Poker is everywhere in 2021 across all types of digital media.
Rounders and Molly’s Game, two seminal poker films, have recently been added to streaming sites. Casinos are opening again, and the famous World Series of Poker is likely to be in the news this fall. There’s been a huge poker boom online too, with Globenewswire.com reporting lots of providers recording huge profits after a year in which people have been restricted to their homes. Some have suggested that we’re on the cusp of a second poker boom, if not already plunging headfirst into it.
The first poker boom, sparked by the film Rounders and Chris Moneymaker’s 2003 WSOP win, saw lots of new players drawn to the tables. A second poker boom might look a bit different; since 2003, we’ve seen the arrival of social media, iPhones and apps for everything. We’re not talking about one of the ‘5 Most Expensive Apps for Your Phone’ either, but free ones with no cost to you.
In the last boom, playing poker meant signing up to an online provider and almost always spending money, but Poker.org explain how in 2021, the best way to hone your skills is to play at free online poker sites. These are sites that deliver a poker experience but without any upfront cost. Be aware, though, that some of the sites have a ‘freemium’ model, which means certain elements are free, but others hide behind a paywall.
Even the freemium model is less risky than playing online for real money, and it means budding poker players get a chance to practice their skills without fear of financial loss. If you want to find a great free app to test yourself, we suggest the following three as being amongst the best.
Appeak Poker is a freemium game, but it delivers a great poker experience at the same time. Using Texas Hold’em as its core variant, it links you with other players globally to test your skills. There are tournaments to take part in and leaderboards to help you track your progress. You are given a limited number of chips to play with, but you can buy additional chips if you so desire. Be aware that they have no cash value, there’s no cashing out; it simply facilities longer play.
When you log into Zynga Poker, you could be fooled into thinking you’ve stumbled into a real money game. It has a great aesthetic and comes from Zynga, so you know the mechanics will be good, too. They have a great record with apps and mobile games, having already released the likes of Words With Friends and Farmville. Their poker game has a rich history going back 14 years, and in 2011 was the world’s most populated poker site, with 38 million registered players.
World Poker Club
Whilst Texas Hold’em is the variant of choice for most players, we like to see apps use other games, too. World Poker Club is one such app; it boasts Pot-Limit Omaha and the more universal Texas Hold’em. Like most good free apps, it has many tournaments and events you can participate in, pitting your wits against other players from around the world. There’s a unique gesture system too, which is a fresh take on controlling the game, appealing to some players.