Online poker has been increasingly popular over the past several years, with the number of first-time players rising by over 200% since the pandemic started.
The fact that it can be played at home, without worrying about social distancing or anything similar, has made it a popular choice among people looking for new ways to spend their extra time online.
Add in the fact that the game’s largest professional body, the World Series of Poker, has returned in recent months, and it is no surprise that there are more people looking to hop on the game.
You might be looking to get started with your own foray into online poker, but there are a few things you will want to get sorted first. Before you start, you need to ensure you understand the basics of poker.
As a bare minimum, you’ll need to know the basic poker hand rankings, and at least one variant of poker. If you’re playing for real money, it might be an advantage to understand how to calculate poker odds, and maybe even how to use a HUD. You’ll also want to invest in a decent chair that allows you to sit comfortably for long periods of time.
Tower or Laptop?
Whether you use a desktop or laptop to play online poker doesn’t really matter. There are plenty of laptops that can handle the software so it really just depends on if you want the option to play on the go.
Online poker sites don’t tend to be resource-heavy so you won’t need to shell out for a top-end processor or graphics card. 16GB of RAM will be more than enough to play on any site, so you won’t need to opt for extra unless you plan to do other gaming during your downtime.
The important thing will be the Operating System that you choose. You’ll want a Windows-based machine as most online poker sites show a preference toward Windows software.
The price of a good monitor has fallen over the last several years. Again, you’re not looking at high-end graphics for your gaming needs, so a basic monitor will be enough.
However, we suggest a good dual-screen set up, which will allow you to see your games on one screen and monitor the lobbies or check your stats on the other. If you’ve got monitors with different refresh rates, it might be a bit more work to get set up but it can definitely still be done and the payoff is well worth it.
Have a Good Internet Connection
The downside to playing games online is that you have to be online all the time. While internet speeds have generally increased across the country, it is worth making sure that your connection is not only fast but stable. There is nothing that will tank your ranking on a site faster than disconnecting constantly during games.
Do some research into your most reliable local provider and find a good alternative if it goes down. This might be mobile broadband or an area Wi-Fi connection if you live somewhere with one available. Having that back up will get you back up and running if the internet cuts out on you when you least expect it.