Beating Texas Hold'Em on the iPhone


Flying cross-country twice over the past week gave me a chance to spend a little more time with the Texas Hold'Em app for the iPhone. While a great application, unfortunately the AI is very weak and easily beatable, even in the tournaments with the most expensive buyins.

The key is to fold early and often. Now, I know this is typically not a bad strategy in tournament play against offline opponents, but on the iPhone app this is taken to ridiculous extremes. Have A-K suited in middle position? Probably best to fold. Jacks? Fold.

Just staying alive is key. If you're down to the final three with $3,000 while the other two players have $20k each, keep folding. They'll eventually go all in against each other and leave you in second place, giving you more chips at the final table.

If you fold literally every hand until you get down to 3-4 players, you can almost always make the final table. Follow the same strategy in the final table while opening up slightly and you can practically guarantee yourself a third-place finish at least.

Once you figure this out, the single-player mode loses much of its appeal. Time to move on multiplayer I guess...

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