Apple's iPad series is one of the tablet market's premium brands, and it's a great choice for playing online poker while on the go or from the comfort of your home. A top-of-the-line iPad fully loaded with all the extras compares favorably in power and ability to entry-level MacBooks, and the 9.7 / 12.9-inch screens make poker play much easier and more comfortable than it will be on any smartphone.
Also, if you're a poker pro that likes to run a heads-up display (HUD) and background tracking apps, you'll have a much easier time implementing those things on an iPad than you will on a phone.
The Player's Guide to iPad Poker
This guide will help you to locate and get started with real money poker apps for the iPad. It will also touch on hardware requirements, and some additional apps available for the system that will add an edge to your game.
How Do I Play Real Money Poker on an iPad?
The first and most important factor is being in a territory where online poker for real money is legal. It is because Apple uses a “walled garden” approach to their apps, forcing users to download pre-screened apps through iTunes. Apple won't host apps that allow real money wagering in territories where they are not legal.
What does that mean if you live in the United States and want to play poker on your iPad? If you're in New Jersey or Nevada, there are a range of real money poker apps that you can obtain through iTunes, since online wagering is legal in those states. Outside of those states, however, you're out of luck. You can try connecting to poker sites that allow playing through a web browser, but this option is usually more limited than installing an app or software, and far fewer poker sites offer it. And as with any online gambling site, your bank may block transactions.
If you're in a legal area, you're all set. The poker room or casino you want to play at will likely have a link redirecting you to their app's page on iTunes, or you can just browse the “Games” category for real money poker app offerings that look appealing.
One final tip is to look for iPad-specific versions of each poker app. Optimized versions of the app for iPad will take advantage of its enhanced power, giving you more features and a better screen layout.
iPad Poker Hardware Requirements
Apple's main theme is making things as simple as possible for the end user, and that includes concerns about hardware specs and performance. If you have a recent enough model of iPad, you should be able to run any poker room or online casino app out there.
If you have any of the following models you should be good to go:
- iPad Pro
- The iPad (2017 release)
- iPad Mini 2 or newer
- iPad Air
- 4th generation iPad
- If you have an older iPad that is not listed here, it may still be able to run poker apps, provided it can run iOS 6.0 or newer. You can check which version of iOS you have by tapping “Settings,” then “General.” If your version of iOS is outdated, tap “Software Update” while online to begin your free update process. Be aware that the oldest of the iPad models cannot be upgraded to iOS 6.0, however.
Helpful Supplementary Apps for iPad Poker Players
If you're interested in apps that can help you improve your game, a good place to start is with “What's The Nuts?”. This phrase is poker slang for the strongest hand in play. The app teaches you how to quickly identify the best possible hand given the visible cards on the table. You might also try Poker Quiz, which tests your knowledge of how to handle particular hands and situations that players commonly encounter.
It's also helpful to have some reference material at hand. Poker Starting Hand Analyzer will tell you the ranking and percentile of any Texas Hold'em hand you input and will suggest the mathematically correct course of action. Float The Turn takes it a step further, showing you a probability table for the turn and river based on what's already in play.
If you're planning to make a serious run as a poker player, the sooner you get started using a bankroll and win/loss tracker the better. These are helpful not just for accounting purposes, but to also determine how strong you are at each game; which will help you earn more money over time. Some favorites among iPad poker players include RunGood, Poker Income Ultimate, Poker Bankroll Tracker and the Poker Analytics series.
Poker Action on Your iPad
Getting poker apps set up is a little more restrictive with Apple products than it is on other platforms, and you'll probably need to be in a legal territory for it to work out. Once it does, however, you'll enjoy a better quality of the game than you'll get on nearly any other tablet. Just make sure you have a recent enough iPad with an updated version of the operating system, and get some tracking and training tools in place to help step your game up. Good luck at the tables!