Poker? Solitaire? The Must-Have iPhone Apps for Card Sharks

Card games are some of the oldest games known, and have the capacity to be anything from thrilling to relaxing, single player or massively multiplayer. Card games also appeal to all ages, whether you’re a toddler who can barely say “go fish” or a weather-beaten old crank at a blackjack table. The iPhone also appeals to just about anyone, and is about the same size as a deck of cards, so naturally they are a good match.

Read on to find out the best selection of card games for the iPhone or iPod Touch.

World Series of Poker Hold’em Legend

The World Series of Poker has gone from a minor annual Las Vegas event and late-night television show to an enormous enterprise. After the success of books, contests, and official home poker sets, here is the iPhone game, and it does not disappoint. The World Series of Poker app is the best way to play Texas Hold’em– the official poker variant of the series– either alone or in an online contest including thousands. Chips must be bought with real money from within the app, which is sure to make the experience more realistic and intense.

Sol Free Solitaire

Sol Free Solitaire is the free version of Solebon Solitaire, but it is an amazingly full-featured app in its own right. It includes six different kinds of solitaire, all within a tidy, minimal environment and with sound design that won’t interfere with whatever you’re listening to in the iPod or Pandora app. Sol Free Solitaire has great retina-display capable graphics, unlimited undo, stats, and all the bells and whistles of a much more expensive game. It is definitely worth the download.

Video Poker

The name says it all. Video Poker is a “Jacks or Better,” slot style game that doesn’t mimic real cards as much as it mimics the feel of a dated old video poker machine in a real, off-the-strip casino. Mobilityware, the app’s developer, got all the details right, from the harsh blue background to the pixelated graphics on the cards. It doesn’t look good, but it looks so accurate that anyone who likes video poker is sure to love it.

Blackjack 21

It’s rare to find a fresh take on the virtual card game, but Blackjack 21 has done it in spades– no pun intended. What sets this game apart from the pack is the inclusion of true-to-life blackjack gestures, just like you would use in the casino. Players can tap the touchscreen to place a bet, and swipe down to hit. Even apart from this novelty, the game animations look great, and countless new table and card themes are available for download.

Card Tower

The House of Cards: Sometimes the most fun you can have with a deck of cards is in simply trying to build a precarious house out of them. Now, you can take this rainy day fun with you anywhere, with Card Tower: The House of Cards. If you look past the redundant name, you’ll find a game with a clever touch interface and smooth 3D graphics. It’s silly, but it’s also strangely compelling. Maybe that’s why, against all odds, it’s consistently in the top 10 list of card apps in over 30 countries.

Reasons to Play Online Slots

Are you aware the reasons to play online slots? If not, you are missing the boat. There are many reasons why you should get involved with these games. Those who are only playing at land based casinos could be leaving money on the table, while not having nearly as much fun as they could.

The number one reason to play online slots is that you do not have to leave your home to make this happen. You are able to sit back and relax while hoping for the best. As long as you have a computer with internet you will be in position to play morning, noon, or night.

What about the money? Is there any chance that I can win a lot of money by playing online slots? The short answer to this question is yes. You can win a lot. In many cases, you will find progressive machine with six figure jackpots. Does it get any bigger than that? These games are available at many online casinos.

Finally, some slots online are better than those at the casino. The reason for this is simple: they cost less, have better payouts, and are easier to understand. Do not necessarily believe that all land based casinos are better than those that you can find online – this is not the truth all of the time.

Now that you know some of the better reasons to play online slots you should dive in head first. Soon enough you will be competing online and loving every minute of it.

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.