If you are one of the millions of people who have jumped on the online poker bandwagon in the last few years, you have probably already (unsuccessfully) looked around for an iPhone app that lets you play Texas Hold’em online. Unfortunately – due to Apple’s stance on online gambling – there are no official poker clients in the app store that allow for real-money poker.
Still, even Apple knows the value of a good poker app for the iPhone, as is clearly demonstrated by Apple’s in-house developed “Texas Hold’em” app. While this poker app looks great and implements the iPhone’s UI admirably, it is also fairly limited. It bears little resemblance to the “real” online poker experience – although it’s possible to play against some of your friends over Wi-Fi.
If you want a poker app where you get to play with thousands of other players online, have a look at “Live Poker” by Zynga instead; it offers Facebook integration and an interface that closely resembles the ones you’ll find in regular online poker rooms. Of course, there is no option to play for real money or play in Titan Poker freerolls, but you do get to play in a very online poker-like environment for pure entertainment purposes, which might be good enough. With enough practice you could even consider entering the 2010 World Series of Poker.
As with all free poker games where no money is involved, there is no real challenge to be found in Live Poker – you get a reasonably sized stack to start with, plus you may add more every time you play. But that’s the nature of play-money poker – with nothing to lose; you usually don’t play good poker. This is fine if you’re just looking for entertainment, but don’t think that you’ll do just as well in real poker even if you make millions with Zynga Live Poker.
Admittedly, there are no new or unique special features in Zynga’s Live Poker, but it builds on the tried and tested, user-friendly Texas Holdem recipe that you find online. Zynga has done a nice job in adapting this experience to the iPhone. If you have played any poker game before, you will be able to navigate Live Poker’s interface with ease. A bell will tell you when it’s your turn to act, and you get to chat with the other players at the table, or buy them a virtual drink to celebrate your big wins.
In all, Zynga Live Poker is definitely one of the best ways to play poker on the iPhone while we wait for a real-money poker client to come along, which may unfortunately never happen.
“With enough practice you could even consider entering the 2010 World Series of Poker.”
Zynga Live Poker requires the iPhone 2.0 software update and is compatible with both the iPhone & iPod Touch.