The app shouldn’t cost you money. I’ve not seen one legit poker site charge for their app or access to their mobile casino. Remember, they’ll make their money once you start playing real money poker.
Discover How and Where to Play Mobile Poker in 2021
Mobile is sort of a big deal. I’m sure you’ve noticed.
Everywhere you look people’s heads are down, intensely focused on their phones. They walk and drive the streets, barely looking up …often missing you by inches as you walk or drive by them.
You think I’m joking about the driving part. But the next time you’re out pay attention to the drivers in the cars around you. You’ll find an alarming number of people playing with their phones.
Anyway, one of the coolest things about mobile phones and tablets are the apps. Especially the games. Chances are you have several poker and casino games already on your phone.
The problem with these games is often you’re playing against a computer or AI and not real people. The games feel fixed, almost as if you can beat the AI at will once you figure out the pattern. You can’t play for real money, either.
So, why not try a real online poker site instead – one that offers different poker cash games and tournaments compatible with your phone and tablet?
You can get started right now …and be playing a real money game within the next 5-10 minutes. All you need to do is pick a room, click the link and create your account.
These are our top picks.
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If you don’t know how to get started, or you have questions about apps, banking options, mobile-compatible games, and so on, the rest of the page is for you.
How to Get Started
Getting started isn’t as hard as you might think.
The first thing you need to do is figure out how to play games on your phone. Each poker room handles this differently. You can read our poker reviews to figure this out. Many poker sites have mobile web pages that explain how to get started, too.
Here’s a rough idea as to what you can expect.
All poker rooms will have one of two options – sometimes both – which includes a (native) app or browser software.
If they have an app, you can download it by:
- Grabbing it from your app store. This is the least likely way, though, since it seems like most app stores don’t carry real money gambling apps. But you can do a quick search to be sure by using the search bar.
- Scanning a QR code. If you have a QR app, and the poker site has a QR code, you can scan it with your phone or tablet. The app will start to download to your device.
- Submitting your info. Some poker sites and casino – all non-US from what I’ve seen – will send you their download or links to their download by email or text. All you have to do is enter your phone number, country. and sometimes the games you want to play. Then they’ll send you what you need to get started.
That’s how you get the app. It’s no different than getting any other app, really. Now let’s talk about the second option – browser poker rooms.
Browser poker rooms are even simpler. Instead of an app, you’ll log-in and play games from your internet browser. All you need is a compatible browser to get started. Chrome and Safari is usually good enough.
Just visit the poker site and they’ll redirect you to their mobile (browser) room. Then log-in, choose a game and it’ll launch in a new window. That’s all there is to it.
I’m not sure it matters anymore.
A few years ago I’d say app. Because native apps are made specifically for your device, an app should deliver higher quality games, graphics, sounds, controls and so on.
But nowadays it looks like there are several solid web-based mobile options.
For example, during my research I came across 888. They have a mobile app for both iOS and Android. However, they also offer a web-app.
I was impressed with all the features and games included. For example:
- You can play Texas holdem, omaha and 7-card stud.
- You can play cash games, SNGs and multi-table tournaments (MTTs).
- You can play Snap Poker – 888’s version of fast fold / speed poker.
- You can use their web-app chat to chat with other poker players.
I only looked at their screenshots, which, admittedly, doesn’t tell you much. But it does look good. If you want a lite version instead of downloading an app, that would be one option to check out.
Browser poker rooms are also good for devices not usually supported by poker rooms and casinos. Which is often the case for BlackBerry and Window’s users.
It’s your call which way you go. But I don’t think it matters much. I expect both mobile and web-based poker apps to get better and more sophisticated in the near future.
I’d much rather focus on what games I can play instead.
What Mobile Poker Games Can You Play?
It depends. Each poker site is different. Some sites offer everything while most sites offer bits and pieces of what you can play in their main poker room.
What I can tell you is you can have all the poker game types and variations available to you on your desktop. The caveat is you’ll have to have accounts at 2-3 poker sites to get it all.
But enough with the theory. Let’s look at what you can right now when you join one of the poker sites we’ve reviewed and currently recommend.
Play cash games or their speed poker game, Zone Poker. Game options include Texas holdem and omaha.
Play Texas holdem, omaha and stud cash games starting at .01/.02. You can play tournaments and SNGs too. They also offer Snap Poker, their speed poker variation.
888 Poker’s app also comes with features like Quick Start, where all you need to do is log-in and tap twice to start playing. Another feature is their web-cam tables.
Play no limit and fixed limit holdem cash games in heads-up, six max and full ring variations. You can also play knockout and double or nothing SNGs. Carbon’s mobile poker games are compatible with iOS, Android and BlackBerry.
Full Flush Poker
Only Android users can play here. They offer holdem and omaha cash games for .01/.02 to 5/10 per hand. Some of the available features include sound, animation, deck colors, table popup messages and auto switch table (likely for multi-tabling). Right now they don’t offer tournaments.
Their apps are compatible with both Apple and Android. You can also play in your browser, but it’s only compatible with Apple devices. The options they have include Twister Poker, SNGs, their speed poker game and regular cash games. You can play tournaments, too.
That’s a short sample of what’s available to mobile poker players. It’s much more than what was available a year or two ago.
But do you see what I mean?
Every site is different. They offer different games, variations and betting types. So if there’s something particular you’re looking for, you might want to do your homework and read a few reviews before you get signed up to one.
Mobile poker is here to stay. And it’s only going to get bigger.
That’s great news for mobile poker players. We’re going to have more options to choose from between sites to join, software to use and games to play. We’ll be leaps and bounds ahead of where we are now, much less where we were a few years ago.
It’ll be great to see.
We get lots of questions about mobile poker. We tried to answer them above, but some questions didn’t quite fit. So we’ll answer them here.
Can I still have a bonus?
Yes. I don’t know of a poker site that doesn’t at least offer their normal bonus to mobile players. Some rooms even offer exclusive mobile bonuses.
The best way to know what a room offers is to read our reviews before signing up.
Is it legal to play on my phone/tablet?
We’re no law firm. Take this with a grain of salt.
But I believe that’s determined based on where you’re located when you play. The best example I can give you are the legal poker states, like New Jersey.
So long as you’re within New Jersey state lines you can play on their site. They have geo-locating software to know where you’re located when you’re logged in. If you’re within state lines you’re good. But if you’re outside state lines you can’t play for real money.
That’s how’d I approach it. If you’re in an area, state or country where it’s legal to play poker, then it doesn’t matter where you live, there or elsewhere, you should be fine. And vice versa.
Can I play multiple tables at once?
That depends on the site. Carbon only lets you play one table, last time I checked. But it sounds like you can multi-table at Full Flush.
There are usually limits though, around 4-6 tables. It just depends on where you play.
What is quick seat?
This is a feature sites like 888 and Carbon have. How they work may vary from site to site, but the idea is to help you get started fast.
This can be something like offering multiple choice, where you’re taken through a few steps and shown what’s available to play based on your (saved) game preferences.
In other cases, you can simply double tap a game and get seated.
Is there sound available?
Yes, although this appears to be hit or miss. Most sites I’ve played on from my phone have sound. But I know some sites, like Carbon, are still testing this feature.
Where can I play?
You can play anywhere you can access the internet. That means your car, bathroom, grocery store, dentist office – the options are endless, which is one of the biggest benefits to mobile poker.
What does it cost?
It shouldn’t cost you anything to get the app or access to the poker room. They make their money from the rake they charge.
You may have internet and/or data costs. But if you play on wi-fi and have an unlimited data plan, you shouldn’t have any extra costs.
What are the drawbacks to mobile poker?
There are some drawbacks. But I think it depends on you and the experience you want to have.
- For example, you won’t be able to use any software, like HUDs or poker calculators, unless you have a poker calculator or odds app AND it’s not against the site’s terms and conditions.
- You don’t have access to every single game or variation. To come close, you need to have accounts at multiple sites and have multiple apps on your phone.
- Multi-tabling can be wonky. I didn’t find it as easy to do, even playing fewer tables, compared to playing on my desktop.
- You don’t have all the features the desktop version does. That may change as apps get better.
Those are the drawbacks I can think of offhand. But being able to play from anywhere, at any time, without having to lug your laptop around more than makes up for it. Most of these drawbacks aren’t things most people need or are going to miss anyway.