Playing poker on a tablet gives you improved technical specs and a significantly larger screen than a phone, but with the same portable capabilities. A tablet is the best way to participate in a game of poker while commuting, while on a trip or even during a break at work or school.
The Player's Guide to Tablet Poker
This guide will cover the different types of tablets supported by poker sites and casinos, as well as what you'll need in order to get started with their games. We'll also discuss what's different about playing poker on a tablet, and some useful accessories you can add to make the experience more like playing on a desktop or laptop.
What Kind of Tablets Can You Play Poker On?
The three dominant types of tablets are those that run Android, iOS, and Windows. Most of the poker rooms and online casinos you encounter will support all three of these tablet types.
Android is Google's operating system and is available in a wide variety of tablets from all sorts of different manufacturers. Android now has the largest install base of any operating system on any device. It has a significant lead over all other mobile operating systems which means that it's a virtual guarantee any online poker site will offer an Android app.
iOS is the operating system used exclusively on Apple's mobile devices and any device with iOS is a proprietary Apple product. Though it is second to Android regarding mobile users, iOS is still tremendously popular and virtually all of the biggest casinos and poker sites make apps available for it.
Microsoft has adapted the desktop/laptop version of Windows for tablets as well. What's great about Windows tablets is that if they are powerful enough, you can get the best of both worlds—desktop and laptop poker software running on a portable device. However, for this to work, you'll want a higher-end Windows tablet such as the Surface Pro.
Is There Anything Different About Playing Poker On A Tablet?
The poker apps at the major poker sites and casinos are very close in quality to the desktop/laptop versions. If you have a relatively recent tablet, the base experience is virtually identical with the better poker apps.
More advanced poker players do face a few limitations on tablets, however. Not all poker sites allow multi-tabling on their mobile apps, and when they do they set a limit of 3 or 4 tables. Poker pros also have more trouble installing their full range of support software, such as HUDs and hand trackers, on tablets. Of course, if you're a more casual player who just wants to enjoy a single table at each session, then none of these limitations should concern you.
Tablet play allows you to lie in bed, though some people find that makes them too comfortable and drowsy to play their best game! If you want to set up a tablet at a desk in the style of a desktop or laptop, however, there are accessories you can add.
Useful Accessories for Playing Tablet Poker
A tablet stand is a good idea if you want to sit at a desk and play. It's particularly useful if you want to attach a mouse and keyboard, or if you're playing at a live video streaming table that requires you to use your webcam. You can buy a variety of fixed stands made of aluminum that can be left at a desk, or a protective carrying case made of leather that folds out to prop the tablet up at an angle.
You can also add a mouse and keyboard to your tablet if you find it more convenient to play with them. If your tablet supports Bluetooth devices, you can connect both without the use of wires. If the tablet has USB ports, you can also plug in wired devices.
You might also consider purchasing a docking station for the tablet. These devices usually give you a stand, keyboard and added battery life all in one package. They also frequently add USB ports so that you can plug in a wired mouse if you desire.
Battery power can also be a serious problem, especially if you engaged in a long game while away from an outlet. Consider packing a portable power bank or two if you plan on playing for long periods of time on the road. These devices are relatively inexpensive, and will provide extra power to your tablet by way of a USB connection.
Tablet Poker for Serious Players
Desktop and laptop software still offers the fullest possible range of features, but tablets are quickly catching up to them. For the player who just wants to enjoy one table at a time and doesn't plan to be using lots of professional support software, the tablet experience is just as good as playing on a computer – especially if you add the right accessories.