Let us just state the obvious – mobile phones and tablets are the best inventions of the last couple decades.
Just look at them – they’re mini computers.
There’s no denying that they’ve made the world a smaller place. We have access to more information than ever before. We’re connected to more people. Anything and everyone is only a tap or two away.
That goes for online gambling, too.
We’ve written about the benefits of online gambling before, and how it’s better than brick-and-mortar casinos. We concluded that the biggest benefits (to online gambling) are the convenience, variety, and saving money.
You can enjoy all these benefits while playing from your mobile device – with an extra helping of convenience on top. Because now you’re no longer anchored to your desktop computer. You can play your favorite slot machine, video poker, or table game from wherever you can connect to the internet.
Are you ready to get started?
The fastest way to get started is to choose one of the mobile sites from our list below. These sites have the best selection of sports markets, poker, and casino games, as well as special deals and banking options to choose from.
There are three things we look for first when deciding who will make our list of ‘best’ mobile gambling sites.
This applies the most to online casinos and poker rooms. Currently, few casinos or poker rooms have full-blown mobile versions of their desktop casinos and poker rooms. Most only offer a fraction of what desktop customers get to play.
Ultimately, we want to find sites with the most options – no matter if you play poker or casino games or bet sports – so that you can gamble on more stuff with the least amount of effort (apps installed, accounts, etc.).
Most sites will be compatible with Apple and Android, as these are by far the most popular devices and operating systems. That means BlackBerry and Windows users are often left behind. We try to find gambling sites that offer options for ALL devices, instead of just the most popular ones.
Some casinos and sportsbooks will offer mobile-exclusive bonuses on top of their core offers. One example is from BetOnline. They have a couple offers where, if you try their sportsbook or live casino on your mobile device and lose money, they’ll reimburse you up to so many dollars. We try to find sites that offer exclusive (mobile-only) deals.
These three things are first on our list. But in no way does that mean you get to ignore all the other important stuff – like making sure the site has a good reputation, that the site pays their customers, that they accept banking options you have access to, and everything else that makes a gambling site one of “the best.”
How to Get Started
If you’ve never gambled on your smartphone or tablet, you might be wondering how the heck you get started.
It’s actually pretty simple.
First, you will need internet access – either Wi-Fi, 3G, or 4G. Wi-Fi will be better in the long run, as you won’t use up any data.
Next, you’ll need to access the site. You can do that using one of the following options:
Option 1 – Mobile Site
Some sites – usually older casinos – will have a separate website programmed specifically for mobile devices. The downside is they’re usually only compatible with Apple and Android phones and tablets. You’ll know the site has a separate mobile site if you go to their site (while on your device) and they redirect you to a different location.
Option 2 – Native App
These are apps developed specifically for your device. The upside is excellent graphics, gameplay, and function. The downside (again) is compatibility. To get the app, the site may send it to you, have you scan a QR code, or have you download it from an app store or website.
Option 3 – HTML5 Site
HTML5 is the newest (front-end) programming language for building websites. Websites built in HTML5 (often combined with other programming languages) are mobile responsive. This means no separate app or website is needed. The website simply shifts the elements around to fit a smaller/different screen size. The best part is that this is the most compatible option of them all.
If you’re not sure what the gambling site offers or does for mobile users, most sites nowadays have a mobile page where they’ll tell you how to get access – they’ll have a link or QR to their apps, or tell you the URL you need to go to. It’s really simple, we promise.
Get Signed Up
If you already have an account with a site and all you want to do is play from your mobile device, all you need to do is open their mobile site or app, then log in using your same account details.
If you’re opening a new account, the process of signing up is the same as signing up from a computer. Find and click the ‘create an account’ button and give them your details:
Your desired username and password.
Your phone number.
And so on. Then submit your information and confirm your account.
One tip, though –
We highly recommend you create your account from your computer (or tablet with a keyboard). It’s a lot easier to create an account this way – unless you want to punch in all those details on your phone.
This goes for making your deposit, too. You can fund your account from your mobile device, but it’s far easier – not to mention far safer – to do from home.
This is exciting for online gamblers because mobile gambling is still new. Mobile casinos and poker rooms are still small. So, you can expect the mobile gambling industry to grow exponentially over the next few years. That means more games, tournaments, features, and options.
The best part is that we get to watch it all happen in real time.
Mobile Gambling FAQ
Mobile gambling is still new. So, unsurprisingly, we receive a lot of questions about gambling from mobile devices and mobile gambling sites.
You’ll find the most common questions we get (and our answers) below.
How much do gambling apps cost?
The apps shouldn’t cost you anything. The gambling site makes their money from real money gamblers. We recommend avoiding any real money casino that asks you to pay for their app.
Can you gamble for free from your smartphone?
Yes. Every mobile-responsive casino or app we’ve seen offers both free and real money gambling.
What poker games and variations can I play?
This varies WILDLY from site to site. But the most common games and variations we’ve seen include hold’em and Omaha fast-fold poker and cash games. Tournaments and SNGs are hit and miss.
What casino games can I play?
This varies from casino to casino. MOST casinos offer a small fraction of the games you’ll find in their full-blown casino. For example, many RealTime Gaming mobile casinos offer 20-30 casino games, while you’ll find 150+ in their download or instant play casino.
However, if you join a casino built on HTML5, chances are you’ll have dozens of games to choose from. Maybe even more than 100. A few good places to start include Bovada, Ignition Casino, or most Bitcoin-exclusive casinos.
Some international casinos – such as Bet365 – will have even more games, as well as variations such as (mobile) live dealer table games.
To answer the question, though, you’ll find all the same casino games available to you from your computer. That includes slots, video poker, table games, blackjack, and arcade games. However, the number of games and the selection of games (like the slots-to-table-game ratio) will depend on where you play.
What sports bets can I make from my phone?
Everything you can bet on from your computer. You’ll access most sportsbooks from your browser, which means you can make all sorts of bets from your phone. One benefit to this is that sportsbooks are usually compatible with more devices than just those operating on Android or iOS.
This means you’ll get to make straight bets, halftime bets, prop bets, futures, if bets, bets on football, basketball, TV shows, soccer, e-gaming, tennis, golf, and a whole lot more.
Can I still get a deposit bonus?
Yes, you’ll still have the option to get a deposit bonus, reload bonus, or participate in the site’s loyalty program.
And like we mentioned earlier, some sites offer mobile-exclusive bonuses in addition to their core offers.
One thing we need to point out, though – you’ll still need to fulfill the site’s playthrough requirements. This is important to think about, especially if you plan to play poker. You need to figure out if you can play enough hands or enough games to clear the requirements in time.
Why should I play from my smartphone or tablet?
Probably the best reason is convenience. You can play in bed, in the car, from the bathroom, in line, while waiting for someone, and more. You can play anywhere, anytime.
Is mobile gambling safe?
Online gambling sites use the same tech for their mobile casinos as they do for their desktop software. In fact, in some cases, their mobile and desktop site are one in the same. And this is the same encryption software that banks use, which encrypts your information (hides it from hackers).
We also only recommend safe gambling sites. Our sites will tell you which sites are safe (and worthwhile) to join.
From there, safety is largely up to you. You’ll want to be careful when gambling in public. Make sure you’re on secure networks, and if you have to make a deposit when you’re in public, make sure no one’s looking over your shoulder. You also don’t want to save passwords (many mobile sites won’t let you) or save any payment information to your mobile device in case it’s stolen.
In other words, treat mobile gambling very much like mobile banking or mobile shopping – carefully.
Can Americans gamble for real money using smartphones and tablets?
Yes. We recommend US players check out Bovada, Ignition, and BetOnline. This should cover all the bases.
Can you play progressive slot machines on mobile devices?
In most cases, yes. For casino games, online casinos use mobile (responsive) games from the software providers they work with. The games will look the same, if not better, on your mobile device. However, the mobile casino itself may be very basic (ugly) – not that that should matter.
Both mobile poker and sports betting should look the same, as most mobile poker rooms and sportsbooks are built using HTML5.
That all said, there are two big differences when it comes to mobile gambling:
Some buttons or graphics may look different and be placed somewhere else on the screen (compared to the desktop version). This is just so the casino/software provider can adapt the game to a smaller screen.
The second difference is features – you’ll often have fewer of them. This will apply mostly to mobile poker players, and sometimes mobile sports bettors, too.
The casino isn’t compatible with my device – what else can I do?
This really depends on your device. You’ll have more options if you’re using a device powered by Android or iOS.
Whatever your case, here are a few things you might try:
A different casino. Start with our reviews – we’ll tell you which sites are compatible with which devices.
A different browser. Most mobile sites are compatible with Safari, Chrome, and Internet Explorer.
Hack your phone. This is a more extreme option that often means your phone isn’t covered in case it breaks or stops working. You’ll want to Google ‘unlocking,’ ‘jailbreaking,’ or ‘hacking’ your specific device.
Other than that, you might be limited to free native apps available in your app store.
That said, no matter where you play, you won’t be able to play that many tables. Last we checked, you could only play three tables simultaneously at PokerStars – and they’re the largest site in the world.
Which is better, native app or through the site?
This depends on what you want to play, and your preferences.
Mobile websites may be harder to navigate (if they’re not mobile responsive). But they’re also usually compatible with more devices and don’t take up any resources (except data, which you can avoid by playing on Wi-Fi).
To better answer the question, though – we’d prefer an app for mobile poker. For everything else, we think a mobile responsive website is good enough.
Can I have or use more than one gambling app?
Yes, as far as we know, there’s no limit to how many gambling apps you can have – other than what your phone or tablet can hold.
Is it safe to install an app from unknown sources?
This can be scary for users because of the possibility of downloading malware, viruses, or other nasty things.
We saw some advice we thought was pretty good:
If the app is official and endorsed by the company, then you should have no concerns regarding safety.
Be sure to do your due diligence. Make sure wherever the app is hosted is legit. Make sure the app is the official app. Read reviews to make sure no one else has had any problems. Make sure to back up your phone.
Do it all, just to be safe. From there, you can feel pretty good about downloading the app. And, if push comes to shove, you can always send a message to the gambling operator first.