Red Kings Poker is one such site that doesn’t show up in any of the top rankings of search engines, so you do have to do a little digging to find it.
Although not as famous as the likes of Bet365, Sky Bet, Paddy Power, Ladbrokes or William Hill, Red Kings is a multiple gambling site that features sports betting, live in play betting casino games, live casino games and now mobile poker as its offerings.
Like many of the above sites, one registration with Red Kings via the poker, casino or sports betting section of the site gives you access to all the others.
However, there are different bonuses available for each part of the site, so it may be prudent to join Red Kings using the bonus that will offer you the best deal, rather than the default poker bonus (which is explained below).
The site does offer mobile betting and casino services alongside its new mobile poker app.
It may have taken me a little while to find Red Kings looking through the mobile poker options available in the UK, but was it worth digging around to locate? Let’s take a close look at the app to find out.
Red Kings Poker App software at-a-glance
Clicking on the Mobile Poker section of the site brings up details about which devices are supported by the Red Kings Mobile app and at present you can play their mobile poker app on iPhone, iPad and Mini iPad as well as Android Tablet and Android phone devices.
As you can see from the picture detailed at right, Red Kings do advise new registrants to the site to access the site via a PC first and to register their details and open an account before they download the app software onto their chosen mobile device.
While this may seem to be a chore, it is actually sensible advice. Experience of reviewing many apps has taught me that to ensure you get the best possible new player bonus, registering online rather than via your mobile is much more preferable, so I think this is a wise move from Red Kings.
It also makes the actual signing in process much quicker once you have downloaded the app onto your device, as registering via a PC is generally quicker and easier to do due to the enhanced screen size.
Admittedly, if you don’t have a PC, say for example you are trying to join the site while out and about, then this could well be problematic but most online gamers will have access to a laptop or desktop in order to complete their registration before they download the app.
We followed the advice shown above to download the app onto an iPhone 5S, iPad and a Samsung Galaxy Tab without any issues at all.
There isn’t a list of supported devices, but it is safe to assume that if your device includes any of the types listed above, and is running the latest version of its operating system, you should be able to run the Red Kings Poker App without a problem.
There were a few initial hitches with actually finding the Red Kings Poker App online. A quick search in Google for “mobile UK online poker” or a similar search terms brings up all the usual poker sites that offer mobile poker (and some that do not) but you do have to search a fair way down the list to find the Red Kings offering.
That isn’t ideal and perhaps it is an issue Red Kings could look to address through some targeted marketing campaigns to improve their ranking with Google as it seems likely they are missing out on many customers due to their low search engine position.
The good news is, once you have found Red Kings, downloading the app is relatively simple. You can either download it from the App Store, use the browser links on the Red Kings website by typing them into a browser on your mobile device, or scan the QR code on the site to activate the download process.
The installation of the app is quick and easy and the app does direct you to the Red Kings Poker site each time, rather than the sports betting or casino sites, which saves time and is more convenient.
In general, access to the site is very quick and easy, once you have managed to locate the Red Kings website.
I must admit that I was looking forward to trying out this new poker app but my surge of optimism was somewhat diminished when the front end of the site loaded up and I was presented with this home page screen.
If you’ve been reading our reviews of other poker apps available, you’ll know that this log in screen is, apart from a minor few cosmetic alterations, pretty much the exact same screen that the Bet365, bwin and Party Poker apps have as their home screen.
You can see the similarities by comparing the Red Kings image at left and the bwin screen capture further down on the page.
As you can see from the Red Kings home screen picture, it offers users a choice of playing for real cash, playing for fun or a preview, which takes you through how the software works on your device, using an interactive tutorial.
Clicking on the Play for Real button brings up a choice of four different types of poker game.
You can play Pot-Limit, No-Limit and Fixed Limit Cash tables and also Strobe No Limit (which is a variation of speed poker).
Depending on which type of game you elect to play, you can then set a number of other factors in place, such as the stakes you wish to play for (which range from 0.05-0.10 up to 0.25 -0.50 across all games).
In addition, you are able to determine the number of players you want to play against at the table in certain game choices.
Unfortunately, like all the other companies that use this same Playtech-based software for their mobile poker product, there are no Sit & Go or multi table tournaments available in real cash play, nor are there any freeroll events available that you can play to win cash.
In its favour, Red Kings Poker App does offer Strobe No Limit poker, which is Red Kings’ version of speed poker and which does suit playing on a mobile in particular, due to the number of hands you can play in a relatively short space of time.
Unfortunately, the app does not display any table information – you simply select your parameters for a game and the software will place you at a table with an available seat. This is not particularly ideal if you want to play on site with friends as you are never able to select the table you want to play at.
The app does state that it is only available for download for people aged 17 or over, but with the gambling laws in the UK set at 18, it is safe to assume you need to be 18 in the UK to use the app.
The only other restrictions are geographic in nature.
The Red Kings Poker App is only available in certain countries, most within Europe. Specifically, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovenua, Lithuania, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway and the UK.
This does mean players from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Asia, Africa and certain other European countries (Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Greece for example) are not able to use the app at present.
Red Kings Poker App – overview
After downloading the app, I was initially excited at giving the site a trial run, but upon seeing that now-familiar home screen, so similar to many other apps I’ve reviewed, I have to admit my enthusiasm waned slightly as I feared that the Red Kings app may be short of features for a typical mobile poker fan.
It is certainly easier and quicker to do so via a PC, but there is a strong argument that if you are going to offer a mobile poker product then all aspects of the site, from registering to claiming your bonuses and winnings, should be fully accessible from your mobile device.
I agree with this and while some sites have this nailed (888 Poker, PokerStars and PKR3D for example) some are still lagging behind in this department.
Until this is resolved, I think registering via a PC makes sense for those who can – certainly in terms of helping you claim the bonus that you are due.
The bonus for Red Kings Poker is selected from a choice of bonuses. There are a selection of three incremental bonuses and the same number of fixed bonuses. Which bonus is the right one for you depends on how much you spend and how quickly you spend your money.
For high rollers, the larger fixed bonuses of up to $2,500 should be ideally suited, but for the smaller stakes players, the incremental bonuses of $10 per 120 player points for the HEARTS250 Bonus offer a far better chance of reward and a greater amount of time to earn it in – 90 days, as opposed to 30 days.
Red Kings do not offer a no deposit bonus and there’s no extra cash in your account at the start of your poker playing on the site, which is a bit disappointing. You do also gain entry into a freeroll event worth $1,000 (although this is not publicised on the site) by way of a free tournament token applied to your account once you have made a deposit.
While this new player bonus isn’t great, there is one aspect of Red Kings bonus scheme that I did like and that was their extra bonuses on offer on the site.
For example, if you are dealt two red kings as your pocket cards (king of hearts and king of diamonds) then you will receive a bonus of $300 added to your account if you have earned 2,400 points through playing for real cash on the site. All you need to do is note down the number of the hand you play and contact Red Kings support who will arrange for the transfer of the cash.
In addition, if you are dealt pocket red kings and head to the showdown and lose the hand on the showdown, then you’ll qualify for Red Kings Bad Beat Bonus of $500 (if you have earned 4000 points). Again all you need to do is note down the hand number and contact Red Kings to claim your bonus reward.
Lastly, if you refer a friend to the site you can earn an unlimited amount in refer a friend bonuses. Once your friend is referred and makes a deposit, you’ll receive $50, and so will they once you have both met certain playing criteria.
These bonuses are certainly useful and are appealing, even if the likelihood of you realising them is actually generally very small.
The bonus scheme on Red Kings is a real mixed bag. It isn’t particularly rewarding for new players initially and does mean that you have to invest time on the site to realise your bonus.
And therein, as Shakespeare noted, lies the rub. Unless you are a fan of cash table games exclusively, bar a few hands of speed poker, then Red Kings Poker App doesn’t really have an awful lot on the site to keep you coming back and playing.
There are four poker games available and you can alter the parameters of each to get yourself a seat at your chosen table. But the lack of MTTs and Sit & Go games on the app severely limits its appeal.
In addition, the stake values of the table only range from 0.05/0.10 to 0.25/0.50. This means that players who enjoy playing micro stakes games (say for 0.01/0.02 or 0.02/0.05) or those that enjoy playing higher stakes games (say of $1/$2 and upwards) have nothing on the site to keep them interested.
Beginners to cash table play will find the Preview section (above) useful. It is a decent little semi-interactive tutorial which explains how the game works and can help complete beginners to the game understand it in a bit more detail as they play.
It’s a small addition but is certainly a useful one for absolute beginners.
However, it does seem that this is the type of market that the Red Kings Mobile App will likely attract. There just aren’t enough options on the app to keep high roller players, Sit & Go fans or MTT grinders coming back. Cash table fans will also find their options limited due to the inability to select your own table and the limited choice of stakes available.
The actual poker gameplay on the site is typical of the Playtech game. Red Kings have personalised the app slightly to create a blue table, which I think looks better and more striking than green, but there are some annoying aspects, such as a “Quick Fold” button appearing even when you are not playing Strobe Poker.
Click on the Quick Fold when playing at a cash table and the button doesn’t even work! Things like thus just smack of lazy programming and a lack of care and attention.
Another issue which seemed prominent was traffic. Many times I selected my parameters for play and was placed on a table on my own and was forced to wait several minutes for another player to join.
Certainly, the traffic on Red Kings is much slower than on other poker apps and one has to wonder whether their relatively low ranking on search engines plays a part in that.
The standard of play on the site wasn’t particularly high, but I did find that the gameplay at the tables was slightly slower than I would expect, especially in the Strobe Poker game, which actually played at a pace more like I would be used to on a traditional cash table.
The mechanics of the poker gameplay and presentation are fine. You can personalise the table using four settings (shown below), and the four colour deck is always a good option for novice players as it helps with spotting flushes.
All in all, Red Kings promised a great deal, but on closer expection didn’t really deliver the poker experience that I had hoped. There were a few nice touches and there is nothing inherently wrong with the app, it just felt a little incomplete and unloved.
But most of all, the lack of options for serious poker players means that this is only an app that is likely to appeal to beginner players, or those who like to grind out relatively small wins on cash tables.
If that is not you, then you will find that there’s not a lot to keep you playing on the Red Kings Poker app. It is not the worst app out there by any means, but it is also a long way from being the best at present.
Red Kings Poker App – the positive points
It is worth noting that there are some positive points about the Red Kings App which should be duly noted by poker players who are keen on cash table play in particular, namely:
Setting up the app on your devices is quick and easy and it does play well across a wide range of Android and iOS devices.
The new user bonus isn’t the biggest or best, but the addition of in play bonuses such as the Bad Beat and Red Kings bonus do enhance the appeal of the site, even if the actual chances of you realising these bonuses are very small.
The Strobe Poker option is a great addition for mobile players as it allows players to play poker at a much quicker pace than traditional table games, although on Red Kings the pace of play on the Strobe Poker tables was a little slower than I have come to expect when playing on other tables.
The presentation of the poker tables and colour scheme used is one of the nicer ones in operation with a blue and black scheme giving the table a stylish look.
For cash table fans who like to play for mid-low stakes, then there’s a good choice of tables available in the price range you enjoy. The level of competition too isn’t that great which means that it isn’t too difficult to win cash regularly.
Red Kings Poker App – the negative points
It’s fair to say though that for all its good points, Red Kings Poker App – just like many of the Playtech based apps before it – does suffer from some rather important flaws and omissions.
There are just not enough options for poker games to keep a typical UK mobile poker player coming to the site. The app appeals generally to mid-low stakes cash games players and that is all. The lack of MTTs and Sit & Go games severely impacts on its long term appeal to most poker players who like to punctuate their cash table play with a few games of sit & go or MTT play.
The software hasn’t been properly rid of bugs; one of the biggest being the “Quick Fold” button appearing when you are not playing Strobe Poker and when you click on it playing cash table games, the button doesn’t work anyway.
In general, the software also played at a relatively slow pace. While this is not a problem on cash tables, and may even be a benefit to novice players, in terms of Strobe Poker this is a real issue as the entire point of that game is that players play as many hands in a relatively short space of time. By slowing down speed poker, you are undermining the entire reason the game has been developed – to play poker at a faster pace.
Too often when you select the parameters for a table to play on, you are allocated to a table on your own. This does raise the question of traffic levels on the site and whether it actually has enough players to cater for all its players. There is nothing more annoying than selecting your parameters to play then being placed at a table alone and then having to wait a good while for other players to join you.
Linked in to what is written above, the inability to select your table to play at is a huge oversight, as is the lack of statistics about the current tables in play.
Red Kings Poker App – the conclusion – 4.5/10
It is easy to conclude that Red Kings is a bad app when reading the negative points above and that isn’t really the case. There are some nice touches within the app and in terms of cash games, there are a significant number of players who would be more than happy with the games available on the app.
Unfortunately, the modern UK mobile poker fan wants more than just mid-low stakes cash table play and the lack of these options on the app is why it loses so many points. Small bug issues, speed issues and perhaps more importantly, how you are allocated to tables randomly, rather than being able to select your table, also diminish its appeal greatly.
The Red Kings Poker App I would suggest is a good app for a beginner player to download to play a little speed poker and to perhaps their skills on a cash table, however for a more advanced player or player who wants to play in Sit & Go or MTT events, the app has very limited appeal.
This combined with a relatively poor value new player offer compared to other sites it is in direct competition with, and the fact that you cannot find the site easily online, means that Red Kings Poker may only appeal to a smaller section of the poker playing fraternity and that is certainly borne out by the lack of traffic on the site, even at peak times.
The good news is that there is plenty of scope for Red Kings to improve their app and I’m sure over the next 12-24 months, they and other companies that use this Playtech-based software, will be considering those options carefully.