iPhone App Review: Poker Buddies

iPhone App Review: Poker Buddies

February 1st, 2011 by

There’s nothing quite as exciting as a game of heads-up poker against a worthy opponent. There’s an art to poker as well as a science and only players with patience and skill, as well as a knowledge of the cards, will have the talent to wipe out their opponent and feel the thrill of victory.

And winning prizes would be nice too, which is where Poker Buddies comes in. Play against friends or random opponents in a heads-up game, where only the player with all of the chips will win in the end. Rack up points and have a chance to win one of several instant-win prizes, or be in the monthly prize drawing for the larger items.

The main playing screen.How It Works

The app itself is simple: you first create an account, then start a game. You can search for or add friends, but the fastest way is to just let the app find a random opponent for you. Once a game is underway you will receive push notifications when it is your turn to act. The play is turn-based, so you can have several games going at once and bounce back and forth between them all at will. You can even play online using the same interface as is available on the iOS app.

Playing a game is easy, thanks to the simple interface. When it’s your turn to act you will have three options: Fold, Check, or Bet. These all work the way you would expect in real poker. One player has the dealer button, there are big and small blind bets for each hand, and the bets grow as the game progresses. There is also a chat box in the app so that you can speak politely to one another as men do when they play poker.

Pros And Cons

The major positive feature of this app gives rise to its most negative aspect: it’s extremely addictive, leading to a fun game of “watch your battery die”. Seriously, I could not stop playing this last night, into this morning, even at stoplights as I drove around town.

Managing your games in progress.There are prizes at stake, but I haven’t played long enough to earn one. The instant prizes have high point requirements, but they are truly instant. When you reach that point level, you are sent the prize. The monthly drawings have lower barriers to entry but it’s just a drawing, so your odds of winning are smaller.

The app itself is extremely well done, with only a couple of minor quirks: when placing a bet you are given a slider to select the amount. This just doesn’t work, since your fat finger will most likely block the numeral that shows how much you’re betting, and whenever you let go of the slider it shifts a bit from where you intended to place it. A numerical entry box or spinner would be a nice alternative for accurate betting. The other issue is that there is no way to exit once you’ve tapped on the “raise” button. With three buttons right beside each other (and aforementioned fat finger trying to select them) the occasional accidental selection happens, and with no way to exit the raise screen without actually raising you will bankrupt yourself quickly.


This app is free, it’s fun, there’s a possibility of winning prizes… what could possibly go wrong? Just carry your charging cable with you, you’re probably going to need it.

  • GoPackGo81

    I agree, very addicting. I've noticed some of the quirks you mentioned, but I'm sure they'll fix on an update. I personally think this is one of the best poker apps due to it being free (ads not intrusive at all) and the one-on-one heads up style…. P.S. I'm 22 pts from qualifying for the PS3 drawing!

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