Poker is a great game when you just get some folks together, drink a few beers, and play for low stakes. However, poker is also a great game when you want to get a little serious about making money.
Of course, if you want to become a competitive or professional poker player, you’re going to need some practice. After that, you’ll need to practice some more. And one of the easiest ways to get a lot of practice is to play online with real money.
That can get expensive, even in this day and age when playing online poker won’t win you any money but can cost you real money for virtual currency. Have no fear, though, there are plenty of poker apps you can use that don’t cost money to play.
Some of these apps may sell virtual currency, but most have giveaways you can use to recharge your chip stash. However, if you have enough of these virtual apps, you can rotate through and always have enough money to play somewhere. Here are the 10 best free apps to practice poker.
1. How to Play Poker – Learn Texas Holdem Offline
How to Play Poker – Learn Texas Holdem is a mobile application that’s available for both iPhone and Android.
It’s also nice because the game focuses on strategies and advanced topics that go beyond simple “learn to play apps.” There’s something for everyone in the app. It’s nicest feature, though, is probably it’s offline mode which means you can keep playing even without Wi-Fi.
2. Poker Heat
Poker Heat is, in a lot of ways, the opposite of How to Play Poker as this app is gorgeous to behold and features innovative controls that are almost more fun than the game. Therefore, if nice user interfaces are your thing, or you find some of the other entries on this list confusing, definitely give Poker Heat a try. The action is good and the competition will keep you guessing.
The app does hit you with a lot of ads and requests, but that’s not too atypical for free apps of any kind. So, it’s not bad, just something to keep in mind.
3. Texas Holdem Poker Deluxe
Texas Holdem Poker is both a mobile application you download to your phone or, if you’re not sick of sending your friend app requests of Facebook, the top-rated poker app on Facebook (according to its Google Play listing).
Either way, Texas Holdem Poker Deluxe starts you off with free chips and lets you replenish your stash with daily giveaways. Once you have all that sweet, sweet loot, you can instantly join a table, and play in sit and go’s or other tournaments.
Really, where this game excels is the easy Facebook connectivity, which can be nice if you don’t have a phone nearby or don’t want another app. It’s also got a really nice, professional looking interface that the company clearly took some pride in maintaining. This also means it’s easy to use, which can be a nice change from a lot of poker apps.
4. Governor of Poker 3
Governor of Poker 3 is the latest in a line of poker apps to wear the name “Governor of Poker” and is available on Steam, Android, and iOS. Like many others on this list, you start out with free chips you can grow via daily chip giveaways and by winning games or tournaments. Also, you can play blackjack, for when you need a Texas Holdem break.
All of this makes Governor of Poker a solid entry on the list. What distinguishes it, though, is its attitude. The whole game is an Old West theme with silly graphics to boot. There are also tons of ways to brag about your status and show off how good you are, which adds a bit of icing on the cake.
This may mean the app is not for everyone, but it’s a nice change from other apps.
5. World Poker Club
World Poker Club is another app that’s available for both mobile devices and Facebook. On this app, you play other Texas or Omaha Holdem poker, which is a nice change. Really, this is another solid entry into the world of free poker apps. It distinguishes itself through its commitment to fair play, which it takes very seriously.
6. Jackpot Poker
Formerly known as PokerStars Play, Jackpot Poker is a free mobile app from the famous online site, PokerStars. With a name like PokerStars attached to it, you know the game is going to be quality, even if they are a little insistent you pay them for more virtual currency.
The only drawback is that this app only offers Texas Holdem. Still, it features a fun, furious mode of poker called Jackpot Poker which features three players fighting over a prize. You can also play cash games, too.
7. Appeak Poker
Appeak Poker checks in on this list as another no-frills poker application, though that shouldn’t be taken as an insult. Appeak Poker wants to get you playing the game quickly and keep you playing, which means giving you nothing that might otherwise distract you from playing the game.
The interface is clean and the avatars look like stylized cartoons from a Disney XD show. Still, the app does exactly what you want it to do—give you the chance to play poker. You can enter the game immediately and start playing, choose one of its different poker modes, or defend your home country’s rep in the duel mode.
Either way, Appeak has lots to offer anyone looking to get in a few games.
8. VIP Poker – Texas Holdem
The maker of VIP Poker was once a client of mine, so I was excited to see them release a free app. Their mobile app strikes the right balance between being easy to play and featuring a really easy-to-use interface. In fact, VIP Poker is one of the easier applications to use on this entire list, even if the graphics aren’t up to the quality of others on the list.
Ultimately, though, the free currency is what makes VIP Poker great. I never ran out of free-to-play virtual currency with VIP Poker, so I always had it to play.
9. Zynga Poker
If it’s mobile or Facebook, you know Zynga is going to have an entry. And you know that entry is going to be a lot of fun to play, and that you will be asked to give real money (a lot). With that said, Zynga makes up for their constant ads with a gorgeous user interface, dealers with scanned images welcoming you to the table, and tons of extras.
There are several different tournament styles you can play and they offer a variant called “Jump Poker” where you are dealt a new hand after you fold. It keeps the action high, which is definitely not a bad thing. Overall, this is a great poker app to practice on.
World Series of Poker (WSOP)’s online app is still the class of the poker space. It’s attractive, it offers Texas and Omaha Holdem, and there are tons of minigames and challenges you can undertake to earn more virtual currency (on top of the standard daily chip giveaways).
Really, there’s no finer poker app to play on the web that doesn’t cost money and, consequently, you’re not likely to find many better online poker players in any free app on the web. All in all, this makes it the place to play.
My only gripe is with the betting amount slider. It’s easy to go all-in or bet a little money. Anything in between feels like a crap shoot based off of how the interface works. Still, that’s pretty minor compared to the rest of the app.
In the end, there are several places you can go to find a hot game of poker online. I liked these 10 because they are all professional, they don’t crash, and they offer something that makes them more fun to play. Any of them are great entries if you are looking to improve your poker game through experience.
If you’re not sure where to start, go to WSOP then work your way up the list. Also, feel free to download several apps. No one says you can’t have fun playing them all.