What Mac Poker Players Can Expect

Date: 2016-06-02
Author: Jason Glatzer

Online poker has been around since the turn of the century.  You would think by now there would be no difference whether you are playing on a PC or a Mac.
If you own a Mac, you understand this is far from the truth, as online poker remains primarily a PC-dominated world.  However, if you use a Mac, there are still plenty of things you can do to optimize your experience and make it very close to that of online poker players using a PC.
I often ask those who use a Mac while playing online poker why they don't just purchase a PC.  The answer I often get is that they like the Mac for things outside of poker and don't see the point in owning two computers.  I can't blame them, as at home I can't imagine my wife using anything but her Mac and if she did start to play online poker I doubt she would want to use a second computer to do so.  Being involved in poker every day, it is sometimes easy for me to forget that many people think of poker as just one of the many things they use their computer for.
I get a similar response from many Mac users when I ask them, "Why aren't you run Windows on your Mac in a parallel environment?"  Some players in fact do this, but many don't see the point in running Windows since if they wanted Windows they would not have bought a Mac.
That said, if you fall into the category of owning a Mac and don't want to run windows on it, you still have many options.  The world's two biggest real money online poker rooms, PokerStars and 888 Poker, both have fully-featured Mac clients that you can download.
Some of the other bigger networks including iPoker skins like William Hill Poker do not have downloadable clients for the Mac, but will allow you to play in an instant play environment.  While this does not provide nearly the same experience as what's available for PC players, it does at least provide a workable situation.
As far as third-party software goes, Mac options are very limited.  However, for HUDs and poker tracking software, you are at least in luck that PokerTracker 4 operates in an OSX environment.  Additionally, you can use more basic poker tracking software such as Poker Copilot, iHoldem Indicator, and iOmaha Indicator.
The latter two also provide an in-game poker odds calculator, which is great for beginning players.  This is worth point out since just about every other poker odds calculator software provider focuses purely on the PC, and the two Indicator versions for many poker players are better than anything else that is available anyway.
So if you use a Mac while playing online poker, life isn't perfect and it is doubtful it will get much better any time soon.  However, you can still have a great experience and make the most of it with a handful of powerful third-party tools.  Maybe one day we will see a world where PC and Mac users will be treated equally in the online poker market, but until that happens make the most of what is available.

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