When online poker first came about, pretty much the only way to play was from a desktop computer. But since the early days of the poker boom in the mid-2000s, technology has rapidly evolved, and a number of new hi-tech devices have come about. The mobile market, in particular, has blossomed. Now poker operators are gearing a lot of their content to the huge smartphone audience.
When deciding what device to play on, poker players need to think about their preferred games. Some are better suited to mobile, while others are perfect for computers. There are pros and cons to either platform, but knowing what they are will help players make better decisions about where to play.
Online Poker’s Immense Popularity Has Led to Innovation
Poker has become one of the most popular card games in the world, and it is now considered a must-have for online casinos. When internet poker started out, the main variant of the game on offer was Texas Hold’em, as the rules of the game were much easier to follow than those of other strains such as Omaha or stud. Hold’em is considered by many to be poker for beginners and a great way to learn all the hand values. After mastering Hold’em, players can then explore other variants which are slightly more complex.
Because of the popularity of poker and the fact that players are able to play other versions once they have learnt the basics, developers have begun to bring in a whole host of new poker options for online players. Some of the new games are designed specifically for certain devices. For example, a number of poker operators have tried to create a more immersive experience which makes players feel as though they are playing live. Ways to increase the immersion include having avatars for the players that can taunt and change their body language. These games are better suited to computers.
Other new poker variants were created with the mobile market in mind. Mobile players tend to seek out pick-up-and-play style games which can be played in short bursts during moments of free time throughout the day. Obviously, the different types of new games are going to attract a diverse range of players. Once players have decided which games they prefer, they can then use this to decide which platform is better suited to them.
Computer – More Immersive
Playing on a giant monitor can lead to a seriously immersive experience.
It could be argued that computers still reign supreme for online poker in terms of the options they can offer players. One of the main advantages for people who play a lot of poker is the fact that it is easy to play multiple games at the same time. Professional players will often have three or four games going on simultaneously, in order to maximize their chances of winning. This can help reduce the chance of players becoming impatient in a tournament while waiting for their turn again after folding cards.
Another huge advantage is the fact that computers can offer a more immersive playing experience. By using a huge monitor, players can get the feeling that they are playing in a real tournament like the World Series of Poker. Surround sound speakers can be used to enhance the atmosphere as well, while some sites even offer live casino titles so that you can become fully immersed by playing with a real-life dealer. On top of all this, by using a state of the art gaming computer, there is less chance of lag in the games.
There are some downsides to playing from the computer though. When participating in a large tournament, the games can often run for many hours. Sitting in the same place for such a long time can lead to discomfort, and players without high endurance levels could end up making mistakes. In addition to that, some players feel that computers are an outdated way of playing now that the mobile market has become so successful.
Smartphone – Play from Anywhere
Caption: Snap poker is an exciting variant which is perfect for mobile.
There is no denying that the mobile market has led to the emergence of a number of new, fast-paced ways to play the game. Offerings like Snap poker are designed to speed things up and let players get straight into a new hand after folding. This appeals to the need for instant gratification of the smartphone audience.
Smartphones don’t offer an immersive experience, but they do allow players to play from anywhere. This means that they can often do other things while participating in a poker tournament. They can walk around and stretch their legs, and this can help subdue feelings of boredom in a long competition. A lot of players simply love the feel of playing from a smartphone. Betting, calling, and folding can all be done with smooth touches of the screen. It is also fairly easy to minimize the game and open up other apps on the phone while waiting for a new hand to start.
Smartphones could be considered to be the more futuristic option for poker players, and it is likely that a lot of new content and game variants will be introduced to this market over the next few years, including innovations such as virtual reality. For this reason, people who like to be the first to get on emerging trends could find this to be a better option. Mobile does present a slight risk, though, because if the device is kicked off a WiFi connection and mobile data connections aren’t available, then the player could end up losing a hand. This would be disastrous in a scenario where a player has already heavily invested in a pot.
When deciding where the best place to play online poker is, there are arguments for computers and smartphones. Players need to decide what they want most from their online poker games and then choose the device which suits them best.