The best Texas hold’em poker game on the Android period.

If you’re looking for a slick, solid and well populated android poker game then look no further than Live Holdem Poker Pro. beware the 5000 chip daily limit though. [Updated] New daily bonus is 1000 chips every 4 hours.

Gameplay: Texas hold’em poker is by far the most popular variant of poker in the world and it is the most popular for a reason.  The rules are clear and the fact that the 5 community cards are shared lower the odds one needs to calculate for a chance of victory.  This leaves one to get on with what poker is really about: reading people.  While online versions of poker do lose the face to face element (no dodgy sunglasses, fake moustaches or outrageous dress here) there are still plenty of ways to get the ‘tell’ on your opponent.  Which brings us to a particular advantage of online poker – people, lots of people.  While we were testing Live hold’em Poker Pro there was never a shortage of people playing and we played at some really odd times of the day.

The table's a little plain but more importantly clear

A timer next to each players avatar ticks down when it’s their turn ensuring most players stay responsive and games as quick as you’d expect. Another great strength of Live hold’em Poker Pro is the range of tables available.  Worried about your newbie poker skills?  No problem. DragonPlay’s offering has a large range of tables (including a Platinum table for high rollers) with differing buy-ins and blinds. With respect to ‘money’ you get 12k free chips on registration and 5k chips as a daily bonus per day if you log in which at least lends some sense of value to chips. If you decide to bet erratically or not play properly you’ll quickly be staring at 0 in the bank and not be able to continue playing.  Though this limit will probably annoy some people, I think that this causes you to take the game and your betting habits somewhat more seriously.

Of course if you run out of chips in the day and absolute must play then Live Hold’em Poker Pro has plenty of options (paypal, google checkout, credit card) to use real money to buy more chips! The quick play also seems to be pretty good at finding players of similar skill levels. Having such a rich ecosystem of people of different abilities ultimately makes Live hold’em very enjoyable but this would be nothing without… 

Execution:  Which DragonPlay has excelled at.  UI for the most part is clean and clear, the buttons are large enough, easy to press and laid out logically – I don’t recall ever checking when I wanted to bet.  Menus are pleasant and clear and within 30 seconds I must have been set up and in a game.  Speed of finding a table was excellent and there was only 1 dropout I can remember in all the games I played.

Menus showcase the variety of game tables

That’s not to say to say Live Holdem Poker Pro is perfect however.  Sometimes it’s unclear how much people have actually bet as the numbers for the amount in the pot and how much each person has bet are a bit on the small side. The largest issue I faced however is definitely the betting slider.  When one clicks to bet: a slider comes up which allows you to slide to the amount you want to bet – the problem with this is that it’s rather too sensitive and does not lock to sensible amounts, hence you’ll frequently see people bet rather odd amounts, $367 for example.  Because it’s too sensitive too, when one has a lot of money it’s hard to put down a small bet as the slider is not granular enough.  A sensible solution would be some sort of number pad.

Verdict: 4/5 Live Holdem Poker Pro is certainly worthy of being the best/top poker game on Android Market.  It’s slick execution, pleasant graphics and (generally) easy to use UI are to be applauded.  Add that to the fact that games of similar skill levels can automatically be found with their excellent ‘find a table’ option, a finite amount of gold with excellent in-app purchasing options then you get a brilliant smooth round of poker.  The only issue is that it might tempt you to spend hours glued to the small screen of your  android phone.

Android Game Review Tips for Live Holdem Poker Pro:

  • Look at the star level rating of your opponents to gauge how experienced your opponents are.
  • Try to remember how much chips you have left for the day
  • Have a look at how quickly people make their bets to determine how confident they are
  • Don’t be afraid to bet BIG!
  • Most people play (poorly) by probabilities in poker and hence look at their bet amounts per round to get a good sense of what hand they might have…

Live Holdem Poker Pro QR Code:

(Click on the image or scan with your Android Phone to goto the Android Market)

Developers: Dragonplay