Two Types of Gambling Apps
There are two types of gambling apps – apps you play or use for fun, and apps you can use to gamble for real money.
There are several differences between the two. And, not every difference is entirely exclusive – there is some overlap.
Let’s take a look at those now.
Let’s start with ‘play money’ or ‘for fun’ gambling apps.
The biggest difference from the other kind of apps is that you cannot use these apps for real money gambling. You won’t win money playing with these apps.
Now, that doesn’t mean you cannot use them to win real money. For example, if you download a poker app that calculates odds and counts outs, you can use this to help you play real money poker. But you won’t lose or make money from the app itself.
You’ll find most of these apps in one of the popular app stores. You may even find apps from developers’ websites who create games for social media.
Here are a few examples of where you can go to find play money apps:
- Apple (iOS)
- Google (Android)
- Microsoft (Windows)
- Amazon (Android)
Then enter the type of game or tool you’re looking for in the search bar. Chances are you’ll come up with a few, if not dozens of options.
You can also find them through various app review sites. It’s not hard – just search Google for ‘app reviews’ or ‘gambling apps,’ and you’ll find tons of stuff. Here’s one list we found while writing this page.
Real Money Casino Games
Some play money apps will be free. Others might cost you $0.99 up to $5-$7 for one app. There are a few differences to beware of between the two.
Again, these aren’t hard and fast rules, but just a general idea of what to expect. The one thing paid and free play money apps DO have in common is you cannot play them for real money.
Which is also why there are some types of play money apps you won’t be able to find. For example, take sports betting. When was the last time a sportsbook allowed you to bet for free? They don’t offer free betting, unlike online casinos and poker rooms. So, you shouldn’t expect to find an app that lets you, either.
But even though you won’t find a sports betting app, or any other gambling option where you can’t play for free, one thing you may find instead are gambling tools or programs you can use for when you ARE gambling for real money.
For example, we found several sports picks apps. You download the app and you’ll receive free sports picks.
Chances are they will try to make money from you, though, either by making sportsbook recommendations, or by upselling you access to a premium sports picks subscription. In fact, we saw one example where we think they did just that – they had pricing options ranging from $9.99 to $74.99.
Tools and advice aren’t limited to sports betting, either. For poker, you’ll find plenty of odds calculators, out counters, poker tournament clocks, and more.
You can even find map apps that help you find your way around all the casinos on the Las Vegas strip. We’ve used one for the past few years, and it’s a real timesaver.
Here are a couple of examples:
The bottom line – even though you cannot gamble for real money on these apps, that doesn’t mean you should ignore them. You can use them to practice, help you win at real money games, or use them to save you time and money while on a gambling trip.
In short, there are many indirect ways they can help you gamble, online or off.
Now let’s look at real money gambling apps.
Gambling Apps for Real Money
Alright, the biggest difference with real money gambling apps is you can use them to gamble for real money.
But, before we go any further, we want to make one thing clear – you can use most, if not all of these apps to play for fun, too. For example, we’ve spent hours playing on PokerStars .net mobile app. We’ve also played on many other casino apps during our many, many hours reviewing online casinos.
So, even if you don’t plan or want to play for real money, you still might want to consider checking out an app from an actual gambling site.
There are a few reasons why:
- Gambling apps are (usually) high quality. Even if the site itself is basic, the games will look good and work right. They have to in order to attract and keep paying customers.
- You’ll often have dozens of games available at your fingertips. This is different from free money apps where you’re usually downloading an individual game, which means you’d have to have LOTS of apps on your phone if you wanted to play different casino games.
- Gambling apps will not have advertising EXCEPT for their own. Because why would they advertise another product or service when they have theirs they want you to use?
- These apps won’t cost you a thing to download or use (except for possibly data). And that’s because they make money from paying customers. This means you get a high quality app with more games and features for nothing – regardless if you play for real or fake money.
The bottom line – you get a higher quality app and overall better experience playing on an app from an online sportsbook, casino or poker room.
See what we mean. Here are some images from (Bovada) mobile app
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that most gambling apps are ‘lite’ versions of the desktop version. They may have fewer features or games. We’re not 100% sure why this is, but we assume it comes down to development costs and time.
App size is probably a factor, too. Meaning, could you imagine an iPhone app that has 500 or even 1,000 casino games on it?
(That might not even be possible.)
But that’s okay. Because some online gambling sites don’t even bother with native apps. They build mobile responsive websites instead.
The Rise of Mobile Responsive Websites
Instead of mobile apps, many operators are choosing to build their websites using the latest and greatest in web programming.
For example, HTML5.
HTML5 is the latest version in markup language used to structure websites and present content on the internet.
What makes HTML5 special is that it’s possible to create games with it. It’s also mobile responsive. Do you see where we’re going with this.
The benefit to having these attributes is that now casinos can build one website and it will work for all sorts of devices – desktop computers, laptops, tablets, phones and so on. The page (and your browser) will resize the games to properly fit your device.
You can tell a website is mobile responsive by manually resizing your browser window from bigger to smaller. If the website shrinks and is still usable, it’s mobile responsive.
This means you won’t need to download a native app. While there’s probably some downsides to not creating and having an app specifically for a mobile platform, the upsides are far more worthwhile:
- Mobile casinos and poker rooms are compatible with more devices (specifically BlackBerry and Windows).
- Casinos can worry less about phone/tablet updates for specific devices. This saves time and money for them, and potential frustration for the user.
- They’re future ready for new updates and devices.
- Since most, if not all the games are created with HTML5, you’ll have more games to play from the start. Compare this to the handful or dozen of casino games most operators currently have for mobile customers.
Ultimately, HTML5 (or similar) is the future. It’s where we see many casinos headed. In fact, most bitcoin sites are built (almost) entirely in HTML, and many regular online casinos are making the switch.
Want some examples? Check out Bovada, Ignition Casino, Café Casino or Bodog. No app or download needed. Just open your browser on your phone or tablet and visit their site.
It’s that simple.