Gaming on the iPhone is incredibly popular. You could even make the argument that Nintendo and Sony have to be shaking in their boots over just how good iPhone gaming is. There is something to be said for the convenience of always having the device on you. With a PSP or a 3DS, you have to carry around an extra device.
One of the most popular card games in the real world is Texas Hold ’em, and it is a game that adapts itself very well to the iPhone, because an iPhone is always connected; making it easy to be online and play against real people (for fake money of course). It also works well on a phone because you can choose to play a couple of quick hands if you only have a minute to kill, or you can sit down and play a whole tournament if you have a lot of time. No matter what you are looking for from a poker game, these three all deliver, but I have to choose which one is the best.
Who will win the great iPhone poker battle? Place your bets, because it is time for the battle to begin.
Texas Poker is a solid Hold ’em game for the iPhone. It offers a tutorial for new players. There are tables for quick play, and tournaments. Depending on how much play money you want to invest at the start of a tournament, you can play for any amount ranging from $100 to $1 million.
The free play lobby lets you scroll through a bunch of tables of your selected buy in and sit down and play a game at whichever table you choose, as long as you have the pretend money available.
Texas Poker offers friends list and a user profile, so you can easily keep track of your progress and performance. You can also synchronize with Facebook. This allows you to share big games, and not have to create an extra log in.
Zynga Poker is by the most popular poker game on the iPhone, but just being the most popular does not necessarily mean the best. Zynga offers all the social integration that Texas Poker does, with friends lists, stat tracking and Facebook integration.
As far as the poker goes, Zynga Poker is one of the best iPhone games in this genre. It offers tables at every buy-in imaginable for quick sit and play, and tournaments for every denomination as well. The thing they offer that I have not seen elsewhere is the Shoot out tournaments. These are akin to the World Series of Poker, where it is a multiple round tournament, and the goal is survive each round and move forward to the next. This is great practice for anyone who actually wants to play longer poker tournaments.
Zynga has many people playing. As I write this there are 245 thousand players online, so finding people to play with is never difficult.
Mega Poker is a little different from the other two games on list. The layout is not at all similar. In Mega Poker, there is a lobby with a bunch of games listed and you choose one that has the stakes you are looking for. Once you find a game you like, you jump in and get ready to play some poker.
If you are playing the lite edition, which is free, you only get 1000 chips to start with, so you have to choose one of the lower stakes tables. You also have to be good enough at poker to make that 1000 bigger so you can move up to the higher tables.
In order to keep track of progress in this game you have to make an account. There is no Facebook built-in, so you have to do it manually. It is easy enough; just choose a user name and password, type in your name and email and you will be ready to go.
And the Winner is…
Zynga Poker takes the cake for playing poker on the iPhone for two reasons. The first reason is the volume of players on the application make is so easy to find a game anytime. The other reason is the shootout tournaments. No other application I can find offers this, and it is such a cool feature that it gives them the edge over the competition.
What are your favorite iPhone poker apps? Do you play any of these particular games? Let us know in the comments!
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