A poker timer or poker clock is a device or app that times blind levels and keeps track of small and big blinds during tournaments. This is so players will no longer be confused when the minimum bet raises to a new level and they can watch the timer as it gets close to the next blind level. The dealer should be the one controlling the device and setting it up. There will be an alarm set off when a new level is reached.
Some timers are simple in design performing only the basic function of timing around with the amount of rounds configuration, while others more complex help you seat and move players around that allow blind configuration, number of levels, chip amount, rebuys, player and league stats.
Poker timers can be found all over the internet, many as free online applications, downloadable mobile apps and even physical clocks you can purchase for home games or professional tournaments.
Poker Timer Apps
Apps are more commonly found online. Many are for free and will offer the basic functions.
A web poker timer app is probably the best solution of all. These are not required to be downloaded, offer more functions than the basic dealer clock and cost no money. They can be easily accessed from your mobile phone or computer without having to install anything.
Play Store apps on the other hand do cost some money, mainly because it is not free to host apps on the playstore, but this doesn’t mean it will come with more functions than the free ones found online. These are very different from other time control apps that are used for focused work and relaxation.
Commercial poker timer apps or blinds timers that are worth your money should come with many additional features like blind amount levels, chip counts, rebuys, and player and league stats. Make sure that if you are paying for an app that it has all of these features.
Physical Poker Clocks
Physical timers customized for poker are hard to find online, even on sites like Amazon. The main characteristic of a physical timer is the display of time of all the sides from the device, so it is usually designed as a cube. The downside from a physical poker clock is that it is not customizable for blind levels and other functions, it will just keep track of time.
They do exist and are a nice gadget for home poker tournaments. Dealer button clocks are more common to purchase online. These are simple devices that do not cost more than $30 dollars and will beep whenever it’s time to raise the blind levels.
Blind Levels – The main feature from one of these clocks is the ability to configure blind levels and their duration. A basic timer will just count down a given set of time and then beep the alarm, while a poker timer moves on to the next level after the alarm is set off.
Big Blinds and Antes – It will let players know what the minimum bet is as well as the big blind.
Number of Players – Set how many players sit at the table. This number can be modified as players are eliminated.
The timer should be functional for standard, turbo, and deepstack formats of longer duration and levels. Not having to keep track of time manually will ensure a fair and comfortable game for all players.
For online applications follow these steps:
- Find the settings menu which should be on one of the corners of the page.
- You will see the different configuration fields. Set the number of players, blind levels, and any add-ons.
- Select the type of tournament: standard, turbo, deep stack tournament.
- Set the duration of each level and ante values, along with Big Blinds and Small Blinds.
- Once everything is set, go back to the main page where everything should be configured.
Why You Should Use a Poker Timer
Blind and position timing are key for fair and smooth poker gameplay, especially in tournaments. You do not want players taking all the time they wish before they decide what to do during their turn. Many times during online tournaments players seem to disappear from the table while grabbing snacks or internet disconnection, and so the timer ensures their turn ends after some given seconds with enough time for their return. Offline players require their own poker timer to fulfill this function for them.
The timers are the most useful in home poker games, especially with tournaments. Even if you are the host and designated dealer, the timer will allow you to play the game without worrying too much about levels and betting minimums.