A bright, mobile future for table games

For table games to remain relevant, they must offer a world-class mobile user experience. Matty Rochman, Head OneTouch, a leading mobile games developer, outlines the challenges of building engaging mobile versions of popular table games like Hold’em Poker.

Many of the most popular table games you see played on casino floors around the world are hundreds of years old. On the one hand, this is testament to how engaging these games are.

However, it has been a different story online and on mobile, where table games have traditionally struggled to compete with modern casino offerings, particularly slots.

While slots developers have led from the front when it comes to innovation – growing revenues and offering an increasingly immersive experience – this has not been the case with table games.

Most products fail to recreate the thrill players enjoy on the casino floor. The mobile versions of these games have, in most instances, clearly have been ported from desktop with little concern for how the smaller screen real estate may impact the user interface.

For table games to recapture the imagination of players in the mobile age, we need to rethink how we deliver them to players, beginning at the development stage.

It is no coincidence that slots have enjoyed so much success on mobile because of the way games are designed and developed has evolved.

There is room to learn lessons from the slots vertical and apply them to table games.

For instance, it soon became clear with slots that many mobile users did not enjoy being forced to change the orientation of their device to landscape to play. Slots which had been ported over from desktop often only worked with this setting.

It is a similar story with table games. OneTouch’s recent “player vs house” Texas Hold’em title is designed in portrait-first mode to give the players what they want and expect: game play while holding the phone in its natural orientation.

Then there are other more general considerations, like designing a user interface that makes it easy for players to enjoy the game from an ergonomic perspective, with the action buttons easily within reach while playing one-handed while commuting home from work.

These small touches add up to the type of user experience mobile players now demand.

Table game not only competing with slots and sportsbook for customers’ eyeball hours. We must offer an experience that is every bit as compelling as social gaming, Facebook, Netflix and all the countless other entertainment options available on a phone.

And that is only achievable by putting mobile at the forefront of the design process.

Matty Rochman is Head of OneTouch, a leading mobile games developer.

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