Mobile phone technology has come a long way since its inception. In the past, the text message was considered a must have feature. As technology and networks grew, more features were added to the point where now most phones can support application and even allow you to surf the internet. Once internet capability became a regular feature, many poker players wanted an option to play poker on their mobile phone. While not offered my many mainstream sites, there are still several options for mobile poker. Let’s take a look at a few.
The largest poker site to offer an mobile poker option is Bwin.com. With their bwin Poker pro mobile application, players can play on bwin for fun or for real money. Playing for fun occurs in offline mode where you are playing against computer generated players while you learn how the software works. Once you are comfortable with how everything works, you can then play for real money.
Once you decide to play for real money, you can either use the quick seat option or table selection. With quick seat, you can select your limits and stakes only. With table selection, you can select your limit, number of players, and the stakes you want to play. At that point you will be taken to a lobby with a list of tables. At this point you can select your table and take your seat.
Game play looks like a mini version of the bwin site with similar graphics. Controls are fairly simple, but you may want to play in the offline mode to get acclimated with the controls and speed up your play. To download the Poker pro application, just go to the bwin website, and select sports and then mobile. You will find a link to the program there.
RedKings Poker is another site that offers mobile poker. With RedKings, you have the option to play Fixed Limit, Pot-Limit, and No-Limit Texas Holdem from your cell phone. Similar to bwin, RedKings offers you the ability to play in offline mode or for real money.
In online mode you have the option of setting your limits, the number of players at your table, and whether you want to play for real or play money. Play money is different than offline mode. In play money mode, you are playing against other live players. Once you make the selection of the types of games you want, you will be taken to a lobby to select your game. Once you pick your table, take your seat and begin play.
Graphics on this site are relatively decent, but not overly cartoonish. Controls are easy to use and do not overly clutter the screen. The only potential downside to some is that you have to go to their website to do any banking for this program. No transactions are available through your mobile application.
If you are a Windows Mobile user, then you have the opportunity to play Cakepoker.com’s mobile program. This application is currently in BETA and offers both play money games and real money games. As hinted earlier, you must have a phone that supports Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 or higher. For some devices you may need to install Microsoft’s .NET Compact Framework.
Only Texas Holdem is available at Cake Poker in both play money and real money format. Fixed Limit, Pot-Limit, and No-Limit Holdem are all available. The main downside to Cake is the requirement of having their regular client installed on a pc in order to do any maintenance of your account. Of course, this application is currently in BETA testing with its users, so there are bug to work out and features to be added in the future. However, if you are a U.S. user, this does give you an option to play online poker on your cell phone that did not exist in the past.
While playing mobile poker you need to keep in mind that incoming calls may interrupt your game. This depends on your network and device, but it is a possibility. If this does occur, you will be sat out of your game and eventually disconnected. No need to worry about your money. Also, realize that in some cases, game play may be slower than expected due to signal strength and the connection of other players. It works on the same concept as your mobile calls, so you should have a decent idea of how reliable your connection will be based on your cell provider.
As you can see, there are few options to play mobile poker, but the technology is really still new. In honesty, the demand for this type of product has not been great enough to really prompt many of the larger sites to spend the resources to develop the technology, or if they are developing it, it is not a priority. However, as cell phone technology expands, so will the number of sites that carry a mobile option. In the meantime, check out the different options available to you and hopefully you can find a site that suits your needs.