PartyPoker iPhone and iPad App Download

You can now enjoy playing poker for real money on PartyPoker via your iPhone or iPad.

Previously Android were catered for and there was a Flash version which sadly ios users couldn’t use due to the lack of Flash support on the iPhone and iPad devices but you can now play a range of poker games on your mobile phone.

Various forms of cash game are available as well as the popular FastForward game.

I’ve played on the iPhone and the app is pretty slick. There has been no lag to the gameplay and the controls are intuitive. It would appear that there is no support for sitngo’s or tourneys just yet but that is pretty much in line with the equivalent PokerStars mobile app so it’s not too much of a surprise. Forthcoming editions of the app will likely see increased games released.

A very good addition in my opinion that should be very popular with casual poker players that like to have a quick game while relaxing on the sofa at home.

Click here to get the app.

888 Poker Increases No Deposit Free Money Offer to £12

888 Poker have more than doubled the free money offered to new players from the original £5 to a generous £12 per new player!

New players aren’t required to deposit any money to get the free money poker bonus and as far as I’m aware £12 is one of the largest free money offers available at any of the major operators. All you need to do is ensure that you use valid and correct contact details and a valid email address.

Try the 888 iPad App

If you’ve never played at 888 poker before now is an excellent time to give the poker room a try. The free £12 will allow you to get to grips with the software and get a general impression of the play there.

One of the major benefits of playing at 888 is definitely the poker app. It is by far the best mobile poker app for real money that I have played on and there is a good variety of games available ranging from tourney, sit n go’s and cash games.

Now that you are literally given money to play poker at 888, you would be remiss to not give it a try.

Get the 888 iPad poker app today to get your free £12 no deposit poker money.

No More High Stakes Cash Games at PartyPoker?

Reports suggest that PartyPoker have taken the decision to remove No Limit Texas Hold em and Pot Limit games with blinds of $10/$20 or higher and also Fixed Limit Texas Hold em with blinds of $50/$100 or greater.

One respected player over on the Two Plus Two forums questioned PartyPoker and received the following email from their support department –

We have removed some of our super high stake games, this decision has been taken to make improvements to our poker ecology and in our players best interests.

We will still offer high stake games at NL1000 PLO1000 and FL 6000.

We believe this change will improve the action at our tables and is in the best interest of the poker room as a whole. The change will remain in place for the foreseeable future

Please let us know if you need help with anything.

Clearly PartyPoker won’t have come up with this decision on a whim so there must be some compelling business reasons for doing this backed up by their own datasets so from an immediate financial decision one can only assume that PartyPoker as a poker room will benefit. It is much harder to evaluate the longer term repercussions.

Will high stakes players simply move down levels so that they can continue to play at PartyPoker? This is unlikely in my opinion. If you have worked your way up to high stakes levels you will want to continue to play at the levels of your choosing and not be dictated to by a poker room. Typically, players will work their way up the blinds scales, not work their way down!

Is the PartyPoker software and clientele alluring enough to keep high rollers playing at lower levels? No, not in my opinion.

So realistically we will see a small number of high stakes players moving over to other poker rooms and given that those players were likely on very generous incentive schemes and were taking money out of the PartyPoker poker eco-system I imagine that in purely financial terms PartyPoker won’t see a massive loss.

I would argue that the greater loss is in the PR side of things. Having active high stakes games is good for PR. Forums dedicate threads to particularly wild high stakes cash games and in poker where room confidence is key it is reassuring for players to see other successful players playing (and being paid) at high stakes cash games. PartyPoker could get a reputation as a lightweight poker room for grinders at the lower end of the spectrum which is not a good perception for a publically listed company where trader confidence is key.

Either way it will be interesting to see what actually does happen and how long it will take PartyPoker to restore all poker games at all blinds levels.

888 Poker iPad App Review

888 are one of the only providers to have given poker players the option to play full poker games for money on their iPad’s. The 888 app provides much of the functionality of the standard 888 main software with the added bonus of being able to play on the move and using convenient touchscreen navigation.

The best part is that if you are in the UK and you don’t currently have an 888 poker account, you can get a free £5 to play with. No deposit is necessary and it is a great way to familiarise yourself with 888 and maybe to win a few quid!

First steps before downloading the 888 app

As with all apps for the iPad you need to get the download from the Apple App store and download the application directly onto your device. The 888 poker app is free of charge to download and is 16.2MB in size, so downloading it should only take a few minutes. You can get the link for the app directly from the 888 poker website which will redirect you to the app in the app store so you don’t need to search for it.

To be able to use the app you will need to sign up for 888 poker because you will need to use your 888 poker username and password combination for the app to run on your iPad.

Click here to get a new 888 poker account and qualify for the FREE £5 bonus.

Signing up for an 888 account is very easy and it shouldn’t take more than a minute or two. You don’t need to add a credit card or any financial information if you don’t want to, although you should put valid contact details and a valid email address otherwise your account may not get setup correctly and when you want to withdraw winnings you might have problems, so keep your details present and correct.

You can sign up directly from the 888 website you can sign up directly from inside the mobile app itself.

Downloading the app is simple. Whether you already have your new 888 account or you plan to sign up through the app you can download the software from the 888 poker iPad app link.

Once you have downloaded the app you simply need to open it and then use your 888 poker login credentials which will then take you to the 888 poker lobby where you can choose your game or you can sign up directly from the app.

Once you have logged into the app you will be taken to the poker lobby.

Choosing your game

Games are limited to variants of Texas Hold ‘em. Unfortunately there is not Omaha, Stud, etc. but you do have the option of No Limit, Fixed Limit and Pot Limit Texas Hold ‘em.

You can choose to play for real money at 6 to 9 man Sit and Go’s or you can play micro stake cash games which range from 3¢/6¢ to $3/$6. Alternatively you can switch to practice play.

The connection you can use to play poker is through 3G or WiFi so the games run very smoothly. In fact once you are sat at a table you likely won’t notice any difference between playing on the 888 app version versus the standard 888 poker software version for PC.

Positives of using the app

See below for a list of the positives of playing poker using the 888 app.

  • Undoubtedly having the flexibility of being able to play poker on the move or on your sofa at home using your iPad is an extremely welcome addition for poker players.
  • The app runs quickly and smoothly.
  • You can deposit and withdraw money using the app.
  • There are options to play cash games and sit n go’s using the app.
  • New players will get their welcome bonus of a free £5 if they create an 888 account using the app.
  • The actual functionality of the app is very similar to the slick feel of the standard PC 888 poker software.

Negatives of using the app

There are only two main negatives to using the 888 poker app. They include -

  • There are only a limited range of games available which are limited to Texas Hold ‘em and the games themselves are limited to low stakes. However, it is expected that forthcoming updates to the app will include an increased number of poker games available at higher stakes.
  • There is no current facility to multi-table using the 888 iPad app.

Overall

Taking everything into account this reviewer see that 888 have produced an extremely polished poker app which transfers most of the functionality of their full PC poker software onto the iPad. Games run smoothly and quickly and graphically the app is awesome.

Download the 888 iPad poker app today and get your free £5 no deposit welcome bonus.

Poker on the iPad

The popularity of iPad’s and tablet devices in general is increasing at a rapid rate but unfortunately it would appear that online poker sites don’t appear to be part of the iPad revolution. Whether there is a belief that tablets are just a fad, popularity will die out and people will go back to their desktops and laptops or there is a genuine lack of understanding about the power of mobile marketing today I don’t know. Whatever their reasons, poker rooms on the whole are not making enough of an effort to allow players to play poker from a mobile device like an iPad or Samsung Galaxy tablet.

What poker apps are out there?

So you want to play poker on your iPad? If you go into the iTunes App store you will see several tens of different apps that will allow you to play poker, but the vast majority of these are simply play money games designed to pass a few minutes. There are very few dedicated poker room apps that you can install and play for real money.

There are two large poker rooms that have embraced mobile apps and these are -

PokerStarsSee more information
888See more information

Both are established brands and their apps have great functionality that allows you to have the facilities of your desktop client on your iPad.

A smaller brand which has a more dedicated approach solely to mobile is Switch PokerSee more information.

Few if any of the other major online poker sites have chosen to introduce a dedicated mobile app for their customers which I find perplexing to say the least. What reasons could they have?

Why aren’t there more mobile poker apps?

Technically speaking there are loads of poker apps that you can download for the iPad. It is the apps where you play for real money that are lacking in the market.

You could argue that app development is an expensive business and poker rooms don’t want to go to the expense. I don’t buy this argument. Given the profits in online poker I don’t believe for a second that there aren’t the finances in place to develop an app.

Perhaps the thought is that people that are going to use the apps are already customers and so the return on investment for the app being developed is not high. This is a possibility, but I would argue that given the extremely small number of mobile poker apps that are available that allow you to play for money, I would say that the poker rooms that head down the app development route will get early adoption boosts because people who want to play poker on their iPad currently have so few options that they will be forced to use what is on the market.

There are undoubtedly issues surrounding the fact that the iPad can’t play Flash, so this has been a barrier towards a lot of online poker being played through a browser, but with a native iPad app this wouldn’t be an issue.

Finally, there might be the perception that there is no need for creating poker apps because the players don’t want them. I simply don’t believe this to be the case. The use is mobile devices is outstripping the demand for virtually every other entertainment device globally, so the logical extension to that is if people are given the opportunity to use their mobile device to play poker, they will. They just need the app to use in the first place!

The future for mobile poker apps

I think in the next year or two most if not all of the major poker rooms will have their own Apple and/or Android powered apps. I’d like to think that the days when eager players that want to play poker on their iPad have had to use a VNC to remote desktop into their laptop of home computer to access the poker software from there have gone. Why make it more difficult for poker players to play? Give us all mobile poker apps and we’ll play on our mobile devices. Simple.

PokerStars Mobile App

Not before time PokerStars have introduced a mobile app so you can play the full range of cash games, sit n go’s and tournaments via your iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch or an Android device. Once you have downloaded the app, provided that you already have a PokerStars account, all you need to do is enter your account details and you can be away and playing onlkine poker straightaway.

Hopefully this is a move that will be emulated by the other online poker houses because as it stands the market for mobile poker playing can only get bigger. Enjoy…

P.S You need to sign up for a PokerStars account if you want to play online with the mobile poker app. If you don’t have an account with PokerStars click here to sign up for a PokerStars account.

PokerStars Catering Towards the European Market With New Start Times

Given the catastrophic loss of the US market it was fairly inevitable that many of the major online poker houses were going to start courting the European markets more heavily and so sees the announcement from PokerStars that they are to move the start times of all of their regular major tournaments to earlier times in the day. This is a smart move by PokerStars and one that will inevitably snare more casual players to tourney play. We all know that a decent finish will see an investment in time of several hours so the earlier start times will be welcome to most in Europe.

A round up of many of the tournaments and start times are -

  • Sunday Kick-Off – 17:00 GMT
  • Sunday Warm-Up – 19:00 GMT
  • Sunday Rebuy – 20:00 GMT
  • Sunday Storm – 21:30 GMT
  • Sunday Million – 22:30 GMT
  • Sunday 500 – 23:30 GMT
  • Sunday Second Chance – 00:30 GMT
  • Sunday Supersonic – 02:30 GMT

These new tournament start times begin on Sunday 5th June and as a kicker PokerStars are adding more than $200,000 worth of entries to a selection of daily satellites. Check out the lobby at PokerStars for details on the satellites if you are interested in getting a cheap entry.

Factors You Should Consider Before Making a Decision about Your Hand

There are a range of factors that you should consider before automatically making a play with a starting hand in Texas Hold ‘em. These can differ between whether you are playing cash games, multi table tournaments or short handed sit n go’s. Try to commit these to memory and before long these considerations will become second nature to you.

Cash Game Starting Hand Factors to Consider

There are 5 main considerations when deciding what to do with your hand when you are playing in a cash game.

Table position

This is arguably as important as the cards you have been dealt in many instances. Considering your position in relation to the other players is critical because if you are in late position it can give you the opportunity to view what the other players do before you make any commitment to the pot. Position is important both pre and post flop and you will need to alter your hand ranges depending on what position you are dealt on the table. For example, if you are in early position you will want to play hands with a higher range than you would if you were in late position when you have information on what the other players plan to do on the hand pre-flop.

Cards dealt

This is probably the first consideration that will pop into your head. The cards you play will depend on the factors listed here and the hand ranges you are prepared to play.

Number of players

The number of players on the table is a factor that should be considered in conjunction with your table position and consequently what cards you are prepared to play. A very simple fact to remember is that the more people playing around a table, the more chance there is of a player having stronger cards than you so bear this in mind when playing on full tables.

Playing style

This can both relate to yourself and your opponents. It is important that you do become predictable to the other players so it is your interests to mix up your play a little so that your opponents have to second guess you. This could be a conscious decision you make in terms of playing in a certain style when you are in late position or you are playing against a particular opponent. If you study the playing style of your opponents it is sometimes possible to pick up a “tell”. Clearly this is more difficult playing online than in a real cash poker table in a casino but if you are able to spot a weakness in an opponent it will increase the chances of you being able to bluff the player out of chips or lay a trap that will maximise your chances of being paid off in a hand.

Pot odds

Finally when all other factors have been taken into account you should consider the pot odds in playing a given hand. You need to work out whether the number of “outs” you have in terms of making your desired hand is favourable when compared with the size of the pot and the amount of chips you will need to add to see a showdown, etc.

Multi Table Tournament Starting Hand Factors to Consider

Certainly take into account the cash game starting hand principles mentioned above when you are playing in an MTT (multi table tournament) but also consider the following 3 factors.

Prize money offered

When playing in an MTT the prize money will be split down the field to a varying degree based on what type of MTT you are playing. A rule of thumb can be that the top 10% to 20% of the field will receive a payout. You need to consider the prize structure continuously because players’ styles will invariably alter depending on what stage they are at in the tournament. If you simply want to get in the money first and take it from there, you will likely want to play a quite tight game and loosen up once the “bubble” has passed and you are guaranteed a paid place in the tournament. However, take into account that more experienced players will take advantage of tight players in these circumstances and will attempt to steal blinds where they can.

Monitor the blinds

The blinds (and antes) will increase over set periods of time during an MTT so you need to consider the size of your stack of chip relative to the size of the blinds. You don’t want to become short stacked because this will lessen your options when in a pot and will reduce any fold equity.

Your chip stack size

Your decision making process will be informed by number of chips you hold in relation to others around the table, their positions and to some extent the average number of chips held by all the other players in the whole tournament. For example, if you are entering a pot against multiple players who all have chip stacks larger than yours you should be aware that any one of them could potentially knock you out of the tournament if you are playing no limit hold ‘em and one of them decides to go all in against you. Try to only enter pots with players with equivalent or small stacks compared to yours unless you hold premium hands. On the other hand if you hold a chip lead over others on your table you will be able to bully them by making large raises and stealing blinds against tight players. If the number of chips you hold is ten times the size of the big blind (or less) you will be short stacked in most tournament schedules. Try not to allow your chips to become reduced to this level if at all possible.

Common Poker Hand Odds

In order to help you to calculate pot odds and the probability of you making particular poker hands pre-flop and after the flop you should carefully study the following percentage odds of you making your desired hand.

Probability of being dealt
Pocket aces – 0.45%
Any pocket pair – 5.9%
Any two suited cards to the river to make a flush – 6.4%

Probability of hitting on the flop
Turning a pocket pair into trips – 10.8%
Hitting a flush from two suited cards – 0.84%

Probability of hitting on the turn card
Making a straight from a gutshot draw – 9%
Making a straight from an open ended straight draw – 17%
A flush when you have 4 suited cards already – 19%
Making a full house from trips – 15%
Making a full house from two pair – 9%

Probability of hitting on the turn or river
Making a straight from a gutshot draw – 17%
Making a straight from an open ended straight draw – 32%
Making a full house from two pair – 17%
A flush when you have 4 suited cards already – 35%
A flush when you have 3 suited cards already – 4%

Probability of making on the river from the turn card
Making a straight from a gutshot draw – 9%
Making a straight from an open ended straight draw – 17%
Making a full house from trips – 22%
Making a full house from two pair – 9%

Short Handed Poker Strategy – Improve Your Game

If you are a beginner or a poker player that struggles to make any profit over time then this post could help you towards becoming a winning online poker player. The following advice is very simple but should be understood and appreciated in detail to help you to improve your poker game and make you a winning player.

Learn how calling ranges are determined by the scenario at the table.

An easy bite size sentence which when evaluated will in all likelihood become one of the most important poker lessons you will ever encounter.

What Do I Do Next?

As a casual player with a small ever dwindling bankroll you can find yourselves in a rut during games where you genuinely don’t know what to do with a given hand. If you believe you’ve suffered numerous bad beats over time, your judgement can become impaired and your play can suffer significantly. If you find yourself in this situation you need to go back to basics. Perhaps even step away from poker for a while to allow yourself to clarify your mindset. When you are ready to play, you need to refresh yourself with hand calling ranges and how this determines your play at the table. A bad player will play the cards. A good player will play the cards and their opponents.

Playing Short Handed Poker

It is acknowledged that short handed play is reserved for advanced players. This needn’t be the case when you have a grasp of calling ranges and how the calling ranges are affected by the number of opponents you have at your table. I personally prefer playing heads up poker or sit and go’s with as few players as possible becasue my knowledge of calling ranges associated to the number of players around a table is so strong. Once you get a feel for these calling ranges, you game should improve exponentially when playing short handed.

How to Improve Short Handed Play

There are two key elements that you need when playing short handed -

  • A strong understanding of calling ranges
  • Bravery

In order to understand the calling ranges for a given sized table you can study charts or play theoretical ands through a program such as PokerStove which will give you odds on winning a hand based on starting hands, number of players, etc. However, this will not teach you the real game bravery that you need when deciding to raise big or push all in. In my opinion the way to learn calling ranges for short handed play and to instil the bravery required to be able to push all in or bet big is to play a number of turbo or hyper turbo sit n go’s. This isn’t standard advice that you will see written on other poker tips sites, but the rationale is very sound.

Super Turbo Sit N Go’s?

A fairly standard super or hyper turbo sit n go will consist of 4 – 6 players max and the blinds will often increase every minute. In other words the blinds can increase after every hand or couple of hands. In order to play turbo sit n go’s successfully you need to understand that unless you act decisively and statistically correctly you will likely fail. You could simply sit tight and either let the blinds knock you out or allow yourself to get so shortstacked that effectively you have no raise equity so realistically the whole table could call or raise you with no problems holding the worst starting hands imaginable, or you could play decisively according to your table position and calling range. Therefore, in these sorts of poker games you need to learn a sort of push or fold game. In other words push all your chips into the middle or fold your hand. In doing so you will need to grasp the fundamentals behind what is a good starting hand on a table of say 2,3,4 or 5 opponents and when you determine that you have a strong starting hand based on the number of opponents you need to have the bravery to push all in. This is easy said than done when it is your tournament/game at stake.

Winning Short Handed Play Summary

By playing hyper turbo sit n go’s you will only win hands and progress successfully if you have a grasp on your table situation and the value of your starting hand. Of course there will be variance based on other players that are poor or just reckless but as a training exercise, using turbo sit n go’s should help to sharpen your poker brain as to when to push or fold and give you the bravery to do so. You will then be able to take these skills to standard sit n go tables and clean up.