Since the Department of Justice cracked down on Internet poker earlier this year, American players have been left with fewer ways to get their poker fix. Some have gone to casinos, but many now enjoy the game on their iOS device. With gambling legislation as it is, you’re limited to play-money betting, which naturally makes bluffing less important and wins less exciting. But even with that caveat and the monumental challenge of programming convincing poker AI, these apps can still be a fun way to pass the time. Read on for our five favorite poker games for iPhone.
#5: All-In Poker
Though there isn’t even a persistent bankroll from game to game, this title offers a peak at the variety of poker games on the App Store. If you want to play Razz, Fixed Limit Hold ‘˜Em, and then Badugi without opening different apps, All-In Poker is your go-to option. It features more poker variants than most people have even heard of, although it’s very limited in its features other than that.
#4: Texas Poker
Texas Poker is the only title that competes with Zynga Poker in terms of popularity, and both games offer a very similar experience. Texas Poker has more in the way of electronic baubles, and its tournaments are much quicker, which is arguably better for the short-session nature of iOS gaming. However, the game makes a serious mistake when the the table gets down to two players. The dealer is supposed to be the small blind in heads-up play, and Texas Poker gets this backwards, giving the big blind to the button.
#3: Heads Up: Hold’em (1-on-1 Poker)
Featuring an intuitive interface and creative local multiplayer, this heads-up game also features some of the more sophisticated AI that we’ve seen. The $1.99 version of the game has a dozen different personalities to play against, and they can be a legitimate challenge to beat. It’s a shame the game only allows one-on-one play, but this limitation seems to have allowed the developers to fine-tune the game’s superlative AI.
#2: Zynga Poker
You’ve probably already heard of Zynga Poker, as it’s one of the most popular releases on the App Store, almost always showing up in the top-grossing list on iTunes. It’s got a slick interface, and it’s well-suited for quick, pick-up-and-play sessions. It’s very simple– maybe to a fault, but if you want to play the game against other people, Zynga Poker is probably your best bet.
#1: World Series of Poker Hold ‘em Legend
Being free, World Series of Poker Hold ‘em Legend won’t hit your wallet, but it’ll definitely leave a big impression. The game features full-motion video, a substantial single-player campaign, and multiplayer cash games. The game isn’t perfect, but we think this is the most complete poker title on the App Store. See our full review for more detailed coverage.