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888 Poker for Mobile

By mid 2013 there was finally a link to the 888 poker app from the site’s homepage. After a lengthy “beta” testing period in which the 888’s Android-only poker app was limited to existing customers that were up for playing poker guinea-pigs, the huge UK poker operator is now fully committed to its Android, iPhone and iPad applications.

There is an impressive list of supported Droid phones (which includes Motorola’s Droids, Acer handsets, Samsung and many others) and it genuinely feels as though 888 will be a serious competitor for mobile poker in 2013 and into 2014, particularly given the company has now also launched 888 poker for iPhone and iPad.

1. Games

888poker’s Android real money games are the app’s strength: it features sit’n’go tournaments, as well as the cash games that most mobile-optimised poker operators are focussing on. The only poker style offered is Texas Holdem.

Another nice feature is that from within the same app you get access to some of 888’s other sports betting applications.

2. Fairness

888 is licensed by the Government of Gibraltar and independently audited by the folks at eCogra. You can even see expected RTPs for 888 casino games on the eCogra website. The link is to a certificate from November 2012; we would expect to see certificates for 2013 in the not too distant. As usual, if you have any doubts you can get a historic list of your poker hands – player-powered quality assurance is often more effective than a so-called independent audit, allegedly.

A somewhat separate aspect of fairness is sites’ commitment to making it as easy as possible for their customers to play poker in a responsible manner. 888poker’s support for gambling responsibly is as good as any we’ve seen here at poker-mobile.org.

3. New Player Bonus

No prizes for guessing that it’s a 100% bonus 888 is offering new players. There are a couple of nice extra bonuses for new players too but first let’s check how easy it is to get your free poker money.

Bonus Clearing Requirements

To get a $10 bonus you need to earn 100 status points (SPs). You get 2 SPs for every $1 contribution to the 888 rake, e.g. via a tournament fee. So to get 100 SPs you’ll need to contribute $50 to rake, which equates to a play through requirement of five times (5x) the bonus, for comparison purposes. This is relatively high.

Extras

You also get access to a few freeroll tournaments, especially for first depositors.

4. Player Pool

888 Android poker games are played on the Pacific Poker network, which is how this site used to be known. This is still one of the bigger networks out there with another six sites according to PokerScout’s summary page.

Of course, what we’re all interested in is whether all these other players are pros that are going to steal all our money stealthily or lucky muckers that will also win all your money but more blatantly. Either way, your screwed!

5. Mobile Banking

As you’d expect from one of the biggest casino and poker operators in the world, the banking options are endless. You’ll find all major credit cards, Skrill, Neteller, PayPal, Click and Buy as well as a host of other lesser known options, many of which are country specific.

Bet365 Poker for Mobile

If you want to play Bet 365 Poker on your mobile, it must be an iPad or iPhone. Although the graphics show a non-Apple phone next to the iPad, the site does make it known that its exclusive Poker rooms are available on the iOS platform only.

If you use Apple, therefore, you are in for some serious Poker at Bet365. This detail may tell you a bit about the community at the Bet365 casino and sport betting site.

The bonus you will claim at 200% cash-match added to your first deposit can reach £1,000. Another great bonus is the free £100 freeroll. All the loyalty points you rack up playing mobile here goes into your main balance, thankfully. You will get hooked, we are sure, and will want to play both at home on your desktop or laptop and on your mobile.

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At the time of writing Bet365 also is offering a Premium Christmas Present contest, which you participate in by playing and meeting daily challenges. The prizes range from expensive TVs, laptops, phones and tablets — the top prize, however, is a £5,000 holiday vacation.

This is a trend we have identified and expect to see more of in 2014: exciting prizes in addition to cash winnings. Look to Bet365 as a leader with this sort of thing.

Exclusive Gaming

Bet365 TIP: You can meet your daily challenge in half the time by playing at the Premium Tables.

There is a nice twist at Bet365’s Poker centre: new players can play at special tables reserved for new members only. Even so, all points earned by playing at these tables nevertheless go into your normal site-wide total.

That is so fair-handed and sensible (so sympathetic to newbies!) that we’re really appalled that more online Poker halls don’t do the same. We’re always on the lookout for real signs that a casino is fair with its generosity.

You won’t find a lot of visual previews of the app, or hype about anything at Bet365. You’re not likely to play with a lot of teenagers and hacks here, because the whole place has the feeling of exclusivity. It’s a higher class clientele, even though the house is not ramming a bunch of VIP sensationalism at you. Get more effective gaming tips here

Once you do enter as a member, however, you will be floored by the quality of this app. The graphics, not surprisingly, are quiet and conservative.

You’ll see a hardwood floor backdrop, a nice green felt table without distracting hype all over it, the players’ chairs and plenty of crucial information about the hands. We love the way the pot’s chips stack up clearly at the top middle.

Banking on Bet365

Having already sensed the trustworthiness from things we just said, wouldn’t you expect a top-notch selection of payment and withdrawal options? Of course you would.

Bet365 delivers just about the widest, deepest banking department we’ve seen yet, and it includes these popular, safe services:

  • PayPal (the one and only!)
  • Neteller
  • Skrill / Skrill Tap
  • Paysafecard (for deposits)
  • Ukash (for deposits)
  • Entropay
  • Click2Pay

Best of all, Bet365 has licensed full services in each case, including withdrawing, although the limits vary for each service.

Bet365 is everything it can to give you a fair chance to enjoy and win at mobile Poker gaming (on Apple iOS). Will you take the challenge?

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Unibet Mobile Poker

The Unibet poker app is currently only available for Android phone and tablet owners. You will need Adobe Flash and Air installed before you can even think of downloading the app. Compare other Android-compatible poker games here.

1. Game Selection

As of late 2012, there’s not much new happening here, as far as we can tell. While the best mobile poker operators are continuously adding to and improving their apps, Unibet seems to be content with playing the waiting game. It may work out for them – a sudden leap forward in mobile telephony technology might give them the opportunity to leapfrog their competitors by embracing it first.

However, in the mean time the Unibet poker app disappoints. There are no sit’n’gos, no micro-stakes, no rush poker or equivalent. It’s comes across as a basic app, even though somebody somewhere probably put a lot of effort into it.

2. Features

The bonus clearance is hard work (see below), the technology seems outdated, so what can you expect from the Unibet app?

  • Minimum stakes: $1/2
  • Both real money and demo modes
  • Compatible with early Android operating systems such as Froyo and Gingerbread

There’s no sign that Unibet is planning to expand this set of poker app features in the near future but of course you never know. More than likely the decision rests as much with Microgaming as it does with Unibet itself.

3. New Player Bonus

You can choose between three different mobile poker bonuses register with Unibet: $500, $300 or $100 with the bonus being released in stages as you earn VIP points. The $100 bonus is the easiest to earn – by the time you’ve got 4,000 points in your VIP account you’ll have earned 10 lots of $10 bonuses. You will also have contributed in the region of $400 to the Unibet rake – four times the bonus you receive.

Bonus Clearing Requirements

4 x bonus (in rake contributions), for low stakes players who select $100 bonus.

Higher stakes players may choose to opt for the $300 or $500 poker bonuses but you should be aware that there are also higher play through requirements – 5 x for the $300 bonus and 6 x for the highest poker bonus.

4. Player Pool

You’ll be playing on the Microgaming network along with players from Ladbrokes and several other big name UK poker operators. Read into that what you will.

In addition, Unibet appears to take its responsibility towards problem gamblers seriously with evidence of real work in this area if the certificates displayed on the homepage are to be believed. They also claim to be active in looking out for irregular betting practices in alliance with ESSA, which is nice.

5. Mobile Banking

As with all the big sportsbetting, casinos and poker operators, Unibet is clearly keen to make depositing your money with it as easy as possible. PayPal is notably absent but present are options including Ukash, entropay, paysafecard and Neteller.

Ladbrokes Mobile Poker

The Ladbrokes Android poker app has the unusual requirement of needing both Adobe Flash Player and Air to run. You can check here if your Android tablet or phone is compatible with Adobe Flash.

1. Game Selection

Although Ladbrokes’ mobile casino and betting applications are available for a wide-variety of handset shapes and sizes, the poker app is still Android only, several months after its launch in early 2012.

Android

The games offered will work on early versions of Android from Froyo (2.2) onwards but are somewhat restricted in the functionality and features they provide. In a nut shell:

  • Fun money or real poker for mobile
  • Cash games only – no mobile poker tournaments
  • Single sign on, but you’ll need a Ladbroke’s poker account first before you download the app

A sensible suggsetion they make is to experiment with the demo first to check the quality of your connection before going on to play for real.

Ladbroks on iPad?

It’s worth asking yourself if you can play Ladbrokes poker on your iPad. The iPad’s screen is easily big enough to make the instant game playable; the problem is Apple’s lack of native support for Adobe’s Flash software and no matter what you read this still does not look like changing.

So the only way you’ll be playing poker on iPad4 devices will be with one of the HTML5 apps other operators are experimenting with. Although there doesn’t look to be any reason Microgaming couldn’t hussle up one of these themselves since they already do a nice range of HTML5 casino games.

2. Fairness

This is Microgaming so the question of fairness is sure to be hotly debated and would probably deserve a lot more space than we’re going to give it here. Suffice to say that it’s a big-ish network and the standard set of pros and cons that typically go with that characteristic may apply:

  • Con – less individual support
  • Pro – well regulated (in this case by Gibraltar’s Gambling Commisioner)
  • Con – sharks may be circling
  • Pro – you’ll always get a game

3. New Player Bonus

The moment you make your first poker deposit at the Ladbrokes online casino, is also the moment you determine the size of the bonus you could receive, up to 2.5 times your first deposit amount (250%) and capped at $1,500 (£1,000). This bonus will then be paid into your poker bonus account in five equal instalments. To qualify for each $10 worth of bonus you need to earn 32 loyalty points (called Poker Points).

Bonus Clearing Requirements

A first deposit of $50 will get you a $125 poker bonus, which will be released in five payments of $25. In order to receive one $25 payment you need to earn 80 Poker Points (PPs). You get 10 PPs for each $1 contribution to rake so this equates to rake contributions worth $80, or just over 3 times the bonus you receive.

Play through requirement: 3.2 times bonus (contributed to rake).

4. Player Pool

We said a little bit about the Microgaming player pool above when talking about fairness. It’s probably also worth saying that at the time of writing the Microgaming network seems to be enjoying something of a growth spurt with Betsson moving its players from the soon-to-close IGT network. The player cool also includes Unibet and 32Red.

When you play on your phone or tablet you’ll be playing in the same cash games as everyone else.

5. Mobile Banking

Although the Ladbrokes casino app includes full banking functionality, poker players will be better off using the desktop application for deposits and withdrawals, unless you choose to download the corresponding casino app for you phone.

The range of options is endless and includes PayPal, Ukash, Neteller and Moneybookers (Skrill) as well as the usual credit cards and wire transfer standards.

All in all it’s a competent launch into the mobile-optimised poker world by Ladbrokes but unlikely to set too many hearts racing just yet.

mFortune Mobile Poker

As with Switch Poker and Terminal Poker, the mFortune operation is entirely dedicated to serving the needs of players of poker on mobile phones, smartphones, iPads and other tablet devices. In fact the mFortune casino offers a lot more than just poker – its mobile casino games include a variety of video slot machines, roulette, blackjack and other card games against the computer including video poker for mobile.

As with the Switch and Terminal operations, mFortune Poker’s games for smartphones are browser based – there is no download needed to play them, whether you’re using a Android platform Samsung Galaxy, an HTC Flyer with the Windows Phone OS, a Blackberry handset or an iPad. The mFortune poker web app is the most versatile out there.

All this means that if you register here you know that you’ll be competing against players that are in a similar situation to you. At PokerStars the other players at the table are likely to be sat at the PC, many with a Heads Up Display (HUD) helping them along, and perhaps an odds calculator open in another window too. This, combined with its UK gaming license, must make the mFortune mobile Texas Holdem game one of the fairest poker apps out there.

Add to that the fact that you can play poker without depositing using its £5 mobile no deposit poker bonus and you have the final ingredient in a winning recipe.

1. Game Selection

Play mFortune’s Texas Holdem app for real money against real players if you fancy your chances. Try one of its video poker apps first if you feel the need to further hone your skills. Click here to compare more real money mobile poker alternatives.

Multiplayer

You can only play no limit Texas Holdem ring games with the mFortune app, which is all most poker apps are offering at the moment. On the other hand the operator is offering players the option to fill all six seats at a table with your poker-playing friends if you feel like holding your poker party online for a change.

It’s a nice feature although I wonder how popular it is.

Against Computer

There are two mobile video poker games among the mFortune casino apps, although only one is probably going to have a positive impact on your play:

  1. Sexy Poker
  2. HiLo Poker

Can you work out which one it is?

2. Fairness

On the plus side, I like the fact that I can pretty sure the other people I’m playing against probably have similar hardware and software to me. OK some may have it a little better (e.g. with their Samsung Galaxy Pad 10″ screen or iPad 3) but I don’t think it will give them too much of an edge.

On the other hand, it’s a little hard to find much detail about what kind of independent testing has been carried out of its mobile poker games. That said, the fact that it is regulated by the UK Gambling Commission may be enough – as the site says in its FAQ, “mFortune games are independently tested and verified by laboratories approved by the UK Gambling Commission”.

3. New Player Bonus

As well as its £5 free no deposit poker sign up bonus, mFortune also has a 100% first deposit deal that means they will match your first deposit up to a maximum of £100. You can start risking your own cash from as little as £3.

Your free poker money is credited to your account straight away, with no waiting whatsoever.

Bonus Clearing Requirements

What this means is that in both cases there is no restriction on withdrawing winnings earned from poker chips bought using your free bonus money.

4. Player Pool

mFortune may be a new mobile poker app as far as your concerned but it’s already been around a while and has built a dedicated following of players who don’t mind sacrificing some of the improved game play you get from a native Android or iPhone app for the knowledge that everyone is in the same boat.

That said, the number of players on line at any moment does vary and you will occasionally have to wait for a game.

5. Mobile Banking

As with everything at the mFortune mobile casino, with banking too you get a mobile friendly experience. You can fund your poker via your mobile phone bill if you choose with deposits of as little as £3 a go. However, many of the usual, as well as a few less usual payment methods are also available:

  • Ukash – a great way to make sure spending habits remain as private as they should be.
  • Credit and debit cards including Visa, Mastercard and Maestro

3D PKR

PKR 3D received this name because it is a mobile poker site that presents players with a 3D environment in which to play and interact. The site promises to be both a revolutionary and immersive experience for players.

3d Poker Promise Fulfilled?

To a significant extent these promises are true. The high-quality 3D graphics have greater attention than most other mobile poker apps. Furthermore, the fact each player customises their own avatar then helps them to feel like their virtual player is a version of them. Outside of the poker play, there are some other positives for PKR 3D Poker.

Apple Devices Only

As of spring 2013, only users with an iPad 2 or iPhone 4 or better can download the PKR3D app from the App Store. PKR has relatively demanding software for a mobile device, so the developers have chosen to spend time getting it right on one platform before mobbing on. Android would be the next logical step in the development of its mobile poker app. To download the app, all you need to do is search for ‘PKR’ in the App Store and then download the 311 MB app.

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The Avatars

A key step in getting to ready to play with PKR.com is to create your very own avatars. You get to choose their outfit, body size, facial appearance and even the sound of their voice. Creating an avatar is pretty fun, what with getting to develop the perfect poker pro and all. Later on down the line you can pay for extra accessories through the site’s store. These are paid for using PKR Points, a digital currency generated when wagering on cash games.

Bonus Funds

The site is filled with bonuses for new players, most of which are geared toward that first deposit. A positive of the bonuses is that there is a tiered system depending on how much players wish to spend. The starting level is $10 for a $5 instant bonus; intermediate level begins at $25 and a 100% welcome bonus up to $150; advanced players can deposit $150 upwards for a 125% welcome bonus up to $500.

Bonus Conditions

A key point of note about the bonuses is that the funds don’t instantly become available to you. The $5 bonus requires one PKR Point to be earned, while intermediate and advanced pay out at a rate of 5% and 10% respectively. Additionally, you only have a maximum of 60 days in which to unlock all bonus funds. Don’t claim what you don’t thing you will unlock through cash wagering.

Red Kings Mobile Poker

On the one hand there’s still a lot missing from the RedKings Android poker app. On the other hand, if you’re sick of PokerStars, like the idea of choosing your bonus and have an Android phone or tablet then those are three good reasons to check this app out.

1. Game Selection

RedKings’ mobile poker games have a long history. They began life as a very basic app for the early group of internet ready phones from Nokia, Sony Ericcson and the like. Only recently have they jumped on board the smartphone ship with a native app for the Android operating system. A little later than some and earlier than others.

And still no iOS compatible app – iPhone and iPad owners will have to wait a little while yet, which is odds since Ongame’s iOS app was launched some time ago: apps like bwin for iPhone have been in the App Store since early 2012.

Poker Varieties

The Texas Holdem ring game is the only variety of poker so far offered. Yes you can choose between different types of pot: fixed, limit, no-limit. No you can’t sit and go, no you can’t play the freerolls or any other tournament for that matter.

Fast Fold Poker

No equivalent of Full Tilt’s Rush Poker format yet either. Given what a great fit this style of game is with mobile or tabet poker this is a shame.

2. Fairness

RedKings’ fairness is by definition a question of the fairness of the Ongame network. Once again you’ll find those in favour, those against and those who have been playing there for years and are still complaining about a possible house-bot they lost $100 to back in 2003.

The standard tests still apply:

RedKings does claim to have a “dedicated team” for identifying and putting a stop to collusion and will “investigate every complaint”.

3. New Player Bonus

Choose the $250 option to get best value from your RedKings mobile poker bonus.

Bonus Clearing Requirements

3.3x rake contribution – you will need to be seeing the flop and getting involved in your mobile cash games to contribute to the RedKings rake. Once you have contributed $33 you will have earned enough points to qualify for your first $10 bonus, hence the clearance requirement of just over three, which is fairly average.

 

4. Mobile Banking

The banking options at RedKings Poker are incredibly only Neteller, Webmoney, Moneybookers, ClickAndBuy and Click2Pay. Of course you can also effectively deposit with credit and debit cards just by opening accounts with one of these eWallets. Still it’s a pretty unusual setup.

WinPoker App

You could be forgiven for thinking that WinPoker.com is jumping on the cloud poker bandwagon. You can do just about everything you could ever wish to do in the cloud nowadays, from cloud personal finances to cloud data storage. But cloud poker was not one of them, until recently.

In a nut shell, the Win Poker mobile solution is the bandwagon. However, there are a couple of things, it is said, that we should remember about wagons: they are easy to fall off of and not so easily climbed back on to.

1. Compatibility

Like most of the current crop of multi-player mobile poker apps, the Win Poker app looks better on larger screens than on smaller ones. You might well comment that the same could be said of just about any mobile application anywhere from Angry Birds to Zombies Run. However, unlike other poker apps, Win Poker actually states that its app has been optimised for screen sizes of 7 inches and up. In other words it is not recommended for smartphones so much as for Android OS tablets, phablets and iPads 2, 3 and 4 as well as the new iPad mini.

In addition, since this app is stored on the cloud, you will also need to install special software to download it. The Pocket Cloud Remote Desktop app from Wyse enables you to all kinds of things from either your desktop PC or your tablet by virtually connecting them.

However, in the case of WinPoker it won’t be your desktop PC that is connected to your tablet, it will be the operator’s servers. Cloud poker here is all about bypassing the need to work with lots of different mobile and tablet browsers. Read into that what you choose to.

2. Fairness

In the end the cloudy nature of the WinPoker mobile solution is less important than the features it has enabled the site to offer its players. WinPoker claims that all the features available via its PC download are also available to Android and iOS handset owners.

This puts the WinPoker app up there with the best poker apps for iPad and tablets since it is one of only a few that include sit’n’go tournaments, multiple stakes and casino side games. This is one of the fairest ways to operate on line poker tables since you will always be able to play to your strengths.

3. New Player Bonus

As with most other mobile poker operators (with the notable exception of mFortune), your Win Poker bonus is tied to your first deposit and released the more games you play.

Bonus Clearing Requirements

For every $1 you contribute to rake you will earn 20 “base points” and you need 800 of these reward points to release a $10 bonus. To calculate the bonus clearance ratio we divide 800 by (20 x 10):

Play through requirement = 4 x (four times contribution to rake).

This is a little higher than average but not by much.

4. Speed Holdem

Speed Holdem is the name WinPoker has chosen to give to the “fast poker” format in which you can choose to fold a hand and skip the rest of it. In doing so you get moved to a new table. This style of poker is particularly suited to mobile phones and tablets since the special software tools, like heads-up displays (HUDs), that PC pro players can use to gain advantage are less helpful in fast games.

So far the fast poker format has only been applied to Texas Holdem but there is no reason it couldn’t also work for stud poker varieties too.

5. Mobile Banking

The payment methods available are somewhat restricted but do include Neteller and Moneybookers as well as the usual credit cards. Some operators are experimenting with a much wider variety of mobile poker banking options.

Summary

This is, to the knowledge of the poker-mobile.org crew, the first app from the massive iPoker network – Playtech software alliance. Don’t get hung up wondering about what the cloud poker approach could mean – the most important things to focus on are whether this new app looks like it will offer (1) better value for money or (2) a better playing experience than the other apps out there.

  1. It’s not clear that this poker app offers particularly great value for money – the bonus clearance requirement is higher than average and the iPoker network is not known for being especially easy to win on, although this will obviously depend on your point of view;
  2. This app does offer a significant improvement on game play over many other tablet and iPad poker apps out there with all the features available.

Mobile poker players are probably still better off looking for an app that is better optimised for smaller screens.

PokerStars for Mobile

PokerStars’ mobile app has taken the lead by a country mile in the race to get a working poker application in players’ pockets. And even if your phablet, Samsung Galaxy tab or iPad3 is too big for your pocket, PokerStars’ apps for Android tablet and iPad operating systems have set the bar high for other operators to beat.

You may still opt to play at other mobile poker tables managed by a different operator because of the bonus they offer, the player pool or the banking options available. But it won’t be because you’ve a slicker poker app to play with more features. At least not yet, not now (late 2012).

1. Game Selection

PokerStars (PS) offers more than just mobile Texas Hold’em cash games, making apps like bwin’s seem somewhat pale in comparison. The vast majority of the standard options available to desktop players are also included in the smartphone app, including multi-tabling with up to four tables. Currently only WinPoker Mobile includes as many or more features.

Poker Varieties

Just as with the desktop app, the only limitation on which tables you can play via PS mobile is a function of demand from other players to join you at a one. So with PokerStars mobile all the following game varieties are available:

  • Omaha
  • Texas Holdem
  • 7 Card Stud
  • Draw

As usual, no-limit, pot-limit and fixed-limit versions of these games are all available from your smartphone’s PokerStars lobby.

Seats

Choose to play at heads up (2 player) tables and anything up to 10 seats. Again there is no restriction on table sizes, unlike some other poker apps. And you should never have to wait long for a table – with Mobile PokerStars you are swimming in the same pool of players as you would be with the desktop software.

Tournaments

PokerStars is one of only a couple of Android, iPhone and iPad apps that is offering the same tournaments to their smartphone and tablet players as they are to the rest. This is very significant: without access to tournaments you can’t enroll in the freerolls and you can’t get the most value possible from your account.

Zoom

Zoom Poker is a ring game format that means you can choose not to wait to see a hand play out and be moved immediately to a new table and a new hand as soon as you fold one you don’t like the look of. The games are fast and you can multi-table.

Top Tip: Zoom is perfect for mobile: the combination of speed with the limited helpfulness of poker strategy software with this type of game mean that it is slightly fairer than the average PokerStars table. Just about the next best thing to an anonymous game or one in which Heads Up Displays (HUDs) are banned.

2. Fairness

PokerStars’ fairness is probably more hotly debated than any other site’s, most likely due to the size of its active player pool. See the tip above if you are a recreational player looking to avoid the HUD menace. In general, look for certificates by recognised independent auditors, which PokerStars of course has:

  1. Cigital – audited PokerStars’ random number generator (RNG), which is what determines the cards you are dealt.
  2. GamCare – similarly, a key aspect of fairness is to protect players from gambling irresponsibly. PokerStars displays the GamCare certificate, which should mean it is doing as much as any operator to ensure we don’t get out of control.

Perhaps it will be a comfort to know that since PokerStars’s player pool is so large, there are many players out there keeping tabs on this operator by datamining the hand histories. On the other hand, screen names cannot be changed so easily, which means you’re stuck with the one you sign up with for a while and your play will be tracked by data-hungry sharks.

The round-robbin style games known as Zoom Poker offer some rest from poker tracking software. Some players like this one would like to see must-move games online – these would force players to play rather than sit around waiting for a newbie to rock up. No sign of them just yet though.

3. New Player Bonus

Either PS is super-confident about its app or it is content to let time take its course. Not sure what the answer is but whatever the reason there is no special PokerStars bonus for mobile customers.

The standard bonus is broadly similar to that offered by every major operator: a percentage of your first deposit, provided you risk some of your money in cash games (e.g. by at least seeing the cards flop in a holdem game) or by joining tournaments and sit’n’gos.

Bonus Clearing Requirements

The clearance requirement is the amount you need contribute to PokerStars’ rake to clear your bonus: rake = loyalty points = contribution to clearance. As an example, playing in about $700 worth of tournaments at tables with minimum stakes of over 5 cents will generate a rake contribution of a little over $31 and enough loyalty points to earn a $10 bonus.

For comparison purposes, think of this as a 3.1 x requirement.

4. Player Pool

We’ve already talked a bit about the PokerStars player pool in the section on fairness: it’s big, somewhat self-regulating and often controversial. The site itself says that it does everything within its power to prevent collusion and bots joining games. Its staff are prohibited from playing and this is “strictly controlled”.

All in all, PS is quantifiably less controversial in recent months than iPoker which split its player pool in two without really explaining why.

5. Mobile Banking

The banking options at PokerStars are endless and the security features second-to-none although PayPal funded PokerStars is notably absent. If you end up using the site a lot consider getting one of its security tokens to make it harder for people to hack your account.

Neteller, Ukash, PaySafeCard and Skrill (Moneybookers) are all there and the latter is well optimised for mobile banking.

Terminal Poker

Terminal Poker is doing things a little differently from the other mobile poker apps. It’s not just that its apps are browser based (no download required), the mFortune and Switch Poker for iPhone app are similar in this sense. The most important difference is that its games, which Terminal calls “Fast Poker”, follow the Rush Poker format popularised by the sleeping poker giant, Full Tilt.

Compare Terminal Poker with other mobile poker apps here.

1. Game Selection

Fast Poker is perfectly suited to the small mobile poker operator’s market – there’s no waiting around for games because places at tables are allocated and reallocated on the fly to ensure you always have a hand to play.

Other than the novel approach to seating players, Fast Poker is fundamentally no different to an ordinary poker game. Whether you’re playing Texas Hold’em ring games on your smartphone or Omaha tournaments on your iPad, the cards are the same as they are everywhere.

2. Fairness

It’s hard to find any information on the Terminal Poker licensing or auditing, which is a shame. On the plus side, since its part of the Instadeal network, which was recently granted an Alderney gaming license (see the AGCC’s list of licensees), you should feel fairly confident that you are signing up at a safe place.

3. New Player Bonus

Terminal’s mobile poker bonus is a very competitive 200% for new players – make a first deposit of €200 and you could get up to €400 free poker money to play with.

You’ll need the Terminal Poker bonus code CCGNEW to activate it. As with most poker bonuses you won’t get it all at once – you will clear it in €20 batches.

Bonus Clearing Requirements

Assuming you make a deposit of $40 using the Terminal Poker bonus code, you are entitled to receive $80 in poker bonus cash. To clear this you will need to contribute $200 to rake, which equates to a very reasonable clearing requirement of two and a half times your bonus (2.5 x).

4. Player Pool

TerminalPoker.com belongs to the Instadeal network, which means that the player pool is not as small as with other dedicated mobile poker operators. Plus, with its Fast Poker format waiting for games is not much of an issue. The question is more likely to be how competitive you judge the other players to be.

5. Mobile Banking

The deposit options available at Terminal Poker are:

  • Skrill (the new MoneyBookers brand)
  • PaySafeCard
  • CreditCards from VISA or Mastercard
  • Wire Transfer