Casino Games – 5 Best Vegas-Style Apps For iPad and iPhone

The Apple iPad is set to completely revolutionize the nature of gaming. While the iPhone and iPod Touch gave us a glimpse of what a full multi-touch gaming device is capable of, the iPad brings this experience to us with a full-sized screen. Some of the most popular games on the iPad will undoubtedly be casino games. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear as if you can play these games for real money yet. However, there are a few casino games which let you hone your skills, play with your friends, and otherwise have a lot of fun. Let’s take a look at the top five casino games currently available to download for the iPad.

Texas Hold’em (Apple) – $4.99

It’s hard to create a list of the best iPad casino games without mentioning this official game created by Apple. This game has everything you’d expect in a game made by Apple. The graphics are beautiful, and the gameplay is intuitive. You can easily set up a match against your friend via a Wi-Fi connection. Depending on whether you hold the iPad in landscape or portrait mode, you can get a different view of the action. In-game tips, strategies and hints make this game top-notch.

World Series of Poker Hold’em Legend (Glu) – $2.99

This is a high quality poker game released in November 2009. You can play against your friends via Bluetooth, or play against players from all over the world on your internet connection. This game is based on the number one brand in poker – the WSOP. What poker player doesn’t dream of getting his shot at the World Series? You get to play in authentic venues, and you can even save your favorite hands so that you can show your friends the huge bluff you made or the unbelievable lucky draw of your opponent.

Blackjack (MobilityWare) – $0.99

MobilityWare makes the most popular blackjack app in the AppStore. If you don’t want to pay the 99 cents, then you can opt for the free ad-supported version. This game is designed to emulate the real world conditions of a Las Vegas blackjack game. Although you don’t play for real money, you can practice and hone your skills for the times when you do actually sit down at a real money table. This is a great game if you want to practice your card counting skills so that you can finally beat the dealer.

Big Spin Slots (Electron Hut) – $1.99

This is an extremely popular slots game for the iPad. It features a traditional 3-line slot machine display rather than the confusing 50-line slot machines you sometimes get from other apps or in Vegas. You can simply shake your iPad to begin spinning the wheels, and then touch them via the full interactive interface to stop them. Big Spin Slots also features a bonus game that resembles a wheel of fortune spinning wheel. This is the type of game you won’t be able to put down because you want just one more spin.

Aw Craps! (24x7digital) – $1.99

This is by far the most realistic craps game in the App Store. It features audio to simulate the calls of the dealer, and the dealer will even give you hints and tips on how you can place your bets. The dice rolling is probably the coolest experience that has ever been developed. It is 3D and fully realistic. You can gently shake your iPad to joggle the dice in your hand, or shake it hard to roll the dice. The dealer will give you a warning if you don’t throw the dice hard enough. This is an extremely high quality game.

Online Gambling and Smartphones

The day is rapidly approaching when you could be sitting in a boring staff meeting or waiting on a train platform for your sweetheart to arrive, and win a few bucks in real money playing in an online casino on your iPhone or other “smartphone.” The mobile gaming industry is pushing hard for the day to get here as soon as possible, and it is rapidly becoming reality.

A recent study by Juniper Research estimates that mobile online gambling will be a $48 billion industry by the year 2015, with players enjoying lotteries, parimutuel betting, and the standard casino games like slots and blackjack. The smartphone is the perfect device for online betting, though in the US, users must use various work-arounds to use them successfully while legislation clarifying the legality of online betting churns its way through Congress.

One possibly enormous player in the world of mobile web gaming could be state lotteries in the US. Selling lottery tickets over the counter is not always easy, and many people are embarrassed to buy them. But buying them online is a more private transaction that more people find appealing. Adding apps for buying lottery tickets to phones is likely to draw millions of customers. The technology already exists, and is in wide use in the UK and other countries. For example, China’s VODone Lottery has nine million users, and these apps have proven extremely popular in countries in Africa and Latin America.

Some internet casinos are choosing to concentrate on smart phone users more than on other online gamblers. Surveys have shown that online bettors use their mobile phones in large numbers, and those numbers are only expected to rise over the next few years. If legal issues in the US are resolved, they will likely rise even more dramatically as people go online with their phones to play slots, poker, and other games. Adapting online gaming for mobile devices involves fitting the entire site onto the screen so that players can see the entire page at one time while they are playing.

Internet gambling is, as expected, the most popular on the best selling mobile devices, such as the iPhone, the iPad, and the iPhone Touch. Nokia has recently come out with four new models that make it easy for players to visit web casinos or place online sports wagers. These devices run on the Symbian operating system, which has a reputation for fast connections, making them potentially more appealing to online gamblers.

The worlds of smart mobile devices and web-based casinos are merging as more people choose to access the web with their smart phones when they don’t have their computer or netbook handy (or don’t have a WiFi signal). Web casinos are reaching out to these devices in hopes of making the experience as entertaining as possible for these users.

iPhone App Developers Shun App Store

Since its inception, Apple Computer Inc.’s success has hinged on its ability to walk the fine line of keeping its technologies proprietary without alienating the people who make the company successful: those who develop software for Apple’s devices, and the end users who ultimately purchase and use the Apple products. There are countless well-documented cases of the company’s tight-fisted approach rousing the ire of consumers and developers alike. How well the industry giant is walking that fine line is again being called into question, as Apple’s strategies have inadvertently spawned a rapidly growing cottage industry of developers and consumers who are finding it necessary to look beyond the app store to meet their iPhone application needs and fulfill their desires for functionality that Apple has deliberately restricted.

Apple’s tight regulation of the apps that they will allow in their app store has been sending ripples of dissent through the ranks of iPhone fans worldwide ever since the company launched their app store in July of 2008 and they began making policy decisions with regard to apps created by independent developers. We have seen countless apps denied inclusion to the app store for reasons that have been mysterious, vague, overly censoring, anti-competitive, and unevenly applied.

Apple lost further favor with free-thinking technology enthusiasts with their vigorous legal battle over “jailbreaking” the iPhone, which they lost. The Electronic Frontier Foundation had been petitioning federal regulators for years to add an exemption to the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) to make it legal for consumers to customize the iPhone’s operating system to allow it to run any app the consumer wants – whether Apple has approved the app or not. In typical fashion, Apple strongly opposed this proposition and fought it at great expense, arguing that modification of the iPhone’s operating system ultimately creates a derivative work that infringes on their copyright. Federal regulators were unambiguous in their response. They declared in no uncertain terms that it is absolutely legal for consumers to “jailbreak” an iPhone once it has been purchased from Apple.

The cumulative result of the discontent with Apple’s app store policies combined with the now perfectly legal jailbreaking possibilities is that there is a growing movement amongst many of the more forward-thinking developers to shun the app store altogether and find other means of distributing their iPhone applications to end users. After all, it is no longer necessary to have your app in the app store to have a legitimate commercial iPhone application to offer consumers. One needs only to spend a few minutes on a jailbroken iPhone to see more than enough evidence of this trend. Cydia is one of the leaders of jailbreaking software, and their store is bursting with apps, hacks, modifications, and tweaks that would never be allowed in the app store. You can install themes that customize the entire look of the iPhone operating system, find apps that spoof caller ID, add custom video ringtones (so each time a particular person calls you your phone shows a video that you selected), and many others.

Other evidence of this mounting trend can be seen in the recent launch of Microgaming’s new iPhone casino, which allows players (currently non-U.S. only) to play adapted versions of classic casino games for real money. This full-featured, state-of-the-art mobile casino was developed specifically for the iPhone by the largest software company in the online casino world (in partnership with mobile specialists Spin3), and with these deep pockets they chose to develop a browser-based application that sidesteps Apple’s app store completely – creating an iPhone casino that functions without the need for any software to be downloaded or installed.

Whether or not Apple with alter its course to meet the needs of this expanding segment of its iPhone customer base remains to be seen. Regardless, one thing is for sure: the liberation of the iPhone has begun. Cydia and iPhone casinos are just the very beginning. A new generation of iPhone apps is being created right now that will push the boundaries of this revolutionary device toward its maximum, unbridled potential.