Zynga Poker, with its unusual name, has long been considered the most popular social play money poker gaming app in the world but questions still remain over how it compares to playing real money poker online. Here, we take a look at the differences between the two types of poker.
The Zynga Poker app is available on social networking site Facebook and can also be downloaded to devices using Android, Windows, iPhone, MySpace, Tagged, and Google+. It was initially developed and launched back in 2007 and has grown in popularity and size ever since.
The idea behind the app was to allow players to enjoy a simulated poker environment in a social networking setting. The original Zynga Poker app used only play money and despite the developer launching a real money version outside of the US in 2014 it is still considered to be primarily used by players for play money poker gaming.
When comparing Zynga Poker to real money poker online there are a number of pros and cons to consider before deciding which type of poker gaming is best suited for a player’s needs. The importance of these pros and cons will very much depend on what the player is looking for as a poker player. Zynga Poker is still popular but recent figures suggest it’s losing out to social casino games.
No Download or Deposit
This is where Zynga Poker manages to attract so many new players. The flash-based version does not require a download and players do not need to make a deposit before they start playing. At online poker sites it is often required for players to download the software to get the full experience of the site and they also are often asked to make a deposit before they can play at any tables.
Zynga Poker is poker at its most fundamental. This has contributed to many professional players saying that Zynga Poker is a great sand pit for players that are new to poker to learn the ropes and understand how the game works. Real money poker has its risks from the very start and players are thrown in the deep end. In the play money world of Zynga Poker players can afford to make mistakes and spend more time learning at the tables without it hitting the pocket. The tutorial slide shows offered to players also give players a basic lesson on how the game is played. Internet poker rooms generally cater for more experienced players and the wide range of different games and tables can leave less experienced players confused and lost.
Achievements and Rewards
In the absence of big money wins, players instead have the opportunity to earn achievements and trigger rewards. This gives added incentives to the tables to ensure players do not ruin the atmosphere at the tables by recklessly making unrealistic bets to try and get a quick win. It also adds a sense of value to a player’s career at Zynga. This degree of earning rewards is not available at most real money poker sites (Full Tilt being a prime example) where tickets to other tournaments are instead offered as incentives.
Zynga Poker is similar to a number of other Facebook-based social networking apps where it has an element of social interaction thrown in for good measure. Players can earn chips by inviting friends to join and private tables also mean friends can play together at the same table away from the gazing eyes of random players. There is the option to have private tables at online poker rooms but that is basically where the social element begins and ends.
This is kind of something that is available at both Zynga Poker and real money poker sites. At Zynga Poker, you have four different levels that you can rise through. There are “fish”, “playa”, “shark”, and “ace”. This gives a named category to each player and their relevant experience. At other real money sites this might not be so creatively listed. It could simply be a number of stars or a medal colour or a rating out of 100. The names for each level just make it more fun.
As mentioned earlier, Zynga Poker is basically a sand pit for new poker players. This means it is a simple set up of one table sit ‘n’ go games without the option to enter multi-table tournaments that can prove such a draw for players on the real money poker sites.
Zynga Poker is very one dimensional in the fact that it only offers No Limit Hold’em tables. There is not the option to try your hand at Omaha, Stud, or HORSE. The lack of variety can be a turn off to players that prefer to play a version of poker other than No Limit Hold’em.
At online poker sites, it is just the player and the tables. At Zynga Poker it is like being in the middle of a sales convention. Adverts and promotions are all over the place. Offers pop up during the middle of tables and it begins to feel like the table is playing second fiddle to the marketing. That is no surprise for an app that is free to play. Real poker sites have the income of player buy-ins so they do not have to rely on the advertising in such a heavy-handed manner.
Zynga Poker does not do everything it can to prevent cheating. The idea is that due to it being play money the risk of players cheating is dramatically reduced. Unfortunately, Zynga clearly underestimate society’s will to win at any expense and the Zynga community can become riddled with sad individuals cheating. Real poker sites offer a vigilant form of security and reliable software that ensures cheating is limited to an absolute minimum. Cheaters will always be out there but actualmoney poker sites take a lot more action than Zynga Poker does when it comes to dealing with them.
Unfortunately, Zynga Poker is browser-based on Facebook and this means that a function to take notes on your opponent’s betting habits or betting patterns is not possible. In the absence of working out player tells in face-to-face interaction, players online rely on studying the actions of their opponents to gauge any weaknesses. Online real money poker sites give players this note-taking option because they understand the importance of it to players and the downloadable software they offer gives players the chance to use this function.
This final point is perhaps the biggest difference. Players often play poker with the aim of winning real money. The lack of cash prizes available on Zynga Poker can deem it to be redundant for some players. The thrill of a cash win at a table can be what drives a player on and without that cash incentive at Zynga Poker it takes the buzz away from the tables for players.
Overall, whether players decide to play at Zynga Poker or at a real money online site, it is a matter of personal choice. The above factors need to be considered and then once the player has evaluated them it is down to the player to decide if they would enjoy playing at Zynga Poker or a real money online poker site more. Both have their pros and their cons so it really is up to the individual.