So, you have a Mac computer and you want to play online Poker. This should be an easy thing, just install the software and play, right?? Well, unfortunately, it’s a little more difficult than that.. Mac online poker is tricky because the main online poker infrastructure is almost entirely based on the PC. As you play more and more online poker you will find that the majority of sites, support, and software are restricted to the PC platform. Don’t let this discourage you, as things have been improving over the past few years. As the Macbase widens, the online poker industry is getting savvy to us, but there is still plenty of growth and opportunity here to come. With this guide you have the information you need to find the best online poker sites and games to get a solid and enjoyable start to playing poker online. Finding the right place to play is important, especially when it comes to getting proper enjoyment from your online poker experience. Different sites will be better for different player types. If you are looking for a real money site, I would recommend playing their play money site to see if the graphics and interface is comfortable to you. While the play will be very loose and erratic, you will be able to get a good feel for the site, to decide whether you would like to deposit there or not.
If you are just looking for a place to play online poker with play money there are many places available to get your fix. All of the major poker rooms have play money tables, and there are sites like Live 3D Poker, and Poker Academy Pro who offer great play money experiences. Live 3D poker has the first 3D interface which is pretty amazing, you can even customize how your player looks. With Poker Academy Pro, you need to buy their training software, but then you get access to some of the most realistic play money experience available. Not to mention top notch training software, and the best bots. For a complete list of Play money sites available see the MacPokerTools Software and Games List.
When you are looking for a site to play with real money, it is important to do your research. You want to start at the site you think suits you the best and stick with it for two main reasons. 1) It can cost money to load funds into your poker account and you don’t want to keep paying fees. Many will be able to fund for free, but those needing an intermediary(most US players), will have to pay their fees. 2) Go after the sign in bonus while you can. Most sites give to a set time period to clear these bonuses. This is free money for you, collect your bonus.
One of the main factors to determine which sites are available to you, is where you live. With the passing of the UIGEA in 2006, many poker sites stopped US based poker players from playing at their sites. For now, if you are based in the US, there will be certain limitations where you can play. Playing online poker is not illegal in most states.(Visit the PPA to learn more about US Poker Legislation) If you live outside of the US, you will have access to all of the mac compatible sites. What site is best for your playing style is solely determined on what you want to get out of this experience. Whether you a regular person looking to play a fun game here and there, and just looking to learn, to the seasoned casino player looking for the best action the internet can bring, each site has its strengths and weaknesses according to each player.
The main poker sites compatible with the Macintosh are: FullTilt Poker, PokerStars, Absolute Poker, Pitbull Poker, Party Poker(No US), bwin(No US), Pacific Poker(No US), Hollywood Poker(No US), and Poker Room(No US) For the beginning online player I would suggest either FullTilt Poker or Poker Stars. You will find everything you need at either site. FullTilt Poker is a little smaller and I feel offers better play at the lower buy-in events and tables. PokerStars can be a little more hectic, but the volume cant be beat for large tournaments and constant action. PokerRoom, bwin poker, and Party Poker are excellent sites for the newer online poker player as well. PokerRoom has been around forever and are very reliable, offering loads to the beginning players. bwin also part of the OnGame network is a newer site and gaining in popularity. I would recommend sticking to one of these bigger sites first, and then branching out from there as you find out what you like. Most players belong to a few sites making it easier to find what you want, when you want it. To see a full review of each site visit our Mac Poker Site Reviews and Bonus Page. Good Luck, and please feel free to post any questions.
To learn about tools to help you play better poker, visit our Mac Poker Calculator and Mac Poker Tracker Review Pages.
By Jon Dennis
jd compiles the info at MacPokerTools.com