Back in the day, if you could check text messages from a cell phone, you were considered a techno phone geek. Now, so many more options are available to those that use cell phones that the old school phones look as ancient as an old rotary phone does to kids today. (If you don’t know what a rotary phone is, I rest my case.) People can check email, surf the web, take video, and even video conference via their phones. If makes sense that eventually, people would want to have the capability to play poker from their cell phones. Fortunately, that capability is possible thought a few sites. Let’s take a look at a couple of options for playing mobile poker.
The first thing you will need in order to play poker from you cell phone is the ability to access the internet. Online poker applications are not like downloadable games where you can just download the game and then play. Since in many cases you will be playing against other live players, you need the capability to get on the web. If you have a cell phone that does not keep great signal for the internet, then this option may not be for you. Also, be sure that you phone is java-enabled. Many mobile poker applications run in java-based applications. Again, just downloading the application is not enough.
For those players in the United States, you really only have one option in playing mobile poker. That option is with Cake Poker. There is one big catch, you must have a cell phone that is Windows Mobile capable in order to play on the site. Furthermore, you must have the regular client installed on a pc in order to make any deposits on your account. While this sounds like a little much, if you are a Windows Mobile user, this may be right up your alley.
Holdem cash games are the only games offered on Cake with Limit, Pot-Limit, and No Limit Holdem being offered. At present, tournaments are not being played on the site, however, that is a feature that is being looked at for future releases. If you are interested in this application, go to CakePoker.com and check out the mobile option.
One of the best mobile poker options available at present is offered by Bwin.com. Bwin’s Poker pro software offers users the capability to play in Holdem cash games against other bwin players, and that is a great user base considering that bwin has up to 50,000 players in its cash games during peak hours. Holdem is offered in all three options, Limit, Pot-Limit, and No-Limit, and you can even choose the type of game between full ring game, short-handed, and heads-up.
Bwin’s software is a java based downloadable application that you must request from the site. If you already have an account, just go under the mobile section, login, and request the download link. If you are not a member, signup is quick and easy. Note, Bwin is not available to those in the United States. The application is under 350kb in size and is accessible on most networks that offer internet connectivity. Be sure to check the phone list to ensure compatibility with your phone.
Bwin’s controls are very straight forward, including quick keys for speed of play. Also, there are even pre-set chat setting for use at the tables. Graphics are on a mini scale of the regular site with 3-d quality graphic and backgrounds that give an enjoyable playing experience to the user.
RedKing Poker is another option for mobile poker for those outside of the United States. Again, the only game offered on this site is Texas Holdem, but you do have all three options available for game play. The main drawback to the site is that at present only Nokia and Sony Ericsson phones are able to play on Redkings.
However, if this is not an issue, you should check it out. You will need to download the program via a link in SMS and once you download it, you will find a game that is relatively quick and easy to pick up. Game controls are very simple and you are not bogged down with unnecessary graphic that can slow down game play.
One additional note regarding mobile poker is that you need to check to see if there will be any additional fees for data usage as you will be sending and receiving a lot of data from the phone. An unlimited data usage plan may be something that you would want to consider if you play mobile poker.
Much like most other mobile technology, mobile poker technology is a new and ever-growing area. As phone become more robust and people start to depend more on their phones for their everyday tasks, look for more poker clients to offer mobile poker as an option. Until then, at least you have a few options to allow you to belly up to the table and play some Texas Holdem.