Available for: iPad, iPhone (iOS 7 compatible)
Cost: Free of charge
Developer: Incremental Systems (Version 1.1)
One of the most common mistakes a beginner poker player can make in an online poker game is to see the cards revealed at the showdown and think their hand has won.
They throw their hands up in delight, only to look bemused as the computer then hands the chip to another player.
This is embarrassing enough when you do it online and nobody can see your error, however if you do it at a live table with other poker players, then it is certainly going to show you up as a newbie much to the amusement of the more experienced players.
Recognising hands quickly on a showdown is a key skill.
Recognising the strength of hands and their relative value to others is without doubt an important skill for any decent poker player to have in their armoury and the Poker Skills – Pick The Best Hand app certainly helps players achieve that.
The app is available from the App Store for iPhone and iPad and once installed offers the player ten random poker puzzlers.
Each puzzler displays three pocket hands as well as the five community cards (each hand is randomly generated each time you play, so the game has longevity).
As the clock runs in the bottom corner of the screen, all you need to do is identify which pocket pair offers the strongest hand and select it.
If you select it correctly, the screen stays green, confirms your answer and moves onto the next question.
Select the wrong option, the screen turns red (below), displays the right answer and then moves on to the next question.
You have to answer the ten puzzlers against the clock as quickly as possible and then your best time, combined with the number of right questions, is stored for you to beat next time.
And in essence, that is it.
You can replay the game as many times as you like with each game generating new pocket cards and community cards to test you.
Simply beat your number of right answers and time and you’ll find your hand recognition skills will sharpen up considerably.
This is a very simple app and at first looks very limited in scope, however like most addictive games, often a simple, easy approach works well and in the case of Poker Skills Pick The Best Hand this is certainly the case.
The fact that the game generates new hands each time means that it doesn’t become predictable and offers a great tool to keep your poker skills sharp when recognising hands.
Beating your best score and time also becomes addictive and you’ll quickly find you are sharpening up your recognition skills quickly without even realising it.
Best of all, since the app is completely free and isn’t plastered with in-game advertising, it is fun to play too.
The only negative point I would make is that it would be nice to see how your quickest times compare against other players online.
A local, national and worldwide scoreboard would be a nice feature.
As would expanding the number of records the app holds on you, expanding it from your highest score, to your highest five scores, or ten scores.
The ability to enter a different player name (should someone else use the app) would also be good as it would allow for multiple players on the same scoreboard.
However, these are just small additions to how the app uses the data, the actual mechanics of the app don’t really require any enhancement.
This really is a fabulous little app that is ideal for beginner players, or those poker players who just want to give their hand recognition skills a workout.
It only works because the random nature of the hands ensures that the app has longevity but because of it, it is an enjoyable way to test and improve your hand recognition skills.
How the app handles the data it generates (top scores, times etc) could be used more creatively, but that is nit picking for what is essentially a free and useful app.
An ideal app for beginners and intermediate players that allows them to focus on one crucial poker skill, without having to worry about winning hands.
The app is fun to play, addictive and enjoyable and a worthy addition to your iPhone or iPad.
Score: 85% - This is a simple, yet effective way to help beginner poker players learn the crucial skill of identifying the strongest hand quickly.
The timer element adds a competitive aspect that gives the app appeal and it is a simple, fun way to improve hand recognition speed.
It is basic, simple and has no frills, but it is addictive, fun and useful and most impressively of all, completely free.