Review: Poker by Zynga

The reason why a Poker game developed by Zynga excels in its category is because the company could not afford to develop it half-heartedly knowing it’s the very essence of its popularity, influence and existence today. In 2007, the company developed a game for Facebook and no one actually thought it could claim dominance in market which has also been struggling. The popular Zynga Poker today was first launched for the social network as Texas Hold’Em Poker and since then, the game has taken off as the #1 poker app on iOS.

What’s even more exciting is the Zynga’s plan to dive into real money games.  According to, Zynga is planning to enter the real money market, but this particular app likely would only be available internationally since it’s released since online poker is still banned last I checked.  With the company struggling to generate revenue in the past couple quarter, Zynga desperately needs to make this concept work going forward.

Having been able to set its foundation firmly on Facebook, the company also developed confidence to capture the mobile market with its games. So, it started venturing out to iOS platform then Android. The game that was offered for free on Mark Zuckerberg’s platform is still being offered free on Steve Jobs’ world.

Poker by Zynga for iOS is basically the same as with other versions on other platforms. Being the most popular poker game, 600 million users a day come to the virtual lobby and look for table where they can sit and play their favorite game. For newcomers, there would always be new tables waiting either for 5 or 9 players. Tournaments are also always available for everyone who simply wants to jump right in.

For people who already know the game, there’s no problem getting familiar with the environment and play with friends, acquaintances or any players. Likewise, for people who are still learning the ins and outs, it is actually easy-to-learn that even the first time gamers can play it really well. Add a little of beginner’s luck and no one could ever resist not to play; that explains why more than 6 million players come back each day.

The graphics are consistent on all versions of Poker by Zynga. Players who might be used to playing the web version on Facebook and Google+ would not find it difficult to play on iPhone or iPad. The interface is the same and the buttons are well-labeled and placed on the spots where they can easily be found. In other words, whatever device you are using to play the game, you wouldn’t feel there’s a difference at all as Zynga has been consistent in using the popular graphics and button styles.

Poker by Zynga would automatically connect to the network upon launch on any device. This might be the only disadvantage and perhaps the only difference from other games on iOS platform because you cannot play when you’re offline or not connected to the Internet. But logic would tell us there wouldn’t be a challenge in playing poker with AI. As much as most of the people think poker is a gambling game, for me it is actually more of a psychological game than anything.

Offered at Apple App Store for free, there’s nothing you can really ask for if you are a long-time player of Texas Hold’Em Poker. The new update was more of an upgrade for the app as it is made compatible with the New iPad’s Retina Display and a preparation for the upcoming iPhone 5.

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