With the rise of smartphone and tablet use it’s no wonder why more and more online gaming companies are dedicating more technology to make their own poker sites, casinos and sportsbooks more mobile-friendly. In fact, it’s hard to believe that only a few years ago many in the industry were not very optimistic that the popularity of mobile gaming would ever “catch on” to the general public and were very resistant to optimizing their software to fit the needs of these types of users.
Fast forward to today and pretty much the one thing that’s just as common in this world besides death and taxes is that there are literally billions of people (present and in the future, of course) who will use some type of smartphone or tablet on a daily basis. We live in a tech-savvy environment and most of you who are even bothering to read this article are probably even reading it from some type of mobile device – how cool is that?
Before you read on please make sure you follow these quick tips to playing mobile poker:
- Don’t rush into downloading multiple apps for a ton of different internet poker sites. Play the field a little or maybe just do a test run on one particular mobile site just to ensure it offers things like great playability or stunning graphics.
- Try not to jump onto a public wifi connection that could cause your account information to be stolen. While there have not been a ton of reported cases of this happening you should always watch out when piggybacking your connection to a public wifi spot.
- Curb your expectations a little and realize that the mobile poker experience, for all its positives and breakthroughs, it still something that will NEVER mimic the simplicity of playing on a normal computer or notebook. The screen will look a little different and you will realistically only be playing one table at a time and will have to adjust accordingly.
Today’s Biggest Competitors in the iGaming App Wars
As it stands, the biggest competitors when it comes to mobile platforms is between Apple’s iOS system and Google’s Android operating system. Blackberry also fits in there, albeit having a very tiny piece of the market share in the mobile industry right now.
It would seem that if there was a winner as far as the evolution of these types of “games on the go” it would probably be Android poker users, mainly because Android allows the use of Flash in their devices, which in turn allows for faster and more streamlined playability with most of the poker rooms offering mobile services today. The browser on an Android is also one that strongly mimics what most desktop users experience and therefore there seems to be a lot less delay and connectivity problems on these types of devices when they fire up their favorite poker room.
While the lack of Flash support seems to have put Apple a little bit behind Android, the Apple Store itself is still one of the premier destinations that gambling companies like to release their apps. The app support is usually second to none at Apple, with the powerful iOS allowing players to really take advantage of the graphics and usability of an online poker site straight from their iPhone or iPad.
Playing Online Poker From Your Mobile Device
Despite the disparity in the operating systems that Apple and Android offer, both types of devices normally do the job pretty solidly if you’re looking to simply open up a poker site from your smartphone and just start playing. Whether it be from an app you download from the Apple Store or Android Marketplace or just simply opening a table up from your mobile browser, the technology is so mind-blowingly great that most users have little to no issues playing poker on your device.
The process is just as easy as playing online poker from your desktop or notebook computer. Following these simple steps will get you online right away and playing poker with your thumbs in no time at all:
- Download the app from the poker site you’re looking to play at; if they don’t offer an app just fire up your browser and go to the official website of the room you’re looking to open.
- Simply input your account details and password, make sure your account is funded properly and then navigate the lobby. Apps themselves make this process a little easier but it’s really not that difficult finding a game once you’re logged in through your browser either.
- Open up a table and start playing poker! Most poker sites have made great breakthroughs in mobile software and allow cool things like avatars, 4-color decks and simple-to-use sliders and buttons for raising or calling bets.
Online Poker on Your Apple Device
Playing online poker on your Apple device is as simple as I described above. However, what makes the experience a little as opposed to playing on an Android is the type of graphics and game playability you experience during any given session. The fact that there is no Flash support on this type of device is kind of disappointing, but that hasn’t stopped developers from making some great apps for their poker sites as an alternative.
Playing Poker on your iPhone
Since most of the big players in the business started making their sites more mobile-compliant back in 2011, the iPhone’s iOS has been praised for the computing power it offers in such a small device as it relates to online poker.
In fact, most of the major sites like PokerStars and Party Poker offer powerful apps that allows users to really get fully immersed in the technology they have to offer. Other smaller to medium-sized poker sites also have apps available for immediate download in the App Store.
What makes a poker room’s native iOS app better than playing straight from your iPhone’s Safari browser is that the gameplay is normally very streamlined and fast, with little to no lag or connection problems as well. Most of the rooms go the app route anyways since the lack of Flash has frustrated players just looking to play on the go and fire up a table via their browser.
Online Poker on an iPad
This has fast become one of the more popular ways people are playing poker these days. With much more real estate on an iPad than on iPhone users really get a fuller experience and don’t have to fumble around with buttons and sliders as much as someone would on their smartphone.
The iOS apps work the same on an iPad as they would on an iPhone, with most apps offering round the clock support in case of any glitches or bug crashes. Everything is the same as playing poker on your iPhone with the major exception being you get to open up a table and play on a screen that’s much larger than the size of your phone – 9.7” diagonally to be exact.
The recent addition of the iPad Pro to Apple’s lineup – which is basically offers a retina display screen of 12.9” – makes playing poker on an iPad feel like you’re actually playing on your laptop.
Online Poker on an Android Device
The biggest advantage Android users have going forward with online poker is of course the one thing that this article has put a lot of focus on – the company offers Flash support on their browser. This of course helps immensely when you want to open up a poker site straight from your browser and play almost instantly.
Now, since most poker sites are Flash-friendly, this means that Apple customers can only play SOME poker sites straight from their browser. Android customers can not only access poker sites through an app, but they can play at ALL poker sites as long as they offer some type of mobile software. It’s no surprise that Android continues to be one of the beneficiaries of mobile online poker in its current form today.
Playing Online Poker on Your Android Phone or Tablet
With popular Android-based phones such as Samsung’s Galaxy and Note series setting the trend for graphics and powerful operating systems as of late, it’s no wonder so many players today continue to use their Android-powered phones and tablets to play poker when they’re not near a desktop.
Customers can open up a table in seconds via their browser and have access to literally any mobile poker site out there. Android isn’t tethered to its OS like Apple is when it comes to Flash capability so it makes playing on the go a lot less stressful.
Players can also download native apps, much like an Apple user can on their iPhone. The apps work just as good on an Android and offer similar playability and user-friendly functions via this method than playing straight from the browser your smartphone.
The one caveat that Android offers is that the graphics capabilities on their devices are second to none. Apple of course offers some of the crispest retina displays out there today, but the graphics on an Android are no joke whatsoever, and depending on your phone you’ll notice a considerable difference in the sharpness of your table and hole cards when playing on a Droid versus an iOS-powered device.
Playing Online Poker on a Blackberry Device
Blackberry is the “red-headed stepchild” of sorts when it comes to mobile gaming today. While they have dropped off considerably in sales and popularity, the OS on a Blackberry is actually still quite powerful. In fact, there are many companies that still develop their software to be specifically compliant on these types of devices.
Most of the bigger rooms still offer Blackberry support and you can easily play at most of these types of rooms straight from the browser in most cases. There are also many online casinos that have found a strong following of customers using Blackberry devices as well. Time will tell as to whether this company will completely fade out of the telecom industry in general, but for now they do offer some alternatives to users who haven’t yet given into the dark side of Apple and Android products.