Today, game studios offer players an amazing diversity of game genres: from highly advanced racing simulators, to open-world western-themed games with complex storylines, to the latest puzzle and quiz experiences. And that’s to say nothing of the variety in platforms and mediums as well, with modern gamers able to choose between current-gen consoles, great gaming laptops and PCs, and even some surprisingly powerful handheld devices.
So many games across all these platforms offer incredibly rewarding experiences for gamers. At the same time though, there are also cases in which gamers feel the need for something simpler –– which is where an established, tried-and-true option like the good old poker app can come in handy.
Often enough, loading up a poker app on your mobile phone or tablet is the perfect solution for idle time, or when you want a big of gaming competition without having to navigate an open world or a virtual war zone. And while some have been turned off of the genre over the course of the past decade due to confusion about what is and isn’t legal, the truth of the matter today is that there are a lot of great opportunities to play without having to bet real money (or, you know, risk breaking laws).
Let’s take a look at some of the best poker apps you can play without spending money.
Best Poker Apps
If you want to develop your poker skills without risking any money, then the best way to start is by playing against AI opponents. Surprisingly, there are very few apps that allow players to do this, with Offline Poker being one of the only noteworthy exceptions. As the name indicates, the app allows you to play offline in a single-player mode, making it an ideal first step before going into facing real opponents on the internet (whether for money or just for some fun competition).
Pokerstars’ excellent gameplay and interface have made it one of the most popular apps for playing poker online. Its reports indicate that hundreds of thousands of users log in to play the game every month, which makes things better for all involved.
Basically this means that when you log in, you’ll get the chance to switch between a huge number of tables to find one that works for you –– without having to worry that tables or tournaments won’t be full. You also get 15,000 free chips every four hours (keeping you from having to purchase more).
Oh –– and if you enjoy the app, you’ll be all warmed up for the virtual reality version, which is one of the more sophisticated VR poker offerings to date.
World Series of Poker
World Series of Poker is the official app of the famous poker tournament it shares its name with, and was highlighted in a comprehensive beginners’ guide to the rules of poker as one of the best options for people looking to play without real money.
You’re given a comfortable number of play-money chips to start playing with as soon as you sign up, and those chips refill every few minutes. That takes away the pressure of having to watch your stash too carefully, and helps you to enjoy the straightforward gameplay, satisfying graphics and animation, and live opponents.
It’s sort of the no-frills option, and it’s a game that beginners and experienced players alike tend to enjoy.
Apart from allowing players to use a picture in lieu of a cartoon avatar, Zynga’s interface is a bit simple. But this only enhances the game speed, while the intuitive controls make it easy to learn the game.
It’s also very easy to invite friends to play, and offers a fantastic sit-and-go option, which allows you to switch tables as soon as you’ve folded (thus allowing you to get more gaming in). The app also gives players free chips regularly.
Governor of Poker (series)
While most of these games focus on replicating the experience of playing poker at a casino, the Governor of Poker series enhances gameplay by placing you in the old west for your poker journey.
The game includes aspects common in other game genres –– like leaderboards, challenges, and the chance to unlock new areas. It also offers a free chip welcome package, and additional free chips every few hours.
Texas Hold’em Poker: Pokerist
The main advantage of Pokerist is that, despite its appealing interface, the games move faster than in any other app. This is because the game, by design, has very simple loading screens, preventing pop-up ads or overly complex animations that break players’ sense of immersion.
After all, there’s nothing worse than entering a state of flow while playing a long session of poker, only to be interrupted by out-of-place, quirky characters and unrequested offers. This app also rewards users who play every day with –– you guessed it –– free chips!
There probably hasn’t ever been a better time to play poker. Developers have perfected the art of providing realistic and fast-paced games that can be enjoyed by both beginners and experienced players.
On top of that, these apps help players to slowly improve their skills until they are ready to ramp up the competition as they please. You can’t go wrong with any of the above.