If you are looking to start playing Texas Hold ‘em poker on your mobile, either to pass the time on your early morning commute or as a casual gaming opportunity in the evenings, you’ll be pleased to know most of the leading online poker rooms offer mobile app-based action.
Once you’ve downloaded the app once, you won’t need to load up your web browser ever again to play poker on your mobile. And while some beginners to poker will head straight for the cash game tables, that can be a dangerous decision to make.
That’s because the cash game tables where players wager micro-stakes as little as one or two cents per round are ripe for higher-level players known as sharks looking to boost their bankroll by taking advantage of beginners.
The best starting point for learning how to play poker on your mobile is playing sit&go (SNG) tournaments. These single and multi-table SNGs operate 24/7 and commence once all the seats fill. It’s great as it allows you to fit your poker action around your lifestyle rather than having to sign up to a tournament that starts at 7p.m. when you’re trying to put the kids to bed.
What’s also great about mobile SNGs is that you pay a fixed fee to play in an SNG tournament. You can’t lose any more than your entry fee, unlike with cash games, which can see you lose entire buy-ins if you commit to a hand and go all-in. Most single table SNGs tend to last between 45 minutes and an hour. That makes them well-suited to playing on tablets and smartphones.
There are even some poker apps that offer ‘turbo’ and ‘hyper turbo’ SNGs that have fast-moving blind structures and require players to act quickly. These can accelerate the gameplay even further to keep you fully engaged. Colin Moshman’s Sit & Go Strategy book remains one of the most popular reads for SNG beginners.
Of course, if you’re playing large multi-table tournaments, these can last hours, sometimes half a day. Therefore, the large-scale games are still better suited for gameplay on a desktop PC or laptop. Typically, experienced poker players become so comfortable with the table dynamics that they can play multiple tables to ramp up their profits. Although many play multiple tables on desktops using two or more PC monitors, the PokerStars iPhone app also allows you to play up to five tables simultaneously on mobile devices. It’s so easy to scroll back and forth between tables when the action is on you, too.
Regardinglearning poker gameplay on your mobile, SNGs are also a great starting point. There are generally three stages to any mobile SNG game: survival, avoiding the ‘bubble’ and battling to win the tournament. The survival stage is the beginning of the game where you’ll want to avoid becoming embroiled in tricky hands and only play your strongest starting hands. Avoiding the bubble, i.e., being knocked out in the final position before the prize money kicks in, can also be exciting.
If you have a big stack, you can take advantage of smaller stacks by forcing them into submission. Once the bubble is gone and you’re in the money, it’s time to focus on the first prize. You’ll learn to go through the gears and put increasing amounts of pressure on your opponents in these tactical contests that are available online anytime and anywhere on your mobile, beating any of the best offline mobile games.