Five Essential Poker Apps
The Tip Top Fox looks at the best poker-related apps on the market that every player should have on their mobile phone
Whether you are visiting the Mac App Store or browsing for Android apps, there are literally hundreds of poker apps on the market.
Outside of mobile poker clients that allow real money play, there are a wealth of poker apps available. These range from bankroll management apps, odds and equity calculators, game theory optimal (GTO) training tools, and poker streaming services.
The Tip Top Fox has compiled a list of the top five essential poker apps dealing with all of the above criteria that no discerning poker aficionado should be without. Read on as we give you the lowdown on what we think are some of the best poker apps on the market in 2021.
Disclaimer: The Tip Top Fox is in no way affiliated with any of the poker apps mentioned, these are just the ones we think are the best of the bunch. Obviously, when it comes to third-party content, it’s up to you to read the terms and conditions. The Tip Top Fox is in no way responsible for any content provided by these platforms. So with that out of the way, let’s get into the poker apps:
Best Poker App For Bankroll Management
Money management is key in all aspects of life, but nowhere is this more important than in poker. After all, if you have no money, then you can’t play. Managing your money is the key to success at the poker tables and proper bankroll management is essential if you want to succeed at the game in the long term.
This being the case, there are a slew of bankroll management poker apps available. The majority of them offer both a free lite version (often with ads) and a paid-for version. Prices range from as little as $0.99 all the way up to subscription-based models that charge $29.99+ a year.
Poker Bankroll Tracker
Of these though, it is the free Poker Bankroll Tracker that is the best of the bunch. Available on the Mac App Store and the Google Play Store, this is the top-rated bankroll app on the market currently. The app boasts a 4.8 out of 5-star rating on the former, and a 4.5 out of 5-star rating on the latter.
It’s primarily for tracking live play, after all, there are already some pretty good poker software options available for tracking online results. If you already have sessions stored on another app it’s pretty easy to transfer data, with CSV exports available from the majority of rival apps on the market.
Free Versus Paid Version
The free version is a solid choice for the casual player. That being said, it also contains ads, which are mildly annoying. This means users need to upgrade to the paid-for version to get away from irritating pop-ups.
This minor gripe aside, the app has some serious functionality regardless of which version you opt for. The paid version is a subscription-based model costing $9.99 per year for those more serious about their poker game.
Users can store an unlimited number of sessions regardless of which version they are using. They can also connect with friends on the same app to share sessions and hands.
Both versions offer a % odds calculator and also a deal calculator for tournament play. There is also a player notes function. In addition to this, there is a hand recorder for real-time recording and tracking of statistics in-game.
Notable upgrades available for those who chose to subscribe include mass data imports. Subscribers can also player pictures, and have the ability to track player versus player stats. In addition to this, sessions can be broken down by game type, stake, and location.
While basic graphs and charts are available in the free version, the subscription model offers more in-depth options. These include a large selection of filters to visualise user sessions. Some of these are win/loss data, hourly rate, and a whole host of other useful features. All data can be backed up, regardless of which version you are using.
A nifty feature for those into streaming is the free overlay function. This allows users to display slick, professional-looking graphics over videos of gameplay, just like in a poker TV show.
With a user-friendly interface, an in-depth manual, and a comprehensive FAQ section, this is definitely one of the better tools on the market for bankroll management.
Best Poker App For Crunching the Numbers
When it comes to improving your poker game, it’s all about crunching the numbers. This usually comes in the form of utilising a poker hand matrix. This is a great way to visualise the possible hand ranges your opponents can show up with at any given time.
While Daniel Negreanu often pulls off what appears to be Jedi mind trickery by calling out his opponents’ exact hole cards, in reality, it’s all about putting your opponent on a range of hands. All poker professionals do this on a regular basis. Working out how to calculate hand ranges and using this information to make the best decision possible is key to becoming better at the game.
One of the best free tools to do this is Poker Cruncher, which is essentially an advanced version of the PC-based PokerStove program. This poker equity calculator is available for both Mac, iOS, and Android. It comes in a range of prices, depending on what it is you are looking for.
The free version comes with a 2.5 out 5-star rating on the Mac App Store, though we feel this is misleading. While this is marketed as a ‘pre-flop version’ it allows the user to input a number of variables for up to 10 players for all stages of a hand.
Ranges can be allocated for each player, and hands can be examined in detail. This is better for working out ranges and equities after the fact. For example, reviewing difficult decisions from a poker session after the conclusion of play. As the name suggests, it’s mainly used to deal with pre-flop hand ranges and the odds and equity calculations determining the best decisions before the flop.
Free Versus Paid Version
While the ‘pre-flop version’ is not practical for real-time use, there are three more advanced versions that offer a great deal more functionality and extensive built-in hand ranges and filters. These deal with post-flop decisions and more in-depth hand and range analysis
The ‘PokerCruncher – Basic – Odds‘ version costs $3.99 and comes with a few more filters. Both this and the free version are fully functional. However, more in-depth analysis is only available in the more expensive versions of the app. It’s probably only worth considering these if you play a sizeable volume of online poker and/or play professionally.
The ‘PokerCruncher – Advanced Odds‘ App is available for iPhone and Android priced at $12.99. An iPad version is available for $17.99. Both Mac versions boast a 4.9 out of 5-star rating. The Android version has a 4.4 out of 5-star rating. All are mainly for mobile use. While they are great for working out odds and equity calculations on the fly, to really get the most out of it you need the desktop version.
The ‘PokerCruncher – Expert – Odds‘ version is only available on the Mac App Store and comes with a hefty $49.99 price tag. Having said that, this is a one-time purchase price, rather than a subscription-based model.
For that, you get functionality that surpasses the standard features. This version offers range equity breakdown, with a selection of heat maps and hand combo stats. It also offers a selection of range equity distribution graphs, top x% hand orderings, percentage weights in hand ranges, color-coded groups in hand ranges, and a large filter range.
There is a solid range of tutorials freely available on the Poker Cruncher website, no matter which version you opt for. That makes it one of the must-have poker apps out there.
Best Poker App For GTO
As online poker has developed there has been a significant increase in the use of ‘solvers’ to aid in working on your game. These are software programs that specialise in using Nash equilibrium solutions to provide players game theory optimal (GTO) solutions for complex situations that crop up in poker games, be it cash or tournaments.
Calling these programs ‘solvers’ is a little misleading as they don’t actually solve the game or do your thinking for you. Rather, they should be considered as learning tools to help you improve your poker game. A good grasp of solid poker fundamentals is a prerequisite to using them. However, they are certainly an aid to bringing your game up to the next level.
There are two pretty good GTO poker apps available for working on optimizing your game. The first is for tournaments and the other for cash.
Best Poker App For Tournaments: DTO Poker Trainer
The first is from German high-stakes tournament specialist Dominik Nitsche, and one of his poker students Markus Prinz. Nitsche has won over $18.6M playing in some of the world’s biggest live poker tournaments. Prinz is also no slouch and boasts over $1M in live winnings.
The duo came up with a rather nifty idea in the form of the DTO Poker Trainer. This poker app plays like a video game with the object being to play as close to GTO as is possible. Available on both the Mac App Store and the Google Play Store, DTO scores 4.8 stars out of 5 and 4.7 stars out of 5 respectively.
Primarily focused on tournament play, the DTO app is free to download and is a collection of video tutorials and pre-programmed pre and post-flop poker problems. Professionally packaged with a slick graphical interface, users can choose a variety of poker problems or ‘spots’ to solve.
The majority of these scenarios are post-flop. Users are able to customize several variables such as pre-flop action, stack size, and position. Points are awarded for each decision made in the post-flop betting, with an evaluation rating how GTO these decisions were given at the end of the problem.
Free Versus Paid Version
For those who have no idea about GTO and have no experience with solvers, the initial experience can be a little overwhelming. However, an extensive and informative video tutorial section walks users through the basics pretty comprehensively.
The app boasts over 60 unique ‘spots’ to solve, though GTO and solver rookies on the free subscription plan only have access to around 10 of these. That should be more than enough to whet your appetite and ease you into complex poker calculations.
The one gripe that most new users seem to have – including us – is no explanation as to why a specific move in a certain situation is GTO. Some of the more complex situations require a trial and error approach.
Once you have worked your way through the free content, you can make an informed decision on whether to sign up for one of DTO’s subscription plans.
This is all down to you as a player, what sort of stakes you are playing and the volume of game time you are putting in regularly. After all, there is no point signing up for the $99.99 a month Super High Roller package if you only sporadically play $5 Sit and Go tournaments.
DTO Pricing Model
There are two available pricing models for those wanting to delve deeper into GTO and DTO’s products. The first deals with pre-flop content and includes hand range charts, ICM scenarios, and a selection of solvable ‘spots’. Prices start at $349.99 for the basic package and range up to $899.99. This is a one-time payment, with the basic package including a free weeks subscription to their ‘Super High Roller’ package.
To the uninitiated, the prices may come across as quite expensive. However, DTO is significantly cheaper than rival products on the market. These can start at $600 and cost as much as $1,200+.
Monthly Subscription Pricing
When it comes to post-flop content this follows a monthly subscription model. Users have three tiers to choose from – Grinder, High Roller, and Super High Roller. All three subscription packages provide users with a selection of pre-flop range charts and the ability to replay hands multiple times, just like in the free version.
The ‘Grinder’ package starts at $9.99 a month, $49.99 for six months, or $89.99 per year. For that, you get access to 27 more post-flop ‘spots’ with stack sizes ranging between 20 to 60 big blinds. The post-problem evaluation is basic, and there is no explanation given for expected value (EV) loss or frequency ranges – how often you should be defending or continuation betting in certain spots.
The ‘High Roller’ package starts at $29.99 a month, $149.99 for six months, or $269.99 per year. This includes access to 55 post-flop ‘spots’ with stack sizes ranging from 15 big blinds to 100 big blinds. Subscribers also receive access to more in-depth feedback and evaluation, including exact EV loss and optimal frequencies for every action.
The ‘Super High Roller’ package starts at $99.99 a month, $499.99 for six months, or $899.99 per year. This gives you access to 68 post-flop ‘spots’. It also allows users to view the entire decision range for every point in the hand – something unavailable in the other two subscriptions. This also includes several ICM and heads-up scenarios, as well as access to the in-depth feedback and evaluation that the ‘High Roller’ package offers.
Best Poker App For Cash Games: Poker Fighter
Another GTO style poker trainer, Poker Fighter was developed by software programmer Guy Sela and poker player Stas “Stasia42” Tishkevich and released back in 2017.
Scoring highly on both market places with a 4.8 out of 5-star rating on the Mac App Store, and 4.5 out of 5-stars on the Google Play Store, this poker app is aimed primarily at cash game players. While not as in-depth as something like DTO, it is aimed more at beginner and intermediate players. Poker Fighters’ main focus is online stakes up to $0.25/$0.50 and live games up to $1/$2.
An entertaining mix of a training tool and a video game, Poker Fighter plays more like the latter, while teaching the user concepts like pre-flop hand ranges, position, blind defense, board texture and play through the streets. Playing out like a hybrid of Street Fighter and an online poker game, there’s even a high-score leaderboard to really add to the arcade game style authenticity.
Easy to use, with step-by-step walkthroughs and explanations for all of the plays the app AI thinks you should make, this is a great tool for players just starting to dip their toes into the waters of cash game play and GTO. It’s also quite entertaining just as a game.
Free Versus Paid Version
The free version is perfectly serviceable for those new to poker and provides plenty of play to get you started. The app gives players four different fight categories to choose from – preflop, flop, turn, and river. Each category is broken down into four or five separate areas.
As a free player, you have access to all of the fight categories and sub-categories. However, you are only given access to around 40% of the available content for each. That’s still a substantial amount – more than enough to give you a taste of the training on offer.
Full explanations for each scenario you face are offered after the fact, regardless of whether you are a free player or subscriber. All players free and subscribed can compete for leaderboard places. While you don’t actually win anything but bragging rights, it’s still fun to compare your skills against other players.
It’s then up to you whether you decide to pay for full access to the rest of the content. This follows a subscription-based model broken down into three tiers – Bronze, Silver, and Gold.
It costs $7.50 per month for Bronze, $19.50 per month for Silver, and $26.50 per month for Gold, with each tier offering access to additional content of increasing complexity. Gold also offers subscribers access to a further 100 advanced levels.
This is definitely an app for beginners to intermediate players and those unfamiliar with the concept of GTO. If you are an advanced to expert-level player familiar with GTO it’s unlikely you will get much out of it. Having said that, it’s free to download and try out, and you lose nothing by doing so, so give it a whirl and make up your own mind.
Best Poker App For Streaming Video Content
When it comes to poker apps for streaming quality poker content on your mobile for those on a budget, there is an argument for YouTube, which most folks have on their mobile device by default.
It’s a pretty compelling argument also, as there is a lot of decent free poker content on YouTube. You can even watch a decent free selection of the dedicated poker video streaming service PokerGO’s videos via the official PokerGO YouTube account – ironically something you cannot do on the PokerGO app.
Having said that, often you are limited in what you can watch on YouTube – it tends to be more in the way of short clips and classic poker moments, rather than full episodes of your favourite poker shows. That means the only solid choice for watching the best poker shows online is PokerGO.
Free Versus Paid Version
While you can watch some poker on YouTube for free, the rights to the vast majority of the quality televised live poker shows are all held by Poker Central and are all available to watch via their PokerGo app. However, like most things in life, nothing good is free and they are locked behind a subscription paywall.
Having said that, PokerGO is the #1 poker streaming app in the world with exclusive coverage of the Super High Roller Bowl series, U.S. Poker Open, Australian Poker Open, British Poker Open, Poker Masters, and more. Watch additional tournaments from the WPT, partypoker LIVE, and World Series of Poker Europe.
They also produce some of the best live poker TV shows currently, with their High Stakes Duel series, and the latest season of High Stakes Poker – Season 8 – two of the most popular that spring to mind. Their price point is pretty reasonable also. PokerGO offers subscribers three pricing tiers. You can pay $14.99 a month, pay $29.99 for three months, or save a bit of cash and stump up for the $99.99 yearly subscription – which offers the best value for money.