Terminal Poker may not be a name familiar to all but, having launched as a competitor to Rush (as in Poker, not the prog rock band or the bum sex drug) it seems to be slowly but surely finding its feet in the crowded poker market place. For those who loved Rush Poker this is really the only option at the moment.
While Terminal Poker can be played via a download client it was initially designed for touch screens and plays a lot better that way. As in Rush Poker you are randomly re-seated as soon as your interest in the current hand is over, ready to face the next available opponents in the player pool. There are regular freerolls running and ‘full’ MTTs and STTs are in the pipeline but as with FTP’s original it’s the cash games that are of interest and where the main action is.
The first thing that will probably grab you is that the numbers are low and this is generally true but as the players are pooled together at each stake this isn’t always a problem. European evenings are the best times to play (this is a Euro focused site) and once you hit 20+ players in the pool everything runs pretty smoothly with hands per hour picking up nicely. Once those numbers are there the re-seat is instantaneous and you’re in the next hand so concerns over the player base right now shouldn’t be too big. Especially when the main issue when it comes to mobile poker is playability rather than liquidity. Nobody who’s attempted to bring mobile poker to the masses has got it right just yet but things are getting closer, with Terminal Poker probably one of the best examples so far.
Terminal Poker player numbers are growing daily due to the 30% rakeback and the sign up bonus of 200% up to €400 you can claim now.
At the moment Terminal Poker are also offer a pre sign up bonus! You can sign up now and get an instant extra €20 bonus using the bonus code TER20. This instant bonus will be put into your account as long as you deposit €20 or more and rake 1 hand. Then after raking 1 hand and getting the bonus you can deposit for the normal sign up bonus on top of this.
There are three crucial things needed to make mobile successful and Terminal Poker is close to cracking two of them. One of these is the ability to multi-table which hasn’t been mastered yet and of course would be difficult to do – although Switch Poker have tried and will be reviewed at a later date. You can’t multi-table on Terminal although the need is less given that the action here is much quicker (although unlike in the old Rush Poker days on the download you cannot enter the same game pool more than once).
Another is the visibility of the cards themselves. The cards here are a good size and with the cartoon look and the optional 4 colour deck no player should ever be in doubt as to what their hole cards are or what’s on the board, even on the smallest screens. The next thing, and the most frustrating issue on most of the mobile poker offerings so far is the betting options.
Bet sliders seem to be in vogue at the moment but they are notoriously difficult to negotiate accurately on iPhone / iPod or Android screens so playing your normal game is particularly difficult. Although mobile poker is not meant to be a replacement for conventional online games players shouldn’t have to develop a new style just to play it and luckily with Terminal Poker, and the Rush Poker format, you just don’t need to. Whether you’ve got 5 minutes before your train arrives or you’ve got an hour until your flight starts boarding you can dip into a game quickly and play for as long as you like.
As you’ll see from the screenshot there is no bet slider for mobile, you simply tap the icon for the amount you want to bet, hitting multiple times if necessary with quick and accurate responses and the option for resetting and changing the bet if you need to. Gay raising, 3-betting and 4-betting are all quick and easy.
There is no ‘bet pot’ option but the purists among you will probably be pleased about that, especially as the betting mechanism here is so straightforward. There is also no check / fold option which was an important addition that Full Tilt made once Rush Poker had been running for a few weeks. Without it you are obliged to wait for a bet before you can ditch a useless hand – if you see a flop you don’t like and are first to act you will be stuck there if everyone else checks rather than being able to move on which can prove irritating at times. That, coupled with the current low player base are the main drawbacks but neither is disastrous. 20 big blind minimum buy-ins are not ideal either but are understandable given that they allow freeroll players to take, and normally lose, their tournament winnings into the cash games.
With regard to numbers, and particularly to fish, Terminal Poker’s long term goal is to recruit new blood not just through adding to the portfolio of existing poker firms but via betting terminals in shops, pubs, clubs and casinos. The betting terminals, as and when they are launched and become widespread, should bring fish in their droves which will do wonders for liquidity. Overall Terminal Poker on the move is pretty decent, almost certainly the best option at the moment and with a few tweaks could end up near perfect.