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Zynga Poker has been the number one free Texas Hold ‘Em game on iOS for a couple of years now, and it’s easy to see why. The graphics are huge and clear, the gameplay is everything you would expect of a professionally created poker app, and providing you have a firm grasp of the rules of Texas Hold ‘Em, you can happily spend many hours a day competing against other poker players.

The sophisticated atmosphere of the game feels like you are playing high stakes games with real money in a casino. You actually aren’t unless you choose to invest in enormous quantities of chips, so it’s all a fantasy for the most part. You probably won’t ever see beautiful dealers such as the one in this game working in a real casino, nor will you win millions of dollars from a card game.

Poker has been around in one form or another on mobile platforms since they were first invented. This particular poker game is also available on Facebook (where most people discover it), Android, and Zynga’s own website, but having Texas Hold ‘Em as an iOS app simply makes access to your Zynga games account more convenient as it can be used with a wi-fi connection or 3G.

For those who have never played Texas Hold ‘Em (also known as “Holdem”) before, instructions and hints abound all over the internet. It is wise to acquaint yourself with the intricacies of poker before playing, as it can be overwhelming at first and you will lose a lot of money very quickly. In this app, there are random tables, tournament modes, and a separate shoot-out tournament for those who simply want a fast and furious one-off poker game.

There is room for up to 8 players on each table, and it works on a first-come, first-served basis. Once a table is full, gameplay begins. If you leave a table, you cannot return to the same one unless the poker game has finished and a space is still available for you. Often you will encounter the same players leaving and starting new games because they were not satisfied with the cards dealt them and did not wish to lose more money. If someone leaves in the middle of a game, they are shown to have folded and their avatar disappears when the next game at that table commences.

One of the best features of Zynga’s Texas Hold ‘Em is that you can win up to 100,000 free chips every day, and apparently, you can now enter tournaments to win real world prizes in certain countries too.

As with all gambling games, you have to be in the right frame of mind for Texas Hold ‘Em. You need to know when to bluff, how much to bet, and when to quit or your losses will be severe. This element of the game is down to the individual user, but beginners can be very annoying for older players. If you are new to the game, it pays to keep bets small and watch how other players interact. See how successful players make their moves before adapting your own style to fit in. Playing poker on an iOS app is a little bit different to playing in real life. It’s still fun though.

A chat section allows you to talk to other players, especially your Facebook and Zynga friends who are also playing against you. You can disable or ignore this feature if you want to concentrate more on your gameplay, but it can provide a friendly social networking environment without the need to run for additional messenger apps at the same time.

If you like playing poker, Zynga’s Texas Hold ‘Em has very few rivals. It’s precision betting controls are easy to use, and you will find it simple to place bets, win games, lose games, and cash in your chips. Visually, Texas Hold ‘Em is classy and uncluttered, it has a modern design underneath it all, and it most certainly looks the part.



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