Playing a great game of online poker requires three major things: the right setup, the right stakes, and the right way to manage your bankroll.
In this article we cover the practical set up, the equipment you need, and some small improvements that can make a big difference.
For every online poker player, the key is to invest in a computer with a good processor and enough RAM to ensure that you have no lag time or other issues while playing.
Whether you go for a desktop or laptop, buying a computer off the shelf can sometimes be more expensive than having one custom built. Dozens of computer-building companies exist with great options but check out their reviews to make sure you get quality machines.
In general, online poker sites aren’t resource-intensive, meaning super powerful components aren’t needed. An Intel i5 processor will be more than powerful enough, but consider an i7 or an i9 if you want a top-notch machine that works for PC gaming too.
The best advice is to go with what you know. You’ll likely want to stay with Apple machines if you already use a Mac and will probably stay with a Windows PC if this is what you’re used to.
However, you should consider that when it comes to software updates for poker sites, updates for Windows machines are usually released before those for Macs. This isn’t a bias towards one set of customers; it’s simply because most of the world uses Windows machines.
16GB of RAM is ideal for your online poker setup.
If you’re planning on running multiple browser windows and heads-up display (HUD) software, you’ll want to ensure your desktop has enough RAM to avoid potentially disastrous crashes. You need a minimum of 8GB of RAM, but it doesn’t cost much more to double that up to 16GB for peace of mind.
A solid-state hard drive (SSD) is your best option. There are no moving parts so hard drive failures are rare.
SSDs are also much faster than a standard hard drive, saving you vital seconds that add up quickly. The last thing you need is for your browser to freeze mid-game.
Mouse and accessories
Ensure that you have a mouse and keyboard that are comfortable for you. For some poker players, a gaming mouse and keyboard work best.
First and foremost, you will need to consider how many monitors your computer can handle. Ideally, you should have a minimum of two widescreen monitors that can handle multiple poker table windows as well as heads-up display HUD software on another screen.
If you’re preparing to spend hours each day at your computer desk, you’ll need a proper gaming chair that looks after your back and neck muscles.
Ergonomic chairs are often best as they help you to sit in the proper typing position, rather than forcing you to lean back and stretch forward to reach your mouse and keyboard.
Other ideas for a great online poker setup
Reduce eye strain: For £100 or less, you can get glasses that reduce glare and eye strain.
Use a standing desk: A lot of workplace experts recommend a standing workspace for efficiency and health reasons. Why not apply that to your poker setup?
You might not need to buy a new desk. Instead, you can add risers to your existing desk.
Try an Xbox controller: Setting up an Xbox or other gaming controller for online poker can be one of the best ways to make yourself more efficient when playing poker online. With a controller that you already own, you can sit back and free yourself from a mouse and keyboard.
The importance of a good poker setup
Comfort is everything for the serious online poker player – both in terms of the stakes you play and your overall setup.
So make sure you play the games that suit you, have an easy way to manage your bankroll and invest in a quality setup. That way, when you’re grinding for long stretches of time, you have the equipment to make your online poker playing experience the best it can be.