US Players Can Now Access Mobile Online Poker with Carbon Poker’s New App

Many players of online poker in the United States have found it difficult to access real-money games in recent years, much less have they enjoyed the relatively wide array of mobile gambling options enjoyed by players who live in regulated markets in Europe and elsewhere.

A small step toward better access to mobile online poker came last week, however, when Carbon Poker announced that it has launched real-money mobile poker.

Despite the fact that the site is not yet fully functional across all devices, users in the 2+2 forums reported mostly small problems related to connectivity and such, and much of that being reported by Android users specifically.

Play money came first, then beta version, now real-money 

The launch of Carbon Poker’s real-money mobile client has been some time in the making, with the company first introducing a play money online poker game before announcing testing of the app back in February of this year.

While the initial launch is relatively limited in terms of the games being offered, Carbon said last month via its website that it eventually plans to introduce additional variations.

“Those playing Carbon Mobile can look forward to both No-Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Hold’em cash games. At the moment, tournament play isn’t available, but this is likely to change in the future. We’d also like to add other variants to the mix such as Omaha and Pot-Limit Omaha,” a statement on the company’s web site read.

Android users will experience temporary difficulties

Though Carbon Poker is meant to be accessible across all mobile platforms as it is essentially browser-based, for the time being it is not fully compatible with Android, users of which took to 2+2 to complain about problems they were experiencing trying to play via their devices.

A rep for Carbon responded in the forum, advising that the site has yet to be fully optimized for use on Android and that they are aware of the issues being reported by players and are working on them. For the time being, users of iPhones and iPads will have the best opportunity to play Carbon Poker via their mobile devices, as Carbon’s mobile client is only fully optimized for iOS5+ as yet.

And players from NY, KY, DC, MD, MI, WA, or LA will not be able to access the real-money mobile client at Carbon as the site does not accept customers for real-money play from those states. Review a complete list of options for US poker players here.

Is mobile the answer to Carbon Poker’s traffic woes?

Traffic at the Merge Poker Network – the home of Carbon Poker – has dropped nearly in half over the last 6 months. Part of that slump has come as the industry has contracted as a whole. Part can be chalked up to the increasing competitive pressures on US-facing poker sites.

But a substantial chunk of the decline can be traced to policy decisions undertaken by Merge that motivated parts of their player base to move to competing sites like BetOnline.

Consider Merge’s unpopular decision to do away with player-to-player transfers. Or the increasing amount of player segregation the network employs from skin to skin, a policy that US market leader Bodog / Bovada recently eschewed publicly on TwoPlusTwo. While no single decision had a ruinous impact on Carbon’s traffic, the cumulative effect pushed Carbon from the leading spot among US-facing rooms down to a distant second behind Bodog.

With mobile, Carbon is obviously hoping to make up some of that surrendered market share. After all, the full launch of the mobile client leaves Carbon as the only US-facing poker site that offers such a feature.

Unfortunately for Carbon, the appeal of mobile online poker remains something of an untested proposition in the United States. Prior to Black Friday, Full Tilt Poker was the only major room to offer a US-friendly real-money mobile client. Players using the Full Tilt mobile client were limited to Rush Poker play on Android devices. Full Tilt never broke out numbers for mobile activity, but observers contended that Rush Poker player pools did not grow to any noticeable degree following the launch of the Full Tilt mobile app.

About Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller has been an online writer for 14 years. He worked for Small World Marketing for a decade, where he covered topics like gaming, sports, movies, and how-to guides. Since 2014, he has blogged about US and international gambling news on,, and

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