Partypoker Product Overhaul Shows Industry’s Move Toward Mobile and Social gaming

Just 15 years ago most players wouldn’t have imagined how big a role cell phones would play in online poker. Mobile gaming is now a major part of the industry and operators are catering to this growing segment of players.

Partypoker recently announced a new mobile experience for its players. A more social gaming experience is also included – also a growing trend in the industry.

“The new SPINS product shows our commitment to improving the mobile experience for our customers,” partypoker head of product Ross McQuater said. “The new lobby and portrait table for SPINS with new and exciting features … aims to provide our customers with a more fun and engaging playing experience.”

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“This is just one of many updates that will be delivered in the coming months as we overhaul our mobile proposition.”

Partypoker brings new landscape design for social gaming

The new partypoker app offers significant changes and appeals to those accustomed to already using a mobile device for gaming. Partypoker SPINS are three-handed sit and go tournaments. A multiplier randomly determines the size of the prizepool before the first card is dealt.

These types of tournaments have become extremely popular since their debut on PokerStars in 2014. They include an added element of luck. That and such a low number of players make them perfect for mobile play.

Along with the focus on SPINS, partypoker players will find a new portrait layout meant to emphasize ease of use. With more players now betting and bluffing a small screen, supporting one-handed gameplay was a major focus.

“This app brings poker on your phone into the modern age,” partypoker Team Online member and Twitch streamer Jaime Staples said. “The experience of just being able to play with one finger is something I have never had the chance to experience before. It’s so simple and intuitive.”

Players will also notice improved table tiling to easily cycle between games. The new platform is pleasing to the eye with easy to use action buttons, graphics, and icons. A player’s hand is easy to see as well as the flop, turn, and river.

Partypoker has taken a minimalist approach to make mobile play simple and efficient. Players won’t need to search among numerous small icons — finding what a player needs is easy.

The company plans to seek player feedback in the coming months to further improve the mobile product.

New mobile poker features include social currency

With 750 million players utilizing social games worldwide, it serves operators well to move in that direction with poker. Zynga Poker boasts hundreds of millions of users around the world.

Partypoker seems to be adopting that approach with hopes of continuing to grow its player base. The first phase of the mobile product overhaul includes a new SPINS interface with some innovative features. 

Gameplay now introduces a new social-friendly currency, known as Diamonds. App designers hope it “offers a more immersive playing experience.”

Diamonds are earned based on the number of hands played. They can be spent on in-game benefits such as rabbit hunting for cards cards or even throwing a variety of animations at opponents.

As an example, throwing an item at a player will cost one Diamond and comes with animated sounds adding to the experience.

Other features designed to provide a social element include:

  • bubble chat
  • emojis and animations
  • enhanced dialogues such as announcing tournament winners, aimed at generating greater excitement among players
  • new hand re-player
  • easier SPINS tournaments search tool
  • a redesigned and more user-friendly lobby
  • a redesigned multiplier animation

Mobile and social are huge parts of online poker’s future

Party certainly isn’t the only operator heading in this direction. PokerStars has emphasized social gaming and mobile poker. Daniel Negreanu mentioned GGPoker’s emphasis on mobile poker this week in his announcement about becoming an ambassador for the site.

“The mobile client is cutting edge,” he said. “It’s super user friendly, fun, and engaging.”

GG has even included a staking feature. Players can offer others the opportunity to buy their action or choose to back others.

While mobile and social has been a focus for years, that appears to be ramping up even more.

“Mobile gaming – on phones and tablets – has been the center of online poker for many years now, and it will likely increase its dominance in the future,” says longtime industry insider Michael Josem, who has worked as senior manager for game security and then as head of public relations for PokerStars.

“We can expect online poker operators to slowly de-prioritize their Windows and Mac downloadable software in the near future as the industry focuses on mobile clients and some sort of online HTML5 client for desktops and laptops.”

Mobile may be a priority now, but laptop players won’t be forgotten anytime soon. Operators remain open to reaching players on any medium.

“I’m surprised that recent online poker entrants like Run It Once even bothered creating a desktop client,” Josem notes, “but that shows a remarkable commitment to the legacy model of online poker.”