Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Insta Poker (a possible allusion to Instapaper but not at all related) is a poker game, but plays more like a reference or education app. The app sells “Hand-Packs,” which are tutorial-like poker situations created by poker pros to help amateur and budding professional players learn more about the game.
The app isn’t really usable without paying for one of the Hand-Packs. Each Hand-Pack has a preview-able hand, but the user doesn’t get the full experience of learning what the pack has to offer without buying one of them and working all the way through it. So, while the app’s free, it isn’t really free. It’s just a platform to purchase Hand-Packs.
To give the app a fair shot, I purchased one of the packs. I went with the $1.99 pack by Matt Berkey, “Winning Casino Cash Games: Premium Hands.” There are a few packs for cash games and a few for tournament play. I play more cash games, so I went with that one. This particular pack was about getting the maximum amount of money out of traditional premium hold’em hands (like pocket AA-JJ, AK, and AQ). I found the information in the pack to be incredibly helpful to my game.
Within the Hand-Packs, the decisions made for each bet are rated on a 0 to 3 point scale (0 being a bad move and 3 being the best decision). With each of those decisions, whether poor or correct, a detailed description of why that move was good or bad is given. The experience feels like a poker lesson where the teacher is laying out scenarios and breaking down the student’s play. It’s incredibly helpful and the advice is almost always enlightening, even for a player that plays slightly more than recreationally like myself.
The scores for each hand are displayed in the pack. Players can go back and practice by attempting to get a better score (hopefully a perfect score eventually). This will give players the most value out of the money they spent on the packs.
Since the Hand-Packs range from $0.99 to $6.99, interested players can easily spend quite a bit of money on this app. Players should get as much practice and value out of each pack before moving to the next. Since the game is unplayable without an in-app purchase, it took a significant hit in our Playtime rating. But Insta Poker is still a great app for anyone willing to conisder in in-app purchases a micro-lessons from poker pros.