To me, poker compatibility can mean one of two things – how compatible you are to play online poker, or whether your computer is compatible with online poker software.
Now, I can´t tell you whether you have the right sort of temperament to be successful at online poker, but my poker website reviews do impart a little bit of advice about what the standard of play is like on each, so you should be able to decide which is the most “compatible” poker site for your level of skill.
What I would like to discuss on this page is the type of system you should have to play online poker on Windows, play poker on a Mac, play on a web browser or through a mobile device using Android apps for poker, iOS apps for poker and Windows Mobile apps for poker.
Playing Online Poker on Windows
Playing online poker on Windows is how most players start their virtual poker career. Almost four-out-of-five computers throughout the world have a Windows operating system but, as you probably know, there are many different versions of Windows that you could have on your computer.
You can download most poker software onto any Windows computer running Windows XP or later (888Poker is compatible with Windows 95) provided it has enough memory and a powerful enough processor not to crash in the middle of a game.
I would recommend that you have a minimum memory of 512MB RAM and 1Gb processor to be confident of poker compatibility, but some poker software will work equally as well on Windows computers with a lower specification – just make sure you check the specs before starting a poker website download if you have a computer more than 7 or 8 years old.
Playing Online Poker on a Mac
Playing online poker on a Mac is such a specialist subject that I have dedicated a whole page to Mac poker sites and the benefits of playing on them. In a nutshell, I recommend playing online poker on a Mac for the extra stability that exists and the power of the Mac if you want to multitable.
In order for your computer to be compatible with Mac poker software you should really have Max OS X 10.6 (“Snow Leopard”) or later, but you can get away with playing on PokerStars with a Mac “Tiger” (10.4) and on Party Poker with a Mac “Leopard” (10.5) provided you have a minimum of 512MB Ram.
To get the benefits of playing online poker on a Mac, you will need at least a Power PC G4 or Intel x86 processor, and please remember that Mac compatible poker downloads take up a lot more space than their Windows equivalents, so allow 100MB or more when download software to play poker on a Mac.
Playing Poker Online on a Web Browser
Sometimes playing online poker on a web browser is the only option for Mac users when their site of choice does not have a Mac compatible poker download, and it can also be an option for players who share their Windows computers, or who are playing poker in an Internet café while on holiday (although that does tend to annoy Mrs Levino and is not recommended if you have kids because of the constant interruptions).
Many online poker websites offer a “Flash” version of their software that can be played via a web browser, although no-download poker software is not usually up to the quality of the downloadable client – for example, you cannot resize tables, multitable as many tables or use poker tracking software. The graphics usually suck as well.
I would recommend the Firefox web browser to play no-download poker on a Mac – mainly because it is fast and not all “Instant Play” poker websites support Safari. Chrome is compatible with most poker websites if you are playing poker on a Windows PC, but you should avoid Internet Explorer until Microsoft do something about its lack of speed.
Android Poker Apps
I use Android apps for online poker whenever I am away from home for their sheer convenience and ease of use, although you do have to be careful about how much data you are using if you are relying on a 3G connection rather than a Wi-Fi connection (Android apps for online poker use around 1MB download and 500KB upload every hour).
For your mobile device to be compatible with android poker apps you will need to be running Android 2.3 or above (present in most Android devices purchased from early 2011) and have a minimum screen resolution of 800×480. You can discover which version of the Android software is running on your mobile device by going to “Settings”, then “About Phone” and then “Select Software Information”.
- Continue reading in my list of Android poker sites.
iOS Poker Apps
Like Android apps, iOS apps for online poker can be downloaded directly from the poker website, where you will find more help and advice about your device´s poker compatibility than you will get from the Apple Store (“disgruntled customer Loui?”).
For your Apple device to be compatible for playing online poker, you will need to be running iOS 4.31.x or higher (again, present in most iOS devices purchased from early 2011) and your data usage is likely to be slightly higher than if you were playing poker on an Android – especially if you multitable on an iPad!
Windows Mobile Poker Apps
At the time of writing this page about poker compatibility, there are no Windows Mobile apps available to play online poker for real money.