I use Party Poker's Java applet, and here what I think of it :
Overall very good, but there are issues that could be easily fixed :
- The raise slider is not practicle for small bets, so you are forced to use the keyboard - yuck! The slider can be made longer, and also be made up of two scales, the first half of the slider, the units are widely spaced, and the second half the units are much more narrowly spaced.
- When the applet is not the active window, there are no sounds. This is when you need sounds the most - when the window is obscured by another. This may be a fundamental limitation of java applets.
- I'm not sure if this is a problem with Party Poker software or sun's, but on my laptop, the applet is memory hungry, and often the garbage collector kicks in and takes all cpu while reclaiming memory, and sometimes you don't get a chance to act while this is happening. Once, I was unable to bet (and was therefore automatically folded) when I held AA :-(
- A bug renders the amount bet incorrectly, i have a sheetshot which show me betting 5.65 billion dollars - that's probably not my real bet ;-)
- There is always an annoying pop-up advert (or two) whenever you sign in.
- The money summary on the lobby page is wrong when you leave a table (it takes a minute or two for the in-play funds to be moved into the real balance.
- The list of tables is not nice to read.
- The player column is scrunched right up against the blinds column, so that neither are readable. Every single time, I have to resize on of the columns.
- The table name is fairly useless to an average player, but is given a lot of space.
- no preferences are remember between sessions, so I end up doing exactly the same mouse clicks every time I log on : close the pop-up ads, open the no-limit section, select the $0.02/0.04 blinds section, resize the "blinds" column, sort by the "players" column, reverse the order.
- It is dangerous to use some buttons when it isn't your turn, because if you click, and at that moment it does become your turn, then the action of the button under the mouse button change. For example, if I want to click "check" before my turn, i cannot safely, as somebody could raise, and the the button under the mouse becomes "Call", and I certaintly don't want to do that if they've gone all in! Strangely enough the "raise" buttons the opposite is true. i.e. before your turn, the raise button is for the "pot amount", but once it is your turn, it is the size of the big blind (so has reduced in size).
- "Hide full tables" doesn't work on sit and go tournies.
- It would be nice to be able to download all hands played in a format recognised by poker software, so players could analyse their game using 3rd party tools. I don't know if there is a standard file format for poker hands, but if not, Party Poker should create one and submit it to a standards body. I use Linux, and as far as I know there isn't any decent poker software available so this point is currently moot for me (but I know there is good poker software for Windows).
- The male image in the bottom right chair position looks weird - perhaps they want a pre-op transsexual at their tables :-)
Here's a screenshot showing the bet bug - this has not been tampered with, that's exactly what was shown! betBug.png