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Zynga Poker Review

Zynga Poker Review 1

My Thoughts on One of the Oldest Free-to-Play Poker Games

Zynga Poker is a game I have played for a very long time. I have played the game enough to have seen multiple versions.

I will review the game as it is now and give perspective on changes from past versions. Note that this will be a very in-depth review. I will cover just about everything you can do in this game. Feel free to jump around.

Zynga Poker- Texas Holdem Game
Zynga Poker- Texas Holdem Game
Developer: Zynga
Price: Free

Game Name Review Information

Why Did I Review This Game?

I have played the game for a long time, and I have many thoughts on this game.

How Long Have I Been Playing Game Name?

For over ten years. The game stats screen doesn’t tell you your start date. I don’t remember it anymore.

I have played 468674 poker hands, and at the time of this review, I had 82,169,667,823 chips.

How Did I Review the Game?

I already play the game often. Multiple times a week. I just stopped and took the time to write my thoughts down. I play the game in a web browser on the computer more often than on my phone.

Gameplay Review

How Does This Game Work?

Texas Hold ‘Em!

Zynga Poker is primarily a Texas hold ’em game. There are many guides that can explain to you how to play. But I suppose I will give at least a brief explanation.

You start with two hole cards. You make bets or calls preflop. Then you play out the flop, turn, and river cards. The best hand at the river wins. You also win if everyone folds before the river.

A Zynga Poker hand. I have Q5 suited with red cards.
Screenshot from Zynga Poker Android game.

You can also play Omaha hold ‘em. Omaha is more complicated than Texas hold ‘em. The biggest difference is that you start with five cards instead of two.

A Good Mix of Poker Modes

When I first started playing the game, only Texas hold ‘em existed. Now, there are multiple poker modes to play. As mentioned before, there is Omaha hold ‘em as well. I am not a big fan of this poker variant. But I like that it is included as an option.

But there are other even more odd poker variants as well. I have seen Pineapple Poker and 6+ Poker. I don’t have much to say, as I don’t particularly play these modes often. But again, it is nice to see more options.

It is interesting to note that there used to be a poker option called Jump Poker. It is like how Poker Stars right now has Zoom Poker. I liked playing that mode, and I wish Zynga would bring it back.

Tournament Game Modes

Compared to some other poker games, Zynga Poker has many tournament options. Poker Stars started things off with their own Spin & Go game format. In Zynga Poker, these games are called Spin & Win.

The goal is to beat three players, and the game plays very fast. I can’t say I like this format much. But this is your option if you want to play a quick game and be done fast!

A San José Spin & Win game is about to start.
Screenshot from Zynga Poker Android game.

There is the standard sit and go as well. When writing this review, there were two options for the standard five-player game. When I first started, there were only standard sit and go games. I don’t remember when Spin & Win was added anymore.

The London Sit-N-Go game costs 1 billion chips to play.
Screenshot from Zynga Poker Android game.

It is also interesting to note that Zynga Poker was one of the few free-to-play games that offered multiple table tournaments. But this feature was removed years ago. I remember it being somewhat buggy. It’s a shame they never fixed it and added it back in. When most people think of winning a poker tournament, they describe it as a multi-table game and not a small five- or six-person game.

Compete in Leagues

Like almost all free-to-play poker games, you can compete in leagues. Zynga Poker has had leagues for a very long time. There were different versions in the past. I remember that, at first, the leagues were just numbers. 1–20.

Things are a bit more polished now. You now compete in named leagues like Rookie, Pro, or Elite with numbered subdivisions.

There are multiple ranks in Zynga Poker leagues. Master and Elite are shown.
Screenshot from Zynga Poker Android game.

Seeing how far I can get on the leaderboard is fun. However, I noticed that in the lower leagues, you can move up by just having chips. It doesn’t take much to beat the competition when they are broke.

I am in 37th place on a Zynga Poker elite five leaderboard.
Screenshot from Zynga Poker Android game.

There is also a skip league option if you win many chips. This is a nice way to catch up if you drop in leagues a lot. But in higher leagues, the amount of chips you need to win is too high for me to win in a week.

You Can Collect Things

The game has collectibles you can get while playing the game. You get points while playing table games and virtual watches very slowly. You can also get rings from winning poker tournaments.

I like being able to collect things in video games. I like having things that show I have played the game a long time and accomplished a lot. Most other players might not care. But it makes me happy.

The second watch in Zynga Poker. You need to get ten chips to collect it.
Screenshot from Zynga Poker Android game.

Events and Other Details

Zynga Poker frequently has events. Zynga has options if you like doing other things besides playing poker. The events in Zynga Poker are bland compared to the competition. But they at least are trying something.

There are missions and other similar things you can do.

Suits in Zynga Poker is a mini game that involves collecting certain cards when playing.
Screenshot from Zynga Poker Android game.

Other Specific Poker Things to Note

  • You can auto rebuy
  • You can auto top off
  • No multitabling
  • No four color deck option.

Presentation Review

How the Game Looks

For such an old game, it looks decent enough.

One thing I like a lot is how dynamic the tables are. Unlike some poker games, you are not sitting on a static background. Often, the game has things and people moving around in the background and doing stuff.  The table background frequently changes with new events.

These backgrounds are pleasant but somewhat distracting as well. I appreciate the effort.

In the past, there used to be a separate web browser client and a mobile game client. The web browser client looked like a real money poker lobby. At some point, this version was dropped, and what was the mobile client was given a new look. This new mobile client is what you see when you play the game now everywhere.

The game options and menus on the Zynga Poker lobby are present.
Screenshot from Zynga Poker Android game.

Compared to other poker games, I like how nice and big things look. I don’t mind how mobile-focused interfaces look, as they tend to be simple.

I wish Zynga added a four color deck option. It might not mean much to some people, but it is a very lovely accessibility option to have.

How the Game Sounds

I will bluntly state that I play almost all poker games muted. I don’t need noise to play poker, and most poker games have sounds that don’t add much.

The lobby music is OK. What I heard sounds like elevator music.

The most obnoxiously loud hand-clapping sound plays whenever you win a hand. Some people may like it, but it becomes annoying after hearing it many times.

How Does This Game Get You to Spend Money?

The Game Sells Chips

If you want to buy chips, you can spend hundreds of dollars or as little as  $10. However, don’t expect too many chips without spending much money. If you want to buy chips, I recommend just sticking to sales and other discounts the game offers.

The Zynga Poker chip store. You can spend $20 - $200 on chips.
Screenshot from Zynga Poker Android game.

The Game Sells a Premium Challenge Pass

You can pay $10 or $20 to unlock a premium challenge pass. These challenges give you chips after beat missions. As a free player, you don’t get much of anything from this.

Having the pass gives so many chips that buying chips seems like a waste of money. I will buy the challenge pass if I decide to spend money on this game.

The Zynga Poker Premium pass costs $10 (USD), and the Premium Plus+ pass costs $20 (USD).
Screenshot from Zynga Poker Android game.

Is This Game Fair if You Don’t Spend Money?

Contrary to what some people say, the game is very fair. You don’t need to buy chips. Buying chips won’t even do much for you anyway. You skip the lowest stakes, and that is about it.

How Does This Game Annoy You?

The game randomly shows ads. I saw a few when just moving around the poker lobby and menus. Ads are annoying, but whatever.

The game overloads you with information when you first start it. I don’t need popups shoved in my face. The game has also recently made me look at the store whenever I open it.

I wish games would leave me. The game has a news section. If I want to read anything, I can tap/click it and read it when I want to.

The game tends to try to get you to play stakes that are far too high by default. Playing this way leads to players going broke. But you can avoid playing those stakes. I rarely do anything a poker game recommends me to do. If I played the stakes the game recommends I could lose my entire bankroll in one hand. I refuse to do this.

The 500 million/one billion Zynga Poker stakes.
Screenshot from Zynga Poker Android game.

My Overall Thoughts on Zynga Poker

Zynga Poker has managed to stay relevant over the years. This game is about what I expect. It is a nice game to compare to other poker games. If a game is worse than Zynga Poker, I wouldn’t want to play it.

Do I Recommend People Play Zynga Poker?

If you only want to play a single poker game, then no. I recommend WSOP, Poker Heat, or even Monopoly Poker (I am serious. This game is far better than I expected) first.

But Zynga Poker is a good option if you want another poker game.

Will I Keep Playing Zynga Poker?

Yes.  I have already played the game for over ten years.