Top Rated Social Poker Apps of 2018

Poker has grown immensely in popularity over the last 20 years, and one reason it has done so is the social aspect of the game. For many people, poker night has become the social event of choice for house parties and nights out on the town. Playing poker with friends takes away a lot of the intimidation around the game, which opens the door for many novice players to the game.

Of course, these days, people are busier than ever, so getting together in person for poker isn't as easy as it once was. Add in the fact that you need to be in the same vicinity as the people you are going to play with live, and you can start to see how online poker made playing with your friends easier. However, when you sit at a table in a standard poker site, you are randomly placed, so while you may be in the same event as your friends, you may not ever get to play hands with them.

As the poker world evolved, the smartphone was introduced. Very quickly, poker apps of all forms started appearing for download via the major operating platforms. Not only did these apps allow players to access games in a much more convenient manner, but some of them also made setting up a game for players and their friends easy as well.

These apps are all slightly different, so we thought we would dedicate this page to poker apps for playing with friends. Here, we can show you the differences between the apps you may see in your app store and what you should be looking for when searching for the perfect app for you and your friends.

The Best Poker Apps for Playing with Friends

There are many ways that we could look at what makes the best poker apps for those of you wanting to play with your friends. In the end, our reviewers had to look at the apps through a different lens than how they might rate a site for the individual player.

What you will find below is a list of the poker apps we have rated the highest for this group of players, and therefore the most recommended for playing with friends. You may not recognize all the sites listed here, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try them out. Our team has done all the research for you, and in our opinion, these will all give you and your friends the best experience, which is what matters the most to us!

What to Look for in a Poker with Friends App

As we mentioned, when our reviewers went back to look at all the reviews of poker apps we had completed to come up with information for this page, they needed to look at the reviews slightly differently. A player who is looking to play poker with their friends may not be looking for the same things from an app as someone out to try to win millions of dollars. While there are some common themes between the two, we wanted to focus on what attributes we look for that matter more to someone looking to use the poker app for social purposes. Here are some of the criteria that we look at when coming up with lists like the one above.

Poker with Friends on Mobile

Game Selection

Game selection is still important for a poker app for playing with friends, although it does take on a slightly different meaning here. Obviously, you want to have a poker app that offers all the different types of poker games available, like Texas hold'em, Omaha, and Stud. However, when looking at a site where you can play with your friends, you also want to have some flexibility when it comes to setting up games. Some sites will only allow you to set up tournaments and not cash games, while others limit the stakes levels of the private games allowed on their sites. The best apps are those that offer the most flexibility when it comes to setting up a game for you and your friends.

Real or Play Money Options

This is another way that sites are very different when it comes to giving players the ability to play with their friends. Many free play poker apps allow you to set up games for you and whoever you invite, but no money changes hands on the site. This is great for players who don't want to spend money, and it is also nice for players who don't want to have to jump through the hoops of setting up real money accounts and then making a deposit.

However, there are also real money poker apps that have a play money component. In most cases, these apps won't allow you to set up a private game unless there is some money being exchanged, as it is not worth the site's time to allow all these play money players onto their platforms. When you are looking for the right poker app for you and your friends, you need to ask yourself if you are planning on using the site for real money purposes, and that will narrow the field significantly.

Chat Functionality

Playing poker with your friends is more about the social side of the game than anything else, so if you are planning to play via an app, then the chat functionality at the tables becomes far more valuable. To be honest, this isn't something we even look at normally when we review a poker app, as it isn't nearly as important as other factors. However, we went back and looked at all the apps that allowed for playing with friends and reviewed the chat boxes - which ones allowed you to chat the most easily without encroaching on the table itself. The most intuitive chat functions were given a higher mark than others.

Rakeback and Bonuses

Many of the top poker apps have grown as big as they have due to a heavy emphasis on giving something back to players to entice them to play. This should extend to those who are setting up private games for their friends. Typically, the person who organizes the games would get some sort of kickback from the site for inviting new players to the platform. These bonuses can be used for extra prizing in tournaments that you run, providing even more value to your friends. You should be looking for sites that offer the best refer-a-friend offers as well as any that offer rakeback to players at all stakes levels. Every little bit helps, and why not get as much back from a poker app as you can, right?

Customer Service

It is likely that this app you choose will be the first that many of your friends will download to play poker, so there are bound to be many questions that need answering. Rather than making you the front-line customer support agent (no one wants that), we look for sites that have the most comprehensive set of frequently asked questions, as well as those with 24/7 live chat support directly from the app itself. The quicker your friends can have their questions answered, the sooner they can get to the table for you to try to take them down!

How to Use a Poker with Friends App

Using a poker app for playing with your friends is slightly more cumbersome than a regular poker app.

Here is an overview of all the steps to get playing.

First, you are going to have to choose and download an app to your iOS or Android device. Don't worry; they are all connected to the same servers, so regardless of what device your friends use, they will be able to access your games. Once you have downloaded the app and set up an account, you will need to find the section where you can set up a game. There, you will likely be given a few options to choose from (stakes level, speed, number of players, etc.). Once you select all the attributes of your game and give it a name, your table will be ready but not visible in the lobby.

Now that you have the game set up, you need to invite people. As part of the set-up process, you will have either been given or chosen a password for the table and a link to the game. You can send this information to your friends, and assuming they aren't morons (see customer service above), then they are only a few clicks away from having access to the tables. From there, you are all set! You can set up cash games, tournaments, and sit and go's that you and your friends can enjoy whenever you want!

Conclusion

Without the home game and social aspect of the game of poker, it may not have grown as quickly as it did back in the day. While players are less likely to get together in groups to play poker as they get older, the introduction of the poker app has allowed these games to continue. Now, with all this information we have given you on this page, you can find the best poker app for playing with your friends, set up a game, and invite them to play!

(Side Note: You may want to give your friends a link to one of our How to Play Poker page...that's being a good friend, right?)

Poker Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

Can my friends and I join other events on the site or just our private events?
Yes! In fact, that is the hope of the apps that allow you to set up private games. Many players won't sign up for a poker site on their own, so using these private games as a gateway to the rest of the site is an excellent way for poker companies to add players to their databases.
What if someone that I don't want joining the game gets a hold of the link to my game?
It depends on the individual site, but if the tournament has already started, and you have players that are seated that aren't part of the group, then there isn't much you can do aside from canceling the tournament and starting again. Each app will have a set of terms and conditions about setting up and canceling events, so you should refer to the app before you begin. Also, you should make sure your friends don't post the passwords for private games on any social media, as this is likely where someone uninvited found the information.
How does banking work for these poker with friends apps?
Assuming the app you choose is a real-money app, then you will find that the banking is the same as it is for playing as an individual. All the payment methods available to you and your friends will be listed in the cashier section of the app, and all you need to do is enter some information, and your deposit will be processed.

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