The ability to play poker online has shifted in recent years from downloadable software on your computer, to club-based poker apps that are accessible from your phone or tablet.
Both the number of poker apps available, and the number of users has been growing steadily, and Cardplayer Lifestyle decided to review PPPoker, Upoker and Pokerbros, the three current popular choices in the market, to see which option is best for players.
PPPoker was one of the first apps on the market after launching on April 11, 2016, and has since welcomed players from more than 150 countries/regions and launched more than 300 version updates. The site is currently on the verge of celebrating its four-year anniversary, which will coincide with over 2.1 million minutes that the app has been running.
Both Upoker and PokerBros are relative newcomers to the club-based poker app, but they are both striving to take their share of the market as players flock to these apps while currently dealing with the lack of live poker options.
Although these three poker apps are similar in many ways, Cardplayer Lifestyle will break down each app across a number of different factors so that you have all the information necessary to make a decision about which poker app to choose.
Why Choose a Club-Based Poker App?
Club-based poker apps offer a lot of different features that you will struggle to find in conventional online poker clients.
With a clue in the name, club-based apps focus on allowing their players to create personalized private clubs, perfect for home games with friends, family and even the wider poker community. You can create play-money games and customize the settings to your exact requirements – a feature that is very rare to find across other types of online poker clients.
As your club grows, there are opportunities to expand its reach and join a Union, to enable bigger player pools, prizes, and of course, a broader community.
Now you know the basics of club-based poker apps, let’s take a look at who offers the best experience.
All three apps are designed fairly similar, including a lobby that provides access to tables. Once at the tables, each app differs slightly. The gameplay is incredibly smooth across each site with quick access to hand histories and summary, chat, and table settings.
Between PPPoker, Upoker, and PokerBros, all three poker apps offer No-Limit Hold’em, Pot-Limit Omaha, and either Short Deck or 6+. PPPoker and PokerBros both offer Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo also. However, it is PPPoker that gives its players the most options as they offer both OFC and a Global Tournament lobby where players can play SpinUp tournament of MTTs with varying buy-in amounts.
PPPoker also announced a new exciting function this year called PPST (PPPoker Super Tournaments), which consists of a series of MTTs that bring together Unions and Clubs to attract thousands of players and create even bigger prize pools.
To add even more spice to the competition for big money prizes, PPPoker has announced the introduction of the PPST Leaderboard, which will see the top five finishers become PPPoker ambassadors and win a bonus live poker fund worth up to $5,000.
Customer Service Options
Navigating all three poker apps, it is clear that PPPoker is transparent when giving its users information on contacting customer support. Under a user’s profile page, there is a button labelled “About Us” that details information on fair gaming, compliance, terms of service, and four options to contact PPPoker.
Upoker and PokerBros have a virtually identical lobby format that allows users to click a drop-down menu that shows options to review fair gaming and the terms of service. Upoker allows users to access a single email address for contact, while PokerBros doesn’t have that option.
Security and Stability
All three poker apps do provide a notices section that details the latest version of the app and what bug fixes and improvements have been made. For PPPoker and Upoker, the notices section is visible in the lobby, while on PokerBros, it is accessed via the drop-down menu.
PPPoker goes above and beyond when it comes to being transparent. In an effort to help enforce to its users that the poker app is secure and stable, the site provides weekly app updates for continuous improvements. In the blog section on the PPPoker website, the PPPoker System Reliability Report 2020 was recently published that detailed all the efforts PPPoker have made on security and safety. These measures include a dedicated Anti-Cheating team and regular RNG tests.
PPPoker makes it very clear that they take cheating and deception very seriously. Collusion and bots are problems that affect every major poker client around today, and there are several ways that PPPoker combat this. Their Anti-Cheating team monitors tables 24/7 for any suspicious activities. They are able to ascertain whether or not a player at the tables is cheating using several sophisticated solutions.
PPPoker uses over 80 unique key indicators to detect and prevent bots from using their software, including the use of third-party software whilst playing. They do this because the integrity of games on PPPoker is key to the players’ enjoyment, and this is what drives the company going forward. There is an absolute zero-tolerance approach to cheating on PPPoker, with accounts where there is evidence of cheating permanently banned. This hard-line response means that players can rest assured that they are playing against real players and not bots or scripts.
PPPoker also analyzes whether players are playing at the same table with the same GPS information or IP address to ensure that collusion does not hamper efforts to ensure fair play on the app.
Ease of Use
When signing up to PPPoker, Upoker, or PokerBros, you are prompted with a registration or log-in page. For first-time users, the registration process is as simple as creating your username and password. Once complete, you are taken directly to the main lobby page of each poker app.
Both Upoker and PokerBros award new users with 10,000 in gold coins, but PPPoker steps it up by offering 3 million in gold coins as well as an immediate tutorial of the poker app. Following the tutorial gives new users the information to navigate the lobby, and then instructs them on how to join a table – something that Upoker and PokerBros lack.
All three poker apps offer VIP privileges that are on a varying scale and can be unlocked with diamonds. Diamonds can be earned through gameplay, and also bought through each app’s shop where 60 diamonds cost $0.99.
PPPoker also has “Missions” available that reward users with gold coins for completing tasks throughout gameplay. These range in difficulty from winning three hands to playing in high stakes. Each reward users with a certain number of gold coins, and helps in keeping users engaged and playing on PPPoker.
There are several other major promotions that PPPoker offer its players – Chip Storm, SpinUp, and EVChop. Chip Storm is all about raining chips! At random times during Chip Storm hours, PP Chips will fall onto club tables giving all players the chance to win. There is also a grand prize worth 10,000 PP Chips. SpinUp is a three-handed Global tournament game where you can win up to 400 million gold coins. Buy-ins range and in each game, there is an opportunity to hit a 10,000-multiplier jackpot. EVChop allows players to combat variance as all-in players are offered the chance to take their share of the pot in relation to their hand’s equity.
Social Media Presence
Social media in the poker industry is the biggest advertising tool for poker companies. Not only does it help with brand awareness in a competitive market, but it helps in attracting new players, and providing customer service to their own club members.
All three poker apps are active on social media and interact with their users. Upoker is nearly non-existent on Twitter with only a handful of tweets and followers, but they have stronger numbers on Facebook and Instagram with 1k and 500+ followers, respectively. PokerBros have no official Twitter and Instagram as of publication; however, their Union agents have created accounts for promotion and communication.
PPPoker stands alone on top of the social media mountain with (as of publication) over 55,000 followers on Facebook and over 14,000 followers on Instagram. With just over 1,000 followers on Twitter, they are significantly more active than Upoker or PokerBros as they are not only producing advertising tweets but are also helping their users with valuable information in multiple languages.
Also, PPPoker has a unique hand forum that allows players to share their favorite hands each day, with comments and likes available. These hands, as well as a selection of the day’s ‘Hot’ and ‘Featured’ hands, can be watched in the app or online.
Worth noting, however, is that for club-based poker apps, the majority of their social media engagement and interaction stems from their agents, in different club accounts, and their ability to recruit new players to the app as well as continuing to provide service to their own club members.
Both Upoker and PokerBros currently don’t have any scheduled live events, but PPPoker runs its own live event brand – PPPoker World Championship (PPWC) and PPPoker Festival.
The PPWC tournament brand features a promise of low buy-ins and high guaranteed prize pools with the highlight of the series being the PPWC Main Event. Also, the unique Team Event sees players from all around the globe come together to battle across different poker formats for the overall team title.
As well as this, PPPoker Festivals have been run over 20 events around the world, including South America, Asia and Europe. PPPoker Festivals encourage the app users to expand their relationships into the live poker scene, and an opportunity for the PPPoker community to expand from online to offline.
Overall Product Comparison
Although PPPoker, Upoker, and PokerBros are very similar in gameplay and app design, when you take a deeper look into each app, it is obvious that PPPoker is the leader in club-based poker apps.
PPPoker is a truly global poker app that has welcomed players from over 150 countries and regions while also diversifying their marketing team across five continents in an effort to meet face-to-face with club owners and players from over 50 countries.
The site has been dealing with many challenges following this new wave of competition, but they continue to strive to offer the purest poker experience to their users. Alongside an offering of more promotions to their users, they also offer more game choices along with a Global Tournament lobby. The one aspect that clearly sets PPPoker apart from Upoker and PokerBros are the live events the site runs, which include 20 PPPoker Festivals and the PPWC.
PPPoker is also more transparent in the way they conduct their business from customer support options to notices on updates regarding bug fixes and app improvements. The site has executed over 300 version updates and continue to safeguards the love for poker of their players, and strongly stand behind their core competency to provide a 100% pure poker ecology for players.
These reasons reinforce that PPPoker is, in this publication’s opinion, the worldwide leader in club-based poker apps for 2020.
*Disclaimers, for regulatory compliance:
- PokerBROS is an online social media platform and does not provide any real money service.
- PokerBROS is not a sponsor of or in any way involved with this promotional activity, nor does PokerBROS endorse it.