In the final part of my Belote guide I’m going to introduce you to the online app that allows you to play this game on a daily basis. I cannot emphasise this enough – if you want to get good at Belote USE THIS APP. It’s a fantastic, easy to use way of sharpening up your game and taking you from the player who gets on everyone’s nerves – because you keep forgetting the rules – to the player that people have to watch out for, because you’ve suddenly become much, much better.
The app can be found here is free to download, and can even be played while you are browsing Facebook. A word of warning on the ‘free’ part. Like all of these other free games there is a definite hint that you can, if you wish, spend money on this game through the process of buying more chips to play DO NOT DO THIS. I have been using this app to refine my game for the last few years, do you know how much I have spent? Nothing. Not a single penny.
The way to do this is easy. When you sign up for it you are given 2,000 chips to play. Each game you play ‘professionally’ that is, with other players, costs you 200 chips to ‘buy in’. You will then win 250 back if you are successful (so a 50 chip profit). There are different levels you can play at, where the stakes are higher, but stay on the ‘Relax’ level (that’s its name) and you won’t go far wrong.
Every day you go online and play, the app will invite you to ‘spin a wheel’ that grants you free chips. This can be anywhere from 100 – 400 chips (rarely 400 though). This helps to top up your chips for free. Another way of adding free chips is to ‘befriend’ other players during gameplay. This is not like adding friends on Facebook – they won’t suddenly start ‘liking’ your statuses. No, they are your friends on the Belote app, and that’s the only place they will see you, and you will see them.
These players can become your friends by simply hovering above their faces whilst playing – the options to add them are there. In the early days of playing I would say add as many players as you can. What happens then is each day these people can send you presents, and you can send them presents back. These presents take the form of chips and range from 11 – 18 chips (or so). These chips are not taken from your existing pot, but rather are a bonus amount that you have in seemingly infinite supply (but only to give as presents). This may not sound like much but if you have 20+ players sending you chips per day, coupled with the free spin each day and conservative play (stick to the relax level) you can see what I mean when I say you never have to spend a penny.
If you do ever run out of chips however there is the training mode of the game that you can fall back on, until you have enough chips from free spins and presents to get back in.
The training mode sees you pitted against three computer players, and costs you nothing. This is where you will start out on the app, before you are deemed good enough to move up to the relax level. I would strongly recommend you stay at this level – training that is – until you have enough confidence in yourself to play with real people on the relax level. each day you practice at this you will also be entitled to free spins, so do make the most of them.
If you do have the odd losing streak – and I’ve had more than my fair share of them – then simply turn it off and call it a day. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?
If I had anything negative to say about the app it’s this – it will have the occasional glitch. This could be down to too many players, system updates etc I don’t know, I’m not a programmer. What this means though is that from time to time your game may freeze, other players may disappear and strange things may happen. Sometimes this passes, but sometimes it doesn’t and you will need to reset the game. Unfortunately this may often cost you your stake – so bye bye 200 chips. People have told me that you can complain on the Twitter feed of the game makers, and they will send you your chips plus extra for your time. I don’t know if this is true because, to be honest, I couldn’t be arsed with that – I just reset and reload. If it happens more than twice in a short period of time though then give it up for the day – there’s clearly an issue.
That’s about all you need to know about the app. In case you are wondering I have no stake in people clicking on the link to the game’s site. I get nothing back financially, and I am not affiliated with the creators in any way. I just recognise it for the fantastic learning tool that it is. Play it, learn from it, then take it and let it loose on your French friends – they won’t know what hit them!
So that’s all from my guide on how to play Belote. I hope you’ve enjoyed it, and I hope it all made sense. I think that a combination of reading this guide, using the app and playing with friends, should be all you need to become a seasoned pro at Belote!