The majority of online gambling still takes place on laptop and desktop computers, but the number of people willing to bet cash on their smartphone or tactile tablet is increasing. In this article we will look at tablet-based gambling from a few different perspectives, focusing on real cash poker play.

Step 1: Picking a Real-Money Tablet Poker Site

The first step to playing poker on a highly-mobile but highly-functional tablet platform is simply picking a tablet-friendly poker site to join.

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I suggest that you analyze any potential tablet poker site you’re considering doing business with in four important categories:

Mobile Gaming

Does the site offer mobile play? The good news here is many Web-based casinos and poker rooms already offer a host of mobile-friendly games. If all you care about is poker, your options are more limited. But casino apps designed specifically for tablets are becoming common, and head-to-head poker services could follow suit.

Game Selection

Does the site have the kind of games you like? Not all mobile poker rooms are created equal, software-wise. Some feature an abundance of tables, while others have a more limited variety of games. Are tournament important to you? If so, check out the poker site’s tournament schedule.

Reputation

Does the site have a good reputation? Here we’re talking about customer service and business practices. It pays to do a bit of research when deciding on a poker provider, as sites range from professional to complete scams. Both are likely to have garnered a reputation at various poker forums and casino watchdog sites, and you can use this information to avoid those created for the sole purpose of ripping off members. You wouldn’t support a land-based business with a terrible history of customer satisfaction, so why would you do it online?

Payout Speed

How long will it take the site to deliver your winnings? Once you’ve racked up some wins at the poker table, how long does it take for your money to be delivered? The ideal speed ranges from instantaneous to about a week, although this can vary depending on which payment method you select. Anything longer is undesirable, as it’s often a sign of a less-than-reputable establishment.

An Example of a Mobile Poker Site Analysis

For the purposes of this article, let’s take a look at my examination of Bovada.

I have always liked Bodog, and Bovada is a US-facing site that offers practically the same design and range of games. They also happen to accept U.S. customer, which is a requirement considering that I live in Texas.

Bovada & Mobile Gaming

At Bovada, I don’t have to download any software before I can play. All I need to do is visit the appropriate URL, create an account, and I’ll have immediate access to poker. This applies to iPhones, tablet computers, and Android devices as well.

Some operators, however, require you to download their software before you can play. This is true with PokerStars and a number of other leading sites. Luckily, the downloading process is painless and only takes a matter of minutes (or less, depending on your connection speed). Once this has been accomplished, you can create an account and gain access to both free and real-money games.

Bovada’s Game Variety

Bettors can choose between playing for fun and playing for real money. A lot of players being with free play and later graduate to the cash tables.

Once you’ve found a poker room and opened account, all the site’s gaming options are at your disposal. It should be noted, however, that the mobile versions of casinos and poker rooms often provide fewer options to the player. With casinos, this usually means fewer slot machines are available, while poker players may find a reduced number of tables.

Bovada, for example, offers cash and free versions of their games, but only Zone Poker is available to their mobile customers. This speedier version of the game is meant to reduce the waiting period after a player folds their hand. In order to do so, players are transported to a table where a new hand is about to be dealt. These differences vary from one poker room to another, but it’s always a good idea to find out about them in advance.

Bovada’s Reputation

Bovada has a decent reputation online. I looked at sites like AskGamblers, CasinoMeister, and CasinoListings, and I couldn’t find anything to be all that concerned about. A Bovada representative admits (in this thread from the CasinoMeister forum) that there have been “delays” in payment in the past. That’s fairly common in online poker, particularly in the US market. CasinoListings called the site “… one of the best options for American players.” I have nothing to really fear from my research into Bovada’s reputation.

Bovada’s Payout Speed

Posted reviews of Bovada’s payout times indicate that the “pending period” is between 48 and 72 hours, followed by a wait of 5-28 days, depending on the method used and the specifics of the withdrawal. That’s not the worst I’ve ever seen in the American poker market, but it’s not the best, either.

Overall, I think I’d be pretty happy playing poker on my tablet through Bovada, though the payout speed is a bit slow for my taste, and I’m not crazy about how their GUI looks on my iPad, but that’s really a matter of personal taste.

I hope you’ve seen that finding (and playing) safe real money poker on a tablet is easy, provided you do the research. Most of the time, all you have to do is visit a URL on your tablet and open a player account. From there, a brave new world of technological innovation is available, allowing the player to enjoy their favorite forms of poker anywhere within range of a Wi-Fi connection.