Mobile Poker Apps

Enjoy Real Money Poker on Your Mobile Devices with this Guide

You no longer need to spend hours glued to your desktop to get the benefits of real money online poker. Both the game formats, and the software, has evolved to let you enjoy poker on the go. You can play on tablets or smartphones – including both Apple and Android powered devices.

This page takes you through the practical information you need to get the best from mobile poker sites & apps. You’ll find the access options, best games to play and a list of what to check to make sure your mobile poker site is legitimate below. Here are how things are laid out:

  • Accessing Mobile Poker Games: Apps and instant-play (browser-based) games are compared in this section. With special notes for devices which are not Flash compatible.
  • Which Games Suit Mobile Play Best? There are 5 major formats of poker available, though not all of them work well on mobile devices.
  • Getting the Most from Mobile Poker: Don’t deposit without going through this checklist, which covers bonuses, safety and more.

Reviewing the Best Poker Apps for Mobile Poker in 2018

GambleOnline Top Poker Sites

Options for Mobile Poker Games

There are two main options for finding real money poker games online. These are via a downloadable app – or using your browser for ‘instant-play’ poker games. Both will work fine, though there are some factors to consider before you decide on which path to follow.

Apps are not as common as Instant-play poker clients. Only the biggest international poker rooms have them at all. At the time of writing none of the offshore sites welcoming US players offer downloadable apps.

Where apps can be found, you’ll need to locate separate ones depending on your device. These are usually downloaded via the poker site web pages – as the official app stores are not always gambling friendly!

The advantage of these is that they run smoothly – and require less time to initialize than browser-games. Some apps (for example 888) allows you to have separate tabs for each table, this works best on large screen smartphones or tablets.

Instant-Play Options

If your site does not offer an app, then you are left with browser-based play as your only mobile poker option. Where this is offered, you simply access the site via your mobile device – you will be able to log-in and access the games from there.

If your site only offers games created with Flash software, then access on iPhones or iPads will not be easy. These devices do not support Flash. You can get around this lack of support, using the Chrome Browser with a plug-in. Alternatively, find sites which use the latest HTML5 code instead – and give them your support.

Instant-play usually offers a limited game selection, and (depending on which site you play at) restricts you to a single table. For me this is more suitable as a stop-gap for those seeking a game on the move – rather than a serious replacement for the fully downloadable software.

What Games Can I Play on Mobile Poker Clients?

Not every mobile poker site will give you the option to play every game format. Some offer only cash games (and / or fast-fold poker), while others give you access to all the games, though only one table at a time.

Here are the main mobile poker game options. I have ranked these from the most suitable for playing on the move, down to the least!

  • Cash Games: This is the best option for real money poker mobile poker fans. The key reason is that this is the most common format offered by the sites via instant-play. You can join for a short session, then simply leave whenever you wish (unlike tournaments, where you’ll need to stay to the end or lose your stake). Cash games are most commonly in NL Hold’em format, though you can also find PLO and Omaha Hi-Lo at mobile poker sites.
  • Fast-Fold Poker: This is a cash game variant, which works well for very short, very intensive sessions. Players are pooled – and combined to play hands at random. What works best for mobile play is that there is no waiting time between hands. The moment you fold, a new hand (with new players) begins. Bovada, the biggest US poker site, offer Zone Poker, their fast-fold variant, for mobile devices.
  • Lottery Sit N Goes: These games have various names like Spin N Go, Twister or Blast! Poker. What they share is a random prize pool (which can reach jackpot proportions) and a hyper-turbo structure. These games are fast and furious – ideal for a quick session while you are out with your mobile phone.
  • Regular Sit N Goes: 1 table tournaments are not as popular as in the past, though these still run at the lowest buy-ins at many poker sites. The standard format is 9 players per game, with 3 getting prizes. Unless you choose a turbo game, these can be a little slow to enjoy on your mobile device.
  • Poker Tournaments: At the bottom of my list are larger multi-table tournaments. For me, these are simply too long to enjoy on a mobile device. Their nature means that you can play for several hours, and still only min-cash! I recommend you check out the faster formats for mobile poker play – and save the bigger tournaments for when you are back at your desktop or laptop.

Getting the Best from Your Mobile Poker Site

Once you have decided whether to use an online poker app or instant-play, and which poker format you’d like to try – it is time to compare the available poker sites. The main factor affecting your mobile poker options is where you are located. US players have a limited choice, with only Bovada or Ignition Poker (who share a poker network) offering a decent mobile poker option.

Outside the US, you’ll have a much bigger choice.

Here are some of the things you should look for before you choose somewhere to play mobile poker:

  • Easy Games: There is no point playing on a beautifully produced app if everyone else at your table is a poker pro. Look for sites with a great balance of recreational / amateur players and your bankroll can grow instead of shrinking!
  • Choice of Formats: I recommend checking the specific game formats which are available at each site. If you are a tournament / sit and go specialist, and find only cash games are available, you could save yourself a lot of trouble!
  • Bonuses and Rewards: Most poker rooms have welcome bonuses. I recommend checking out the ongoing rewards for loyal players before you commit. While that big matched welcome offer will be gone in 30 to 60 days – loyalty benefits could keep you going for many years to come. This makes the ongoing rewards disproportionally important, and worthy of close inspection.
  • Security and Safety: Trust is vital at any poker room. I only play at sites which have a long track record of fast cash outs, and great support for their players. You should also make sure that any instant-play poker uses SSL security. Other checks include testing of a sites RNG (random number generator) – which controls the fair deal of the cards.
  • Deposit Options: You can now deposit and withdraw your winnings from your mobile device – with the poker apps offering full cashier functionality. I recommend checking the deposit methods before you register. These should include a range of options, including cryptocurrency, credit cards, bank transfers and electronic wallets.

Wrapping Up: Plenty of Mobile Poker Options for Certain Game Formats

Poker is prevalent on mobile devices these days. Most sites offer at least an instant-play client, with the best also offering dedicated Android or iOS apps. While you can access the games, it is important to understand that not all poker formats work well with your mobile device.

The most popular formats are cash games (6-max is popular) or the fast-fold poker variations like Zoom Poker. These allow for short sessions, perfect for when you are out and about.

At the other end of the scale are the larger multi-table tournaments. Staring at your phone screen for 7 hours, only to min-cash is not always a positive experience!

As software and chip-speeds get better, I expect to see more mobile poker options as we move forward. At the moment, multi-tabling is either difficult or completely left out of this technology. There are also limited formats and poker game variants available via instant play. The move to HTML5, which allows users of Apple devices to enjoy instant-play games, is a positive step.