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Full Tilt's Rush Poker Mobile for Android – Review

[tweetmeme]It’s been a long time coming, but finally there is a way to play poker on the move. A few weeks ago Full Tilt Poker sent out email invites to their “Black Card” members asking them to trial the beta version of the new Rush Poker Mobile client and now the app has been released to the public via the Android Marketplace.

Rush Poker Mobile is still officially a beta release, so there are a few tweaks and improvements yet to be made, but it’s a fully functioning and quite playable game already. Installation is as simple as selecting the game in the Android Marketplace and within a few seconds the app is installed. The login screen will look quite familiar to existing Full Tilt players, and once logged in you’ll see a cut down version of the regular lobby screen.

At present it’s not possible to open an account via a handset, so if you want to try Rush Poker Mobile but don’t already have a Full Tilt account you’ll need to head over to the Full Tilt Website and open an account first.

Rush Poker Mobile Review

The lobby screen shows a list of currently available games, at a selection of stakes for both real and play money. Real money games range from just $0.02/$0.05 to $2/$4 so there is a game to suit all levels and bankrolls. Double clicking on a game takes to you the buyin screen, and then to the actual game via the familiar “count down”.

Due to the limited screen size of most phone handsets the interface is slightly smaller than the normal client, but it’s still quite usable. The buttons for fold, call, raise etc. are along the bottom of the screen, but you’ll notice that there is no slider bar. Instead, you click the raise button and then a slider appears across the middle of the screen for you to select a raise amount. That seems like a nice compromise and seems to work well.

Options include the ability to turn animations on and off, use of a four color deck and the option of a classic, linear, or exponential slider bar. You can also turn the sound on or off, but there is no built in volume control.

Playing the game is pretty much the same as playing on the PC or Mac. We tested the app on the HTC Desire handset (see below for list of supported devices) and the screen was easy to navigate, the cards, stack sizes and bet amounts were easy to see, and playing was overall a good experience.

The Rush Poker Mobile interface is simple and effective

You may be wondering why Full Tilt has only released a Rush Poker client, and there is currently no options to play regular flavours of poker. While Full Tilt have not announced an official reason, we suspect it is due to network and connection considerations. We’ve all been frustrated from time to time when players keep disconnecting from a game, and that problem is only going to be worse over the cellphone network. Rush poker alleviates that problem by “spreading the load” so to speak… If a player on your table disconnects, you’ll be on a different table for the next hand, so players stay happy and the game keeps moving.

Rush poker also seems ideally suited to the mobile player. It’s a fast, action filled version of poker which is just what the average mobile player will likely want. We suspect that many players will log in to play a few hands while on the train, waiting for a bus, or on their coffee break at work. They want a little action rather than sitting there folding every hand, so Rush Poker Mobile gives them exactly what they want. That tendency should have the effect of softening the games, filling them with more gamblers and weak players simply looking for some action, so it’s likely to be a fish feeding frenzy for the regulars. Solid players and pros will likely find easy pickings in these games, so it should please everyone.

Supported handsets

Currently, Full Tilt Poker Rush Mobile is available only for Android 2.2 and above. It’s unlikely to be released for iPhone, so Apple fans might have to consider defecting to the Android platform is they want to play poker on the move. The currently supported handsets are:

Acer Liquid Stream S110
AT&T Captivate
Cherry Mobile Magnum HD
HTC Desire (* this is the handset we tested on)
HTC Droid Incredible
HTC Google Nexus One
HTC Desire HD
HTC Desire Z
HTC Magic
HTC Sapphire
Motorola Droid
Motorola Droid 2
Motorola Droid X
Motorola Droid 2
Motorola Droid Pro/World Edition
Samsung Galaxy S
Sprint Epic 4G
T-Mobile G2
T-Mobile myTouch 3G
T-Mobile myTouch 4G
T-Mobile Vibrant
Verizon Fascinate

Note – some handsets require a software update to Androiv 2.2 Froyo in order to run the Rush Poker application.

A number of tablets will also run the Rush Poker Mobile app, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the CSL Spice, Nationite Wits A81Em idoPAD Maverick 7 and the Advent Vega.

See Rush Poker Mobile in Action

Here’s a short video preview showing you the interface in action…

Rush Poker Mobile Verdict

We’ve been waiting a long time to be able to play real poker from our cell phones. While Rush Poker might not be to everyone’s taste, it does fill a gap in the marketplace, and will appeal to many – both casual players looking for a little action, and solid players looking for soft games. Hopefully this is just the first step along a path which will lead to more poker clients being released for the mobile platforms, but for now Full Tilt get the thumbs up from us for their innovative Rush Poker Mobile app.

Play Rush Poker Mobile Now

You’ll need a Full Tilt account to play Rush Poker, and to deposit funds. If you don’t already have one, head over to Full Tilt now and use the bonus code BCPFULLTILT to get a 100% deposit bonus of up to $600. Once you have an account, simply download the Rush Poker Mobile client from the Android Marketplace to start playing. Use this link and the bonus code will be automaticlaly added for you.

Suggested reading : Rush Poker Strategies

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