you’re invested in a deep online tournament on your desktop computer but you have to go somewhere else, you can actually take your mobile client on the go (just make sure you aren’t driving).

Short-handed games are also better for mobile poker because they are easier to display and there are less players to cram on a table. Heads-up poker also works very well as does anything up to six-handed.

Speed poker or fast fold variants are fantastic for mobile because they allow you to get a new hand immediately after you fold. That means you can have just one table open and actually play a decent number of hands. The action-packed nature of the game is the perfect fit for players looking to have a little fun and then quit.