Wednesday, July 29, 2009

mac poker: your options

how many people play poker on their macs? how many of those players only use native mac software? what are you left with? probably not a lot in all honesty. online poker is predominately a pc orientated pastime, and even those brave enough to use a mac likely run windows via bootcamp or parallels.

however it doesn’t need to be this way. ss a new mac user and one that was absolutely against running anything not built for mac osx i went in search of options, and what follows is what i found. i hope that my research can help guide others that are in the same predicament or are tempted by a mac but find playing poker on the platform daunting.

hardware
i’ll keep this brief as i’m not here to sell the benefits of an apple mac as a system, needless to say if you are thinking of buying a mac you have the same opportunities available too you as you would buying a pc namely a desktop or a laptop. i’m a laptop fan myself as it gives me the flexibility to play poker wherever i please, plus I always have the option of buying a separate screen if I want to take advantage of a bigger viewable area. apple do a great 24inch screen, it may be a little more expensive then adding a standard pc monitor but if you are really that price sensitive then you probably won’t be buying a mac in the first place.

card rooms
of the hundreds of card rooms out there these days there are only 2 that offer native mac support through downloadable software. the alternative to downloadable software is insta play, which is essentially playing within your internet browser. i for one prefer the piece of mind that comes with running the card room off local machine software, meaning you have a choice of pokerstars or full tilt poker.

pokerstars
pokerstars is my favourite cardroom for tons of reasons which i won't go into here, however if you would like to read a full and impartial review of pokerstars then click here.

full tilt poker
full tilt is the second of the two cardrooms offereing native mac support and was actually the first in market to offer it. again, a full review is available if you click here.

hand analysis software
this is where life becomes a little tricky on a mac as the major programs do not currently support native mac osx. there are a number of strands appearing on the major poker forums that poker tracker 3 for mac is well under development and being a big fan of the software i very much hope that this is true.

while waiting for pt3 though, there are 2 alternatives that you can try. both offer 30 day free trials and are resonably proced if you decide to go ahead and purchase the full version.

poker copilot
poker copilot is the software i have mentioned previously in relation to mac poker. they are about to poker copilot 2 with a number of upgrades direct from consumer feedback. things are looking promising for this mac native hand analysis package and i will be putting together an indepth review over the next few weeks which will be available here.

flopzoom
flopzoom is the second piece of mac native software i have found. check out their website here. i currently have no experience with this piece of software but have recently seen some improvements that make me want to test it. if i do take the plunge then a review will appear here. in the meantime any comments or experiences with flopzoom are welcome.

summary
in conclusion, at first glance the opportunity to play and analyse your poker on a mac seems fairly limited. however once the surface has been scratched it becomes clear that there are a variety of options available to the mac owner. so don't sit around fretting mac owners, fire up some of the quality software available to you and get playing poker.

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