Online poker has come a long way in the past decade or so. It has evolved from the early days of Party Poker, with limited players and fairly insignificant tournaments, into a multi-million dollar industry that attracts millions of people and sees billion of dollars change hands every year. There are more poker variants, bigger tournaments, better software, and these days you can even play on your phone or tablet. As someone who has embraced and enjoyed the mobile poker revolution, and someone who rarely even plays through a laptop of desktop anymore, I make it my goal to spread the good word of mobile gaming, and to tell others of the benefits.
These days a large percentage of the population uses a tablet in place of a desktop or laptop, preferring the comfort and ease of use. In the United States it is estimated that 71% of the population use a smartphone, whilst 57% use a tablet, so tapping into this market was an astute move for the poker websites based on numbers alone, but there is much more to it than that. Research suggests that tablet users love to spend money, with the global app market worth around $25 billion, all of which is spent with the click of a button. They spend more in this area than PC, laptop and smartphone users do, so the poker websites have made a very shrewd move in targeting them, and I for one welcome that move.
Best Tablet Texas Holdem for Real Money !
Poker is game that requires patience, a game that isn’t best played when you’re stressed or uncomfortable, and with a tablet you cam take it anywhere with you, making yourself as relaxed and comfortable as possible. People holiday much more than they used to. Recent research conducted by the World Tourism Organization suggests that people take twice as many holidays today as they did twenty years ago, and when you factor in time spent on planes, trains and long car journeys — not to mention the many hours spent in hotel rooms or relaxing on the beach — that’s a lot of tablet time.
You also can’t take a desktop PC or a laptop into the bath, and you certainly can’t relax on the sofa with a PC, but you can with a tablet. It’s also much easier to hold and manipulate a tablet than it is a laptop, and whereas the latter can overheat and become cumbersome, the former is often lightweight and can be held in one hand. You can even take your tablet to bed with you during those long-running tournaments, rather than remaining hunched over your desk like some sour-faced office worker watching the clock and waiting for the end to come.
Gambling sites love new customers. It’s something that we’ve all been tempted by and annoyed by throughout our time as gamblers and poker players. It’s great to take a matched deposit bonus, but frustrating when you remain at that site for many years and see that all the future bonuses go to new players only. From their perspective they want new players in, and they don’t make anything by giving away money to loyal players, but there’s another reason that gambling sites offer bonuses, and that’s when they want to redirect current members to other areas, such as mobile gaming.
If you’re already a member of an online poker site, then make sure you look around before you download and play the app. Most of them will offer you a matched bonus or a free $10 or $20 complimentary bet for downloading and playing the app. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been a member, they want you to take advantage of their app and they’ll happily pay you to entice you into doing just that. Some bookmakers also offer extra bonuses for mobile play. At the time of writing SkyPoker are offering double loyalty points for mobile customers, whilst Coral — another UK based website — offer a free £20 bet for new mobile poker players.
There was a time when nearly all computer users had Windows machines. This was the dawn of the personal computer, when all machines came bundled with Microsoft software because Bill Gates and Co had their hands in the pockets of every major developer and manufacturer. This continued for many years, with releases such as Windows XP going on to sell over a billion copies. Fast forward a few years and this changed somewhat. The age of the Macbook showed people that for a premium price they could get a computer that was much faster, much more reliable and much more versatile; the age of the Netbook gave users portable machines that were cheap and built for the internet. Microsoft’s dominance waned somewhat and more manufacturers turned their backs on Windows, introducing customers to Mac OS, Linux and Unix, and showing them that there were alternatives, and sometimes they were much better.
Still, despite the huge leaps in hardware, the software companies remain stuck in the Microsoft age, and most games and applications simply aren’t available for any operating system other than Windows. When it comes to poker, unless you operate Windows then your choices are limited. Mac users fair better than Linux and Unix users, but even they can only play on a third of the sites that Windows users can play on. For instance, the iPoker network, which includes a huge number of websites, doesn’t work for anything but Windows.
When incomes to tablets, though, no such problem exists. The vast majority of tablets use Apple or Android — the Mac OS and the Microsoft Windows of the tablet world — and the poker apps work on both. The big sites rarely release one version without the other, and it is so easy to convert from one to the other that they would be stupid if they turned such an opportunity down, especially when you consider how large each of these markets are. Their apps also work with other mobile devices, which means that regardless of what tablet or smartphone you use, you will be able to play poker on it without any compatibility issues.
Things to Watch out for
It’s not all good news though, and as is the case with everything there are some downsides to playing on a tablet as opposed to a desktop PC or a laptop. For one thing the controls are sensitive on a touch screen, and considering you’re holding the device in your hand then you are prone to accidentally pressing a button or even closing the app. This should be easily avoiding by those that are used to such devices, but amateurs can make a lot of mistakes early on, and in poker these can be costly.
As for those who play poker on their phones, they might be doing so through a 3G or 4G connection, relying on their web data package to do so. If this is the case for you then you need to make sure that you have an unlimited package, one that doesn’t charge you the earth. Online poker requires a great deal of data to be sent and received, and the last thing you want after playing a few hours of poker and losing your hard earned pennies is to be hit with a colossal phone bill for data charges. You should also try to avoid using your phone without a WiFi connection when you’re abroad, as roaming charges can destroy you in a matter of hours. It is not uncommon for people to run up bills of several thousands on holiday by doing the same things that would have cost them next to nothing back home.
Where to Play
Many of the major poker sites have adapted their software to work on tablets, but not all of them are as slick or as effective as you would hope. The ones that are poorly made are being updated and fixed all of the time and the ones that have yet to make the move to mobile apps will surely do so in the near future, but for the meantime you should stick with those that know what they’re doing and with the apps that work as well as their counterparts.
The best mobile application by far is Pokerstars, and this was also one of the first. Pokerstars players will recognize all of the usual features and all also be able to log straight into their accounts once they download the app. There is a slider to make bet sizing quick and easy and mobile players are placed in the same tournaments as other players, marked with a small mobile symbol that lets everyone know they are using a mobile device. At any given time, and on any given table, there is at least two of these symbols per 9 player table, which means that the popularity of this app is quickly spreading.
888 Poker also have a good mobile application, although the app and the site itself is a shadow of Pokerstars. Still, if you prefer 888 and their network, then the app is definitely worth a download.