It is an extensive list of different gambling options and puts the company in direct competition with the likes of Bet365, 888 and Sky.
Despite the wide variety of gaming options available via the website, the company is best known for its sports betting and poker sites.
A quick look at the Winner Poker website revealed a familiar layout (it is also the same software – developed by Playtech – used my Bet365) and a whole host of ring games, sit & go events and multi-table tournaments.
As such I was expecting a lot from the Winner App when I downloaded it onto my PC, although it has to be said that Winner are currently marketing the Winner Poker Mobile App as a beta version – so hopefully we can expect the full app, updated and upgraded, at some point during 2014.
For the time being, let’s take a look at the Winner Poker beta version. To enable me to conduct the review, I played Winner Poker’s mobile app on both an iPhone 5S and an iPad, both running the latest version of iOS 7.
Winner Poker App software at-a-glance
You can download the beta version of the Winner Poker Mobile App for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad devices that are running version iOS5 or later.
Although the app will run on all these devices, it is optimised specifically for iPhone 5.
The app is also available as a download for Android devices, although there is no specific device support but there should not be any problems for players who use an Android device using one of the latest operating systems.
At present, there’s no other support available for other smartphones or tablets, such as Windows Phone, BlackBerry or similar at present.
Whether this will be addressed in the full release of the app is unclear at the time of writing.
The Winner Poker Mobile App is available from many different sources.
You can visit the website in your mobile browser and send a link to your email to download the correct version for your device, or you can visit Google Play or the App Store in order to download the version you need depending on the device you have.
Certainly when it comes to locating and downloading the Winner Poker Mobile App, it is one of the easiest to locate and download that I’ve reviewed.
You have a choice of two real money games if you have cash in your account.
It is somewhat disappointing that you only have a choice of two different types of poker games to pick from, cash table games (of a variety of different stake levels) and Speed Hold’em, a variant of Speed Poker.
The app software allows you to define certain parameters to help you find a game you like quickly, such as the number of players, the size of the blind and big blind you want to play for, the currency you want to play in and whether the game is No Limit, Limit or Pot Limit.
Essentially though, with the Winner Poker Mobile App you have a choice of a couple of cash table games, and that is it. There are no MTTs or Sit & Go options available via mobile (though these are readily available via the website).
Any other software restrictions
None, other than the usual restrictions of players having to be 18 or over to play.
Winner Poker App – overview
The first thing to note in this section of the review is, to be fair to Winner Poker, they do make it abundantly clear that their app is a ‘beta’ stage development.
To the uninitiated, this means that while the software is working, there are likely to be a few bugs and other issues with it that are not yet fixed and also that the software is not entirely finished.
This is important as without that warning and taking that this is a beta release into consideration, I would have scored this app significantly lower.
Signing up on the app was relatively quick and easy and it was nice to see that the registration page was well formatted and easy to read, which meant entering your data was generally easy.
However, there seemed to be glitches with the payment page, which was a tad worrying, and the lack of PayPal payment options was a disappointment, especially with all the other forms of eWallet payment options available through the app.
Pleasingly, you do get a very good sign up deal as a new player with Winner Poker, although quite what that is, you are not entirely sure of.
If you view the website, you will see that UK based players will receive £10 free, no deposit required (when you verify your account via a text message that gives you a special code number), as well as a 250% first deposit bonus of up to $2,000.
Yet when you load up the app, it tells you that you receive $5 free in a no deposit bonus.
So which offer is correct? It is certainly unclear and sends mixed messages to the mobile user. So much so that I opted for caution and registered and deposited cash online first, before logging in via my iPad.
I can confirm that registering this way sees you receive not just £10 no deposit, plus an additional £10 bonus when you make a first deposit, and a nice no deposit bonus too of 250%.
Once you make a deposit, the second £10 bonus is immediately available, while the first no deposit bonus is drip-fed to you over your first few days of joining up. This may seem annoying, but actually works out well as it means if you do bust out on your first day, you still have some money coming into the account over the next couple of days, which encourages you to play more on the app.
And you will need that extra encouragement.
The first thing that is apparent when you log into the app to play the game is that you need to have your device in landscape, rather than portrait. Unfortunately, if you receive this message, sometimes the software glitches and you have to quit out the software, close it down and then re-open it and log in (which again, seems to cause the occasional glitch, such as logging you out of the software, rather than in to it).
When the Winner Poker Mobile App software does load up you have a choice of Cash Table Games and Speed Poker Cash Table games. There are no sit and go games available to play, nor any multi-table tournament games (both of which are readily available on the site).
Of the two, I found the Speed Hold’em game the better suited to playing via mobile.
Certainly, when it came to making money on a more consistent basis, the more hands you get through in a short space of time is far better suited to the mobile experience and means that players who only have a short amount of time to play, can still rattle through a large number of hands.
I did encounter one or two problems with the poker software, however.
At times, the table would seem to hang for no apparent reason, especially after one hand had finished. So much so that at moments, you are tempted to reset the software as it looks like it has crashed.
Experience taught me that if you wait long enough, it does right itself eventually, but it’s not ideal especially when the name of the game you are playing is Speed Hold’em.
I did assume that I was encountering these issues due to my own iPad having too many programmes running, so I closed everything down on the iPad bar the Winner Poker App and I still encountered the same problems.
One positive side however was that I found winning on the Speed Hold’em games relatively easy, although whether that was just down to the good cards I had and a healthy sprinkling of luck, I am not so sure.
The Cash Tables were slightly different. I didn’t encounter quite as many bugs when using the cash tables and to be fair to Winner Poker, there is an excellent selection of cash tables available that will suit the micro stakes player, right up to those who want to play for considerably larger amounts.
If you use the filters on the front screen as shown above, you are often placed onto an empty table and can sit there waiting for other players to join you for a considerable amount of time.
To combat this, I tried to navigate through the list of tables on the app (of which there are many as you can see in the picture below) only to find that scrolling through the list was almost impossible due to software issues.
Even the simple act of scrolling up and down the list, or sorting the list by different variables (such as blind size, or numbers of players at the table) worked, at best, intermittently and most often not at all.
This was a shame as when you actually managed to reach a cash table that you were happy to play at, the actual game itself worked well and there were fewer glitches at the cash tables, than at the Speed Hold’em tables.
Graphically, the Winner Poker app is very similar to the Bet365 Mobile App. It uses the same Playtech software as the basis and the software, when it works, certainly performs well enough. However there are just too many glitches for it to be workable at present.
This is a shame as from the original Winner Poker website, this is an app that has real potential to be one of the very best if they can grasp the positive aspects from the website and transfer that over onto the app.
Even taking into account that this app is a beta version, unfortunately the Winner Poker Mobile App is still a long, long way from achieving that.
Winner Poker App – the positive points
Being somewhat brutal, the Winner Poker Mobile App is a bit of a mess, but even in its beta state and requiring a lot of work, there are still some positives that you take from it.
The initial registration for the site was very easy to compile and the layout used, combined with the graphics made it very easy to register, even on the smaller iPhone.
The overall design of the site and the Winner Poker colour scheme is very attractive and appealing to the eye. Used as a basis and by smartening up the Playtech software to a newer or certainly more stable version and you could see the next incarnation of the Winner Poker App being one of the best looking apps on the market.
The site was popular, with plenty of players at the tables, especially the mid-to-lower stakes tables, although high stakes players will also be relieved that there were a fair few players at those tables too.
One of the biggest positives about Winner Poker was the bonus. Although there is some confusion over what is stated in the app and what is stated on site, I received my bonus very quickly and with the minimum of fuss, which is far better than many other mobile apps I have reviewed which have seen me miss out on a bonus completely, or so confused by the process to get one that I haven’t bothered.
The 250% deposit bonus is also one of the biggest bonuses I’ve seen and you also receive free entry into freeroll events too. This is one aspect of their mobile app (and website) that Winner Poker have really got right.
Financial transactions went through smoothly, though there are a few worrying glitches with that aspect of the site which would need to be addressed in the final version.
The actual representation of the poker table and cards is somewhat bog-standard, but it does the job and when it works well, it is quick and speedy. There are plenty of options available to personalise your tabletop too.
The standard of play, especially in the Speed Poker rooms, wasn’t particularly difficult, so I could see most players enjoying a little success in these rooms over time.
Finally, one of the nicest touches about the app was the ability to see your current status as regards your bonuses. Not many apps have this available (some, you have to visit the website to discover this) so to have it to hand immediately via the app, was a nice touch and helps you understand how much more you need to play in order to fully realise your bonuses.
Winner Poker App – the negative points
As I stated above, even taking into account that this is a beta release and is likely to have bugs, then you can only come to the conclusion that the Winner Poker Mobile App is very much a work in progress.
That is putting it somewhat kindly due to the many negative points I encountered when reviewing the app, namely:
Conflicting information in the app as to what your new player bonus is, compared to what is on the website (I can confirm though that I registered via the website and received the bonus as stated on the site, rather than in the app. As such, I’d recommend anyone joining Winning Poker via mobile, to do so instead from a PC, at least until these issues are addressed).
Numerous software bugs and glitches – some of these software glitches are just mildly annoying, such as the software occasionally hanging if you did not have your device in landscape mode, as opposed to portrait. Or getting a repeated error message on start up to check your Internet connection as there is an issue with the signal, when the Internet is actually working completely fine. These are the kinds of software issues I would tend to expect from a beta test version of an app.
However, the problems I encountered with Winner Poker’s Mobile app went far beyond that.
The software would also hang repeatedly, often for a considerable amount of time, when playing Speed Hold’em and when you use the filters to select a table to play, more often than not you would be placed on a table on your own, rather than joining a table where there was a space for you to play. (See picture)
Perhaps more of an issue for people with an eye to security were the glitches encountered when you went to make a deposit or withdrawal from your mobile device.
Numerous times I was taken to the wrong page, or the software hung, which really undermined my confidence in this being a reliable poker app and put doubts into my mind as to how secure the app actually was regarding my personal and financial data.
With only 2 types of poker games to select from, both based on cash table play, there just isn’t enough in the app, even if it was working properly, to keep the typical poker player interested over any sustained period of time.
While I think the Speed Hold’em is a great option for mobile players in particular, most poker players want to try Sit & Go or MTTs from time to time and the lack of these options, plus no option for play cash games, severely impacts the long term appeal of the app.
Winner Poker App – the conclusion – 3/10
Even adopting a more lenient view of the Winner Poker Mobile App given its beta status, it’s fair to say that there is still a great deal of work to be done if Winner Poker are seriously going to attempt to break into the mobile poker market.
As it stands, the current Winner Poker Mobile app does have some good points, and a fabulous starter bonus, but unfortunately it is dogged by far too many negative issues to do with the very basics of developing a successful app, which make it a real struggle to use.
As such, it is unlikely that many poker players are going to have the patience to persevere with the app, especially when there are far more stable, better designed apps out there.
Additionally, there are apps that offer more than simply cash games for the user, which may limit who wants to use the Winner Poker App.
In addition to being almost impossible to navigate through at times to find the table you want, there are worrying gaps in logic.
Why place a player at an empty table, when there are seats available? Why when clicking to go to the “Lobby”, do you send the player to the deposit menu?
And, there are just not enough gaming options to keep the typical poker player entertained, even if they were prepared to put up with these issues and give the app a try.
As such, it is a lowly score for the Winner Poker App, however there is hope that by the time the final app is released, likely some time this year, many of these issues will have been resolved.
When the new app is released, we’ll bring you the updated review here. In the meantime, players may want to check out our list of best UK free money poker offers.