Windows phone users make up only 2.6% of the smartphone market. If I had to guess why their share is so small, I'd say that it's because the Windows phone was introduced relatively late to the market, giving the iPhone and Android plenty of time to establish themselves. While it's possible that Windows will increase their share, I'm not sure I'd hold my breath.
I point this out because this effects the choices other companies make regarding the development of their software into compatible apps. Like poker operators. Since Windows is not nearly as popular as the other operating systems, and of that number there are even fewer poker or casino players, there are going to be fewer apps available to consumers.
With that in mind, below you'll find the poker and casino operators that do provide Windows compatible apps, as well as accept American players. Beneath that I provide some answers to the most common questions we get regarding playing poker for real money from a Windows smartphone.
Windows Phone / Tablet Poker FAQs
I'm American. Can I play poker from my Windows phone / tablet?
No. At the moment there isn't a poker operator that has a Windows app. This goes for both US poker players and international poker players. It's just not available.
If I had to guess why, it'd be because Windows and Blackberry are dominated in the mobile market. Android has a commanding 68% share and Apple has about 18%. The rest is divided up amongst everyone else. The Windows phone only has a 2.6% share. And remember, only a portion of that share consists of users that want to play online poker for real money. That's probably not enough for poker rooms to justify the development and upkeep of a Windows app.
Is there an alternative?
You have two alternatives:
- Skip poker altogether and play casino games instead. There are few options for both US poker players and international players to play casino games for real money.
- Skip real money games altogether and play fake money poker games. You can find these apps in the Windows app marketplace.
Do poker apps for Windows cost money?
If and when poker operators (like PokerStars, Carbon Poker, 888 Poker, etc) come out with an app, it won't cost money. They make their money from charging rake, so they have no reason to nickel and dime you for their app.
However, if you decide to pick up a fake money poker app, you should expect to pay anywhere from .99 to 5.00. Some apps can be picked up free.
What's the difference between playing poker on my PC and my Windows phone or tablet?
In terms of game play, the biggest difference will be the size. The size of the tables, cards, buttons and so on are all smaller. They'll be a little tougher to see and if you have fat fingers (like I do), the buttons are harder to press. Mis-clicking is a definite possibility. You also won't have the states that you do in the PC, or Mac version. This makes it more difficult to find the cash games with fish.
Are there any costs to playing poker on my Windows mobile device?
If you play free poker (on an app from the marketplace) then you can spend as much as $5 for an app.
And regardless of how you play poker you might incur data costs. Some apps have to access the internet (if you want to play against real players) and in regards to online casinos and poker rooms, you need to go online to access their sites.
The exception to this if you access the internet via (free) WiFi. In that case it'll be free to play.
Is it legal for me to gamble on my Windows phone or tablet?
To be clear, I'm not a lawyer. You need to check your local laws to determine if it's ok or not to gamble in your area.
In the case of free money poker apps, I'm sure there is no problem with it. You're not risking money to win a prize. That's usually the line in the sand in most US state laws.
However, in the case of real money gambling, it might be illegal in your area. There are many states where they prohibit players from wagering for real money online -- in some cases it's a felony - like Washington.
The bottom, though, is that it depends on where you live. If you're an American player you'll want to check for sure. You'll also be limited as to how many sites you can play at, which makes the fact that you're a Windows user worst (since there are few sites that have Windows apps in the first place).
What about making a deposit? How do I do that?
If you choose to go the casino route, making a deposit is relatively straightforward. You'll either make a deposit using a different app or through your web browser or through the casino client. Keep in mind, however, that many operators do not allow you to handle your banking through your phone. They force you to do your banking from your desktop or laptop computer. They do this for security purposes.