Poker Wiki

Ideal Online Poker Computer Configuration

If you want to play Online Poker for real money on the Internet, it is imparative that you have the necessary technology in place, to support this activity. Poker is a complex game by itself, and no player needs the aggravation of not having their computer system not being robust enough to play. As a player, you want to focus your time on playing the game itself, and not be concerned about computer issues. Given this premise, here is a suitably recommended configuration for that most online poker players can use as a guideline:

Given the commoditized (i.e., low) cost of today's computer systems, one should aim to have a system that operates at a clock speed of at least 2.0 Ghz.

A "poker" computer should have a minimum of 1 GB (gigabyte) of memory, but ideally should have 2 GB (gigabytes) of memory. If you can afford the additional incremental cost, this extra memory, is the most significant factor when it comes to poker applications running efficiently on your computer. The rule of thumb here, is the more memory you have in your computer, the better.

Your computer should have an absolute minimum of 100 GB (gigabytes) of disk space (also known as hard drive space). Hard disk drives are the media that permit you to save programs and data on your computer, from one power-up of your system to the next. 100 GB should be adequate to provide storage for your Operating System files (Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, for example), a large number of Poker applications, and all other data that you typcially store on your computer.

We highly recommend dual (2) monitors (screens) for your computer, although you can almost always get away with just one. Most of computers sold today (laptops included), contain video cards that suport multiple monitors. Using 2 monitors will provide you with abundant screen realestate to display many poker windows at once (e.g., lobby rooms, cashier window, hand history, and multiple playing windows), and will avoid the need to manually switch (or click) between all of these windows in a 1-monitor environment. Moreover, in a dual monitor scenario, you will have more screen coverage for other programs such as Poker help-tools, Poker Calculators, or spreadsheets.

Although most Poker vendors are operating system agnostic, and support Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows 2000, we recommend that you minimally have the Windows XP Professional Operating System loaded on your computer, and may want to consider the newest Windows Vista operating system, to ensure that you will always support your poker vendor.

Internet connection-wise, we recommend slightly more than most others will recommend. We suggest that you invest in dual-internet connections, which means that you have 2 different ISP's (Internet Service Providers). They do not, however, need to both be active at the same time, when you are actually playing poker. The rationale for dual internet connections is simple - if you are playing in a Poker game and you have money at risk, and your 1 and only ISP goes down (and believe me, this will happen at some point !), you will be liable for any money that is at risk in your current game, if you cannot re-connect back into the game. In this scenario, if you do have a second ISP that you can quickly connect to the Internet with, you will be able to (in most instances) re-establish your existing session with your Poker vendor, and continue forward with your current Poker game. Usually, most reputable Poker rooms allow for a 60-second grace period to reconnect to your session, if you are disconnected. For the recommended 2 Internet connections, we suggest that your primary ISP be a fast, broadband-based (i.e., DSL, cable modem, dedicated T1 line, for example). These types of connections are usually inexpensive, and they will permit fast and superior connectivity when it comes to receiving and sending data from your computer to your Poker room (they are significantly faster than the older modem-based dial-up line solutions). For your second ISP connection, we suggest an inexpensive dial-up service (56K service service will do, if it is supported by your local telephone company in your area). A broadband Internet connection will require a dedicated modem, usually provided by your ISP. A dial-up Internet connection requires either an internal or external modem which hooks up to your telephone line, and usually sits inside your computer in one of its expansions slots.

Make sure your computer has a reliable and movement-friendly mouse, so that you can point and click within your Poker application.

Make sure your computer has speakers, so that you can hear the vendor-provided audible signals during gameplay. Audible signals are just as important as visual ones.

Make sure your computer is equipped with a printer, so that you can print out hand history or Poker game statistics as necessary.

An optional, but highly recommended component is a UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) that sits between your electrical outlet and your computer. A UPS is also known as a Battery Backup System, and typically provides you with 30-60 minutes (or more) of power, should the electric in your home fail. Building on the concept stated earlier, a UPS can save you from aborting from an active Poker game that you are playing in. A functioning UPS will allow you to continue to play in your current game, as long as your ISP is not effected by the power outage (cable modem broadband providers, for example, typically don't connect directly into a homes' electrical system).

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