What Hardware is Best for Playing Online Poker?

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Online Poker

Everyone buys hardware for a different reason, be it a PC, mobile phone or tablet.

Focusing on home computers, you may be a website designer, buying hardware to run a site, or a string of sites online. You might be wanting to stream television shows to your computer, or you might be an online gamer.

There are many types of online gaming available to players. Statista.com explains how the global online gaming market is worth $21.1bn, across titles such as Fortnite (350m users), PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (70m users) and Apex Legends (100m users). It is also estimated that more than 100m people worldwide play online poker, described by Poker.org as one of the world’s most popular pastimes. It also requires you to have a specific hardware setup if you wish to play at a serious level.

Online poker is becoming more popular around the US due to the relaxation of laws in some states, with a second poker boom either imminent or in full swing, depending on which analyst you speak to. Playing at home, you can qualify for the World Series of Poker and maybe even win it as Chris Moneymaker did in 2003. To do so, you will need to think about your setup; and the following specification is what you need.

The PC Setup

In terms of technical demands, online poker shouldn’t be too troubling graphically. The basic core setup doesn’t need to be top speed, but as a rule, don’t go for anything less than a Dual-core Intel 2.6GHz processor. The best you can plump for is an Intel Core 2 Duo E8200, 2.66GHz. An AMD will suffice, but why settle for second best? You wouldn’t settle for finishing second around the felt of a Las Vegas poker room, would you?

In terms of RAM, 4GB is the minimum you need. If you’re building from scratch, get two 2GB chips rather than four 1GB chips, as you will find things move a little quicker that way. This setup will give you some flexibility to use your PC for other tasks, too. Throw in a minimum of 500GB storage, although this won’t seriously affect your online poker.

Keyboard and Mouse

This is where things get a little trickier. Serious online poker players like to do something called ‘multi tabling’, which means playing several tables simultaneously. The best way to do this is to have a keyboard and mouse setup that allows hotkeys to be set easily. The mouse is of huge importance, and the first thing to remember is to get a wired one. Wired devices are not as common, but if your battery goes when you’re at a table, it could leave you out of pocket. A good set of side buttons is a must too, for navigating tables, so consider the Razer Deathadder Chroma, but be sure not to get the Deathadder Chroma V2, which is wireless. With a keyboard, think about something that lights up, so you can play in low light and still hit the right keys. The Razer Blackadder Ultimate is a nice choice, as is the MantisTek GK1 but try a few out – they must fit your hands and be ergonomically friendly.

Monitors

Finally, you’ll need a couple of monitors. Multi-tabling is done best when using two screens, so whatever you do choose, you’ll need to double up. Something with a 1600×1200 resolution is ideal, as you can perfectly fit nine tables on those screens. Dell is always a solid make of monitor, and you won’t be needing anything super HD either, so something like the Dell 2007FP 20.1 Ultrasharp will suffice.

Ergonomics

Whilst hardware tends to cover your setup, it could also cover your desk and chair. You must consider ergonomics when planning a poker setup, and things such as a chair or desk might be needed. If you do not already have a desk, our article on ‘Choosing the Best Electric Desk’ could certainly help.

Conclusion

Your poker setup doesn’t have to be expensive, but it has to be right. Graphics and sound are so important in most aspects of online gaming, but for online poker, it is all about management, consistency and you. With a wired mouse, two monitors and plenty of hotkeys, you might find yourself at the WSOP in the future.

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