Real Money Play on iPad, iPhone Offered by Switch Poker
Poker-playing Apple enthusiasts of the world, rejoice! An Irish company recently launched an online poker client specially designed for use on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. The site is called Switch Poker, and it offers 6-max no-limit hold’em cash games in a clean, simple interface.
For years after the release of the first generation iPhone, Apple took a firmly anti-gambling stance with regards to their app store. Over time, they wavered in their commitment, and finally, in May of this year, Betfair was allowed to be the first to release an app that was tailored to facilitate real money gambling over the internet. Since then, several other European gambling operators have joined the fray.
Unfortunately, Apple is still unwilling to allow a standalone app devoted to playing poker against real online competitors. Switch Poker works around the restriction by making their program entirely web-based. They explain on the site’s official blog: “The site is currently optimized for play on the iPad. It works well in Internet Explorer (8 & 9), Firefox, Chrome, Safari & Opera on your computer and it is also playable on the iPhone.” They site is designed to use minimal bandwidth, meaning it can run smoothly over 3G in addition to wi-fi.
Now, to address the question I’m sure many of you are wondering: do they allow players from the U.S.? Well, not really, but they don’t outright ban them, either. The site’s Terms & Conditions list several countries toward which they are unwilling to extend their service, but the U.S. is not among them. They explain ambiguously in their FAQ that they “do not currently have a deposit method available for U.S. players.” Could they be leaving the door open an entry into the U.S. market sometime in the near future? Time will tell.
Traffic on the site is slow for now, with only a handful of real money tables running at a time, mostly at the €0.01/€0.02 level. That said, Switch Poker has high hopes for the future. In a blog post written less than 24 hours after launch, they revealed that over 1000 people have registered for the site already. They also hope to soon add support for several other game types, including sit and gos, multi-table tournaments, heads-up games, fixed-limit hold’em, and pot-limit Omaha.