Casino Apps or Desktop: Which Is Better For Online Poker?



Online gambling has steadily been growing in popularity for a long time now. Among the most popular casino and betting games out there, poker has remained a firm favorite for years. 

Between the myriad of ways to play and the exciting iterations of the game available through online platforms, poker has established its own fan bases and global followings. However, with so many different ways to play the game online now, many newbies wonder if it’s better to play online poker on apps or a desktop platform. Here’s our take. 

Accessibility in a Legal Sense

While most states in the US don’t offer legal online poker sites yet, offshore poker sites are a great alternative, and many sites are compatible with both mobile apps and desktop computers. According to Filip Jovchevski, offshore poker offers players certain advantages, like lower rake fees and anonymous play. 

While many well-known online casino and poker sites offer both desktop and mobile app versions to play on, for those that don’t, knowing the difference between the two is crucial when choosing. Given how much mobile gaming apps have grown and advanced over the years, there really isn’t much of a difference between the two anymore. That being said, there are some key differences that bear mention.

The Differences Between Desktop Sites and Apps

Desktop sites are those sites typically built for access and use via a desktop PC or laptop. As such, they usually offer a more detailed user interface, have graphics and informational details that are more comprehensive, and can pack in more detailed features, since they are generally used on larger screens. 

While most of these sites can still be accessed on a mobile phone, or have mobile versions, a smaller screen generally means features are more condensed, graphics are toned down, and playing options may not be as richly detailed. For those desktop sites that don’t offer mobile versions, accessing the full site on a mobile device may also mean that if such device doesn’t have enough computing power, the site may be slower to load or refresh, and playing may be slowed down, compromised, or even prone to crashes if the discrepancies between the device’s capabilities and the site’s features are too great. 

However, these are generalized problems and don’t apply to every platform or device. For example, if a player is using a top-of-the-range Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra smartphone, the sheer computing power of such a phone means it can generally handle any desktop site flawlessly. At the same time, the kind of apps that such phones are capable of running can be as richly detailed as any site out there, since high-end models like it come with cutting-edge features. 

What Poker Players Are Looking For

The main difference between apps and desktop sites for online poker players ultimately comes down to what an individual player is looking for. Both offer the convenience of being able to play real money poker, live games, and even international tournaments with other players from the comfort of one’s own home. 

However, the obvious restriction with desktop sites is the fact that they offer less convenience and mobility. If a player is using a traditional desktop PC, this means they can only access and play on their site of choice if they are in front of their PC. Laptops offer an advantage in that sense because they can be taken around with a person, however, they are still more bulky and cumbersome than a phone. 

On the other hand, smartphones can easily be carried around and are generally kept on our person at all times. It’s largely for this reason that mobile games are the fastest-growing gaming genre at the moment. When it comes to mobile poker games, the added mobility of apps means a player can easily access and play poker on an app no matter where they are. This is crucial for players who enjoy mobility or have to travel around a lot. 

Generational Differences 

For older players or players who may have issues with their vision, smaller screens can be less favorable. With more minute graphics and details, it can prove more difficult for some people to follow the details of a game on a smaller screen. There are, of course, no such issues on a desktop site. 

For older players, those who may not be as savvy with a smartphone as people who grew up in later generations, desktops can also offer a sense of familiarity and comfort. Younger people tend to find greater comfort in smartphones, with many of them growing up in an era where smartphones and apps for everything have become an indispensable part of everyday life. 

To the Future 

Given the rapid pace at which online poker and gambling platforms have been advancing, the sites and apps that offer them are continuously evolving. With mobile apps leading in terms of growth and popularity, it’s likely that most players will eventually begin exclusively switching to them, whether they have always played on them or not. 

Until then, for those poker players who still prefer desktop sites, there are still plenty of options available to them on specialized sites. Either way, the manner in which players can access and play online poker and other casino games is always improving. In fact, even the payment methods are advancing every day. 

For example, platforms that allow players to pay with cryptocurrency are growing more popular. As a result, specialized crypto poker online platforms can now be accessed and played with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies — regardless of whether they’re accessed on a desktop or via an app. 


Whether it’s better to play online poker on a desktop site or an app is ultimately dependent on a player’s preferences. There are a multitude of options available for either. Each offers its own pros and cons, and while newbies may prefer one platform, experienced players like Paul Wasicka may opt for another. For example, desktop sites may offer a richer and more detailed experience, while apps offer greater mobility and convenience. Regardless of which method a player chooses, the ultimate consideration should be whether a site operates legally, is secure, and fair. 

Tyler Darby

Tyler Darby