Although we’re both likely past the midpoint of our lives, Paul and I both are dependent on our smartphones. I wish I could resist checking email (and the news) better than I do. But I love the knowledge that my smartphone brings to my fingertips. I have apps for the weather, apps for checking on my bank account, games, and, of course, poker apps. There are a lot of good poker apps out there, but a few are particularly helpful for players like us. We often travel to play poker, and are always looking for information about the best cardrooms, tools to help us track our game, and tools to help us play better. We have found the following apps to be the 5 best poker apps for recreational players.
Best Poker Apps
Note: Most of these resources are available on the web, as well as in app form. For ease of identification, links below lead to each app’s full website. You can download apps from there, or by visiting Apple’s App Store.
Whenever we’re looking for information about a card room, tournament action, or cash poker activity, our first stop is Poker Atlas. Poker Atlas has a wealth of information. This app offers the location, hours, number of tables, and other important information for rooms across the United States. It also displays brief user reviews, and often has upcoming tournament schedules. However, the reason that Poker Atlas is our number one poker app is its live activity stream. It shows us how many tables are currently running at our favorite poker room. It also offers live tournament clocks. So if I have knocked out of a tournament and Paul is still playing, and he tells me he has 40,000 chips, I can quickly see that means he is below average stack and down to 5 big blinds. Priceless.
Note, however, that Poker Atlas, and its companion Bravo Poker Live (see below) only share real-time information. Paul and I have started to compile historical information about cash table activity. This will be particularly helpful for those looking to plan a trip (or a Saturday night). We currently have the New England and Las Vegas tables live, with more to come throughout the year.
Bravo Poker Live
Bravo Poker Live offers much of the same information as Poker Atlas. We have found that most rooms are covered by one app or the other. We prefer Poker Atlas when it is a choice, as we find the app to be less glitchy. It also does a better job of covering live tournament information. There is also often a significant time lag when trying to access cash numbers through Bravo which we have never experienced with Poker Atlas. In general, we find the presentation and style of Poker Atlas easier to access and read. However, if a room is covered by Bravo, and not Poker Atlas, then Bravo is the only place to be.
Poker Income Tracker
We are big believers in tracking our poker winnings and losses. We have a poker budget and we (mostly) stick to it. As data analysts, we keep spreadsheets galore. And not only so that we can track which one of us is winning our annual competition to see who had a better poker year. If you’re not a spreadsheet fiend like us, Poker Income Tracker is one of the best poker apps you will find for tracking your poker year. It allows you to enter information for both cash and tournament play, tracks your results and allows you to analyze variables such as which rooms are most profitable for you and at what stakes you are most successful. It allows you to download your data and leaves you space for taking notes on your game.
Tournament Poker Coach
If you have some downtime, and you’re looking to do a little tournament poker training on your phone, Tournament Poker Coach is an excellent option. This app lets you play hands previously played in major events from a variety of tournament structures, levels, and stack sizes facing a range of opponents. The app then offers instant and detailed feedback on your play. The app offers helpful advice whether you are a beginning poker player or a regular grinder. Note that while the download is free, there are in-app purchases to buy “Hand Packs” or sets of training hands. You can also collect in-app coins through your play to enable you access to Bonus Hand Packs for free.Here are the best poker apps for the recreational playerClick To Tweet
Paul and I have been using Poker Timer for years. This app is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a poker tournament timer that you can set up for home games. Or, as we have, just for some friendly tournament action at the kitchen table. Poker timer allows you to set your blind structure and level times and then off you go. This is a nice, simple app that does exactly what it promises. We find the interface both intuitive and attractive.
While these are not apps, they are excellent resources that can be quickly accessed on your phone or tablet.
Advanced Poker Training’s ICM Chop Tool
While this is not strictly a poker app, we are big fans of Advanced Poker Training’s Tournament ICM Chop Tool. It can be easily accessed through your tablet or phone when you are on the final table of a tournament and starting to think about a chop. While players often agree to an even table chop, these turn out to be poor equity situations, particularly if you are the big stack at the table. An ICM chop is much more likely to offer a fair shake for the bigger stacks, while allowing small stacks to get a much better proportion of the pot than they would receive in a simple chip chop. Some cardrooms will calculate ICM chops for you (we have successfully asked for ICM chop calculations at both The Venetian and Playground Poker Club in Montreal). Others either will not or do not know how. If you’re big stacked at the final table, you definitely want access to an ICM chop calculator before agreeing to any kind of deal.
Poker Pilgrims’ Map of US Card Rooms
Whether you are planning a long term poker trip or find yourself in Orlando with the family desperately looking for a spot to play, our Map of US Poker Rooms is there for you. With the click of a button you can find the poker room nearest you, see the type of room (casino or cardroom), the number of tables, access the room’s website, and (if we’ve been there) read a room review. All poker rooms in the US with at least 10 tables are included (plus some other favorites). We update our map at least twice a year, so you always have the latest information on where to play.
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