Once upon a time, if you wanted to play poker while visiting the in-laws, you had to take a bulky lap-top with you and hope that nobody noticed it plugged in across the dinner table. Now, thanks to mobile phone technology, you can play far more discreetly under the tablecloth, in the bathroom or in the old man’s shed!
Seriously though, the reality of playing online poker from your mobile has now arrived and, although we do not advocate going all-in whilst speeding around the M25, it is a good idea to be able to register for your regular games if you are stuck in traffic, delayed at the office or otherwise engaged (like when you cannot get away fast enough from the in-laws!).
To be able to access your favourite sites on your mobile, you will need to have a phone that supports “Data Wireless Packages” (WAP). If in doubt, visit www.wapmad.com from your mobile and, if you can view the site, you are okay. If you experience any problems, speak with your telephone service provider and get them to set up a WAP facility on your phone.
Once you have WAP is up and running, visit one of the web sites listed below and download the appropriate application for your phone. Most of the poker rooms have developed interfaces on their software so that the images that appear on your screen are similar to those that appear on your home computer, and the deposit and withdrawal process is exactly the same as it is from your desktop. If you have an existing account, you will be able to log in via your phone, and all the poker sites offering this facility use the same encrypted technology as supports e-commerce security and privacy on the Internet.
Modern mobile phones have plenty of capacity for dealing with the size of the data streams required to play poker on your mobile. Most games use around 10Mb per hour, so you will need to check with your service provider regarding the cost before getting involved in a long game. Also consider whether you are going to be passing through areas with a poor reception, and check that your battery will not die on you just as you reach the final table!
Being able to play online poker from your mobile has many benefits, but you should be aware that players have already reported that their play has become looser when using this facility. Maybe this is to do with associating mobile phones with urgency and always being on the go. Maybe it has more to do with your mother-in-law pounding on the bathroom door!
Sites which offer downloads to your mobile phone:-
Pokerstars have their mobile app under development.
Mobile poker software runs smoother on Windows Mobile OS, and there is no app for the Apple iPhone yet because of Apple’s insistence that they will not allow real money games on their phones.