Online poker has come a long way in the US since the Black Friday crash in 2011.
Regulation has been stringent, and the industry has had to tighten up and build its reputation. Today, seven states have provisions for legal online poker, but only five currently offer games. However, other states are trying to push legislation through, having seen the positive impact the tax dollars have had in places such as Pennsylvania.
What the legalization of poker in some areas has led to is an improvement in the real money apps one can enjoy. With that in mind, we’ve prepared a short guide to some of the most notable.
Celebrating 10 years on iOS and Android in 2022, PokerStars is unquestionably the biggest app in poker. By 2012, it was estimated that between them, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker had over 60% of online market share. PokerStars’ reaction was to go all in and buy their competitor out. It’s paid dividends for them – these days it’s estimated over 15,000 players are on PokerStars daily; a figure which spikes in their frequent tournaments. ESPN.com reported that over 61,000 hopefuls took place in the weekly Sunday Million on March 22nd 2020. PokerStars’ depth of on-site talent might make it a little daunting for new players, but for the experienced card sharp, there’s no bigger pool to pick from for a game.
World Series Of Poker
With the world’s most high-profile live poker tourney, held annually in Las Vegas, it’s fitting that World Series Of Poker also has one of the best apps. Currently, it’s leading the way in the U.S. as the first online platform to have players from all three (New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware) legal American states competing against each other. Interest in the World Series Of Poker is always keen because of the big prizes on offer; last year Korey Aldemir took home more than $6m, and that is a figure likely to be at least matched this year. The World Series of Poker app offers qualification opportunities for the big tournament.
The partypoker app (formerly PartyPoker) is widely popular in Europe and is making headway in the US. Players and reviewers alike appreciate their quick and varied fund withdrawal methods and security features – you’d expect nothing less as it’s part of the giant Entain group, which also owns oddsmakers Ladbrokes and Coral. With the company’s background being in sports other than solely poker, they’ve taken an interesting strategy with their ambassador program. While PokerStars has focused on the big beasts of the physical card room, like Liv Boeree and Chris Moneymaker, partypoker’s pros are from the online realm and they have a dedicated Twitch team featuring players like the Staples brothers and famous eSports player Lilian ‘Clae’ Erdmann. They’ve further transcended the gap between salon and screen with the signing of comedian Kevin Hart. The partypoker app features anonymity for cash games, which makes it a good option for less experienced players – it nullifies the poker tracking software that some bigger fish use to keep tabs on players they perceive as being weaker.
Having first focused on Asia, GGPoker is now open to some North American and European players. Like partypoker, it offers nice touches which should appeal to the starting player. As well as removing the ability to save other players’ histories – which again, defeats much of the purpose of poker tracking software – there’s also the option to purchase all-in insurance for cash games. With peaks of over 10,000 players, only PokerStars and the Asia-only IDNPoker boast more traffic. A write-up at Poker.org characterizes this app as being highly interactive. Having launched in 2014, the platform’s software has recently been updated so players can express emoji reactions at the table. If it’s not quite virtual reality poker – which may be the next big thing in poker apps – then it’s a nice touch reminding the player that there are humans on the other side of the smartphone screen.
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