The growing fascination with online poker
has prompted many people all over the world to download poker software
that allows them to play poker games
for play money or real money against other poker players
. Everyday, multitudes of new players download poker client software from online poker sites
in order to access a plethora of poker forms, betting limits, and game structures.
For the computer-savvy poker enthusiast, this is a very simple and intuitive matter. However, those who are interested in playing online poker, but are unfamiliar with the process of downloading and installing software programs on their computer, will benefit from some guidance in order to demystify the entire process.
The first thing one needs to know, before beginning to download poker software, is the size of the setup file, how much free space is required on the hard drive for the installation, and how much space is available on the hard drive. These are relatively easy factors to determine.
To find the amount of free space on a PC, click the "Start" button or Windows icon in the bottom left-hand corner of the computer screen. Click on "My Computer" or "Computer" (depending on the Windows version) from the second column of the list of options. Windows 7 users will immediately see a graphical indicator showing the amount of used and available disk space on "Local Disk C". For Windows XP and earlier versions, right-click "Local Disk C", and select properties. This will reveal the total amount of free space available.
Most online poker software setup files (the file downloaded from the poker site) range between 5 and 20 megabytes in size. This can take between thirty seconds and three minutes to download on a broadband connection (quite a bit longer on dial-up). 3D poker sites
have even larger setup files, which can easily take 15 minutes to download via broadband. Newer computers should have no trouble running even the largest and most advanced poker software. Most 2D online poker rooms
require about 60 MB of free space for the complete installation.
If it is determined that there is plenty of room to install the poker software onto the computer, download the setup file from the chosen online poker site. All online poker sites furnish a "Download" link on the front page of their website. Click the download link, and select which folder the file is to be downloaded to. It is very important to pay attention to the location of the file on the computer, as the file will be required for the installation process.
Once the download is complete, double-click on the downloaded file in order to initiate the installation process. If prompted to confirm the opening of the file, click "run". The Installation Wizard will provide a walk-through to guide users through the setup process. In order to install the poker client, it is required to accept the terms of the license agreement. The next prompt will ask where to install the poker program - it is recommended to use the default setting suggested by the install wizard. The user will then be asked to go "back," "install," or "cancel". If all has gone well up to this point, click "install."
It may take a minute or two for the installation process to complete. Once it has, make sure the "Launch" poker client box is checked, and click "Finish" to enter the online poker room. The poker client will open and the user will be encouraged to create an account. It is not necessary to divulge financial information or make a deposit in order to create an account, however, this will be required before one can play real money poker games. An icon will be created on the desktop in order for the user to conveniently launch the poker software in the future.
Most online poker software will run on any Microsoft Windows operating system, however, Windows XP or newer is recommended for the best results. A 266 MHz CPU will suffice on older operating systems, but a 400 MHz processor delivers better speed, and Windows Vista Users should have at least an 800 MHz CPU. Most computers bought "ready-made" since 2005 will exceed these specifications.
While online poker can be played on a dial-up connection, broadband is much faster and more reliable, especially at peak hours. Also, a minimum of 64 MB of RAM is required, though 128 or more MB of RAM is recommended - again, most modern computers come pre-equipped with more than the recommendation.
To view the system information on a Windows XP computer, go to My Computer again - as directed above to determine free disk space - and click "View System Information" in the left-hand panel under System Tasks. To view this information in Windows 7, follow the same instructions given above to determine free disk space. From the "Computer" folder, click "System Properties" in the top, horizontal menu.
Only a handful of online poker sites have developed downloadable poker clients for the Mac, namely PokerStars
and Full Tilt Poker. For those who would like to download poker software onto a Mac computer, click the download link on the front page of the online poker site. If the site fails to detect and provide the download for Mac, and prompts the user to save or cancel an .exe file, cancel the download while the page is redirected to the download and installation instructions page. There, a link to the Mac download version is provided. Click the download link and, if necessary, click "Save File." By default, the setup file will be downloaded to the desktop or the Downloads folder.
The installer should launch automatically upon completion of the download. Follow the instructions in the installation guide to finish the software install. Once the poker client has been successfully installed on the Mac, the program should launch itself with a prompt to log in or create an account. If the poker download does not launch, find and double-click the online poker icon that has been created on the desktop. After creating an account, play money games will be immediately available. In order to play real money poker games a deposit into the player account will be required.