With smartphone and tablet computer ownership in the United Kingdom continuing to rise year-on-year, the popularity of playing poker from mobile devices is also increasing.
Figures taken from Ofcom, the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communication industries, show that in 2014, 61% of adults in the United Kingdom owned a smartphone and more than a quarter of households now own at least one tablet computer.
Online poker sites aren’t daft and the majority of them now offer a mobile version of their software that runs on Apple’s iOS, Android-powered devices and the lesser popular Windows Phone. Like the downloadable poker clients, not all mobile poker apps are created equal. Some of the mobile poker apps on the market today are better than some of their rivals’ downloadable clients, while others aren’t worth the couple of megabytes of space they take up on your mobile phone or tablet.
With more people than ever before are now using tablets and their mobile to play online poker, and some only playing mobile poker and not bothering with a laptop or desktop machine, I thought it would be a good idea to look at five of the best mobile poker app available today.
Many poker players are of the opinion that PokerStars has the best downloadable software of any online poker site and I can tell you without a shadow of doubt in my mind that PokerStars’ mobile poker offering is the best in the best in the industry and by a country mile.
I have the Android app on my mobile phone and the iOS native app on my iPad and I can hand-on-heart state that both of these apps are better than the vast majority of desktop/laptop based poker software.
It is by far the most feature-rich of all of the mobile apps and has the full offering of all cash games, Zoom Poker, sit ‘n’ go tournament and multi-table tournaments that you find on the PokerStars downloadable software, meaning you can play a Razz tournament during your commute to work if you were that way inclined, something you simply cannot do elsewhere.
What’s more, you can play up to five tables if you’re using the iPad app and multi-tabling is made easy by the excellent software automatically switching to the table needing your attention. Quite frankly, the PokerStars mobile app is brilliant.
One of the best looking mobile poker apps out there today PKR’s offering to the mobile world. PKR’s mobile client is available on iPhone, iPad and Android powered devices and it is a great port from the desktop version of the software.
It looks great, but it’s biggest downfall is that you can only play Texas Hold’em games on it. You can play cash games, sit ‘n’ go and multi-table tournaments on all versions of the app, but only Hold’em is available.
During my brief trial using my iPad, I found that the PKR app drained the battery faster than any other mobile poker app I had used, although battery life was much better when I used the less pretty 2D version of the app.
Sky Poker’s mobile poker app is currently only available on iPhone and iPad but concentrating on one operating system has allowed them to develop a solid application.
The app is vibrant and mirrors the desktop client and the instant-play browser versions of Sky Poker plus you can play Hold’em, Omaha and Omaha Hi-Low cash games, sit ‘n’ gos and multi-table tournaments on it.
Features such as auto top-up are available here, as is the ability to fund and withdraw from your device. Another cool feature is having direct access to Sky Poker’s strategy section and being able to watch Sky Poker’s TV show through the app.
Android users can still play Sky Poker on the move via their phone or tablet’s browser, but there is no native application as yet.
The partypoker mobile app was updated in early 2015 so that you can now play multi-table tournaments from it in addition to cash games, sit ‘n’ go tournaments and its fast-fold variant fastforward poker. In fact there is a fastforward special edition of the mobile app that is designed to help players play even more hands per hour by being able to swipe their screens to act.
Both Android and iOS versions of the partypoker app are available and are easy to get to grips with. My main gripes with this mobile app is that you can only play one table at a time, some of the tournaments from the desktop version don’t appear on the app for some reason and you can only bet in increments of small or big blinds so no more betting 666 chips!
I’ve only used 888poker’s mobile app (an Android version is available too) and is a solid app, even if it isn’t as feature rich as some. The lobby are very sluggish and their filtering / sorting leaves a lot to be desired, but you can play cash games, sit ‘n’ go tournaments, multi-table tournaments and Snap Poker (fast-fold) from your device, even if it is only on one table at a time.
Some sites on the iPoker Network, MPN, Full Tilt and Ongame Network also have mobile poker apps but they don’t quite make it into our top five. No longer available to UK players is the Winamax mobile app which was the only app to come close to challenging PokerStars for the crown.
What are your favourite mobile poker apps? Have you managed to win big from your mobile or tablet? Let us know in the comments box below.