Everywhere you turn these days, you can find references to poker.
Films, such as Molly’s Game, have catapulted back into the minds of cinemagoers and movie buffs, in much the same way as Rounders did back in the late nineties. Online, poker’s presence is growing, not least due to the recent pandemic and the stipulations that physical casinos must close.
Playing for money at home has become as commonplace as going to a location and playing for real, especially with relaxed laws around the United States. As an example, Michigan generated $95.1m in only the second month of legal online gaming in the state, through online casinos and online poker.
It has never been easier to find live poker rooms around the world or beginner guides to poker to help newbies start their journey into the online game, according to Poker.org. However, not everybody wants to play for real money. Poker is a fun game, an age-old pastime enjoyed by many through history, and often players want all the thrill of raising and folding without the worry of actual losses. That is where the free-to-play and freemium apps come in. They deliver the poker experience, linking with other players and all the excitement that comes with it, but without the risk. Thanks to the improved connectivity of digital devices, there are apps out there that pit players against each other from around the world with little more at stake than pride.
As we explored in our article on the importance of mobile games in the casino industry, mobile apps and games have become a key weapon for providers, with shifts in technology allowing better social experiences as well as immersive gameplay. So, we have selected three of the best poker apps you can download and enjoy for free, but still sharpen your skills for any occasion where you do wish to compete properly.
All apps are available on iOS and Android.
Appeak Poker is a great example of a freemium model done correctly. The core game is free-to-play and offers a great poker experience for fans of the game. You can compete with other players around the world, improve your own rating and enter tournaments and leaderboards to keep the interest alive. It uses the Texas Hold’em variety, which Brittanica.com labels as the most popular around the world. If you wish to, you can buy additional chips to play with, but they have no cash value and only allow you to play for longer with the 100,000 other registered users.
World Poker Club
World Poker Club is not the best out there, nor the most in-depth, but it does boast a gesture system that we think could become standard with some of the bigger providers. Firstly, it works with both Omaha and Texas Hold’em, and has several tournaments and events which you can take part in, but the gesture system is innovative. Rather than relying solely on buttons to call, raise and the like, you can flick, long press and drag too, a system that works surprisingly well.
World Series of Poker
Official licenses always work well for video games and apps, and this one for the WSOP is no exception. As you would expect from an official license, it has a great interface and a range of tournaments, some of which even allow you to win virtual WSOP bracelets. There is also a chance to play Pot-Limit Omaha, a nice variant that offers something different from the usual games. Best of all, you get free chips from the offset and there is no expectation or facility to play for real money.