For most people, playing online poker is as easy as click, download, and login. But for Macintosh users, it’s a different story. Those interested in playing Mac online poker are challenged by obstacles such as file type conflict, graphics overload, and incompatibility of the most popular sites.First, Macintosh Poker players are not able to download .exe files. .exe was specifically created for the Microsoft Windows operating system and therefore Mac users cannot download .exe online poker rooms. There are several Macintosh Poker Sites that provide Mac users with a native download and obviously their clients are not .exe files. Instead, these native download Mac online poker rooms use .bin files that are directly compatible with the Macintosh Operating system.Second, Mac computers are not able to handle the heavy graphics load that Windows based computers can in terms of Java based poker rooms. Mac online poker players cannot play graphics intensive games at sites such as Stacks Poker. Instead, they must play no-download poker games that are run by a browser based version of either Java or Flash. Such Macintosh Poker Sites include that of PacificPoker, PokerRoom, and EuroPoker.Finally, Mac users have been neglected by most of the popular / major poker sites. The largest online poker sites such as Party Poker and PokerStars have neglected to create either a native Mac Online Poker client or a no-download Macintosh Poker client. The only major Mac online poker room to have done this is PokerRoom. Of course, other solutions to this problem have been presented. A popular poker site has written a useful guide to playing mac online poker at the major online poker sites using software known as a PC Emulator. Information on how to use a PC emulator to play poker for Mac can be found at http://www.imaconlinepoker.com/pc-emulator-poker/ [http://www.imaconlinepoker.com/pc-emulator]So as you can see, Mac Online Poker players have been neglected. However, more Macintosh Poker Sites are unearthing valuable information for Mac online poker players. The hurdles might be high and long, but there certainly is hope for Mac Online Poker.
When discussing on-line poker with poker players who have never played on-line poker before it seems the most common reason, or objection they give for not playing is that they fear the game is unfair in someway. The most common activities mentioned, that are included ‘unfair’, are ‘The poker room can rig the deck’, ‘Players will work in teams in order to gain an edge (known as ‘collusion’), and/or ‘A player or the poker room can see my cards’. These types of ideas, which can be summed up with the word ‘cheating’, are something to be fearful of, because nobody wants to be cheated out of money. But, just because they are something to be concerned with, is the concern justified in regards to on-line poker? This first article aims to not only show that the poker rooms do not cheat, but actually, even if for self-serving reasons, have an incentive to not cheat and to prevent others from cheating.All card rooms, whether land based or on-line make money from the rake. The rake is the amount of money collected as a fee from each pot or paid directly by the players on a temporal basis (All on-line poker rooms use the former method). The standard maximum rake per hand on-line is $3. For purposes here it will be assumed that the average taken per hand at most poker rooms is $1.50. On-line poker software is much faster than a live dealer and one table can play, on average, 60 hands an hour. This means that from one table the card room will make $96 an hour in gross profit. Using reports distributed by various on-line groups, the average amount of active tables at the medium to larger poker sites is anywhere between 200-1000 (real money only included). To make our point clearer, we can assume 200-300 tables per average. This means that every hour a poker room turns a gross profit of $19,200 – $28800. What reasons would an established company have to NOT protect $460,800-$691,200? Let’s assume for a second that a poker room could manage to cheat its players out of $460,000 in a 24 hour period, how many times would they be able to get away with this before word got out that half a million dollars was missing from players? Even if the site was grossing 10% of this amount per day, they would still make more money, even after paying expenses, than they could from cheating their players. As long as the site is of medium size or larger and has a decent (not even great is necessary) reputation a players risk of being cheated in anyway by the poker room is negligible. In fact, it is safe to say, because of the card room’s large profit, even if the poker player’s best interests did not matter at all to them, that they actually want to protect their players from being cheated in anyway. If a site cheats or allows their players to cheat, they will lose all their current and potential profits, because their reputation will rapidly spread (by ‘rapidly’ we mean within a day or two) to the poker community via the media and on-line poker communities.The idea of poker rooms actually protecting their players from being cheated and providing them with a secure place to play poker has been mentioned numerous times here, but none of the methods have actually been mentioned. As has been mentioned, the other fear for potential on-line poker players is other on-line poker players cheating in someway. The most common method mentioned is collusion. When players collude one player will be on his computer and via the phone or some messaging program, can let another player, who isn’t’t’t even in the same city, state, etc… know his cards. The second player would then let the first player know his cards. They would then use this information to their advantage by raising the other players at the table (usually one or two others) in order to build a larger pot. Those who perpetuate this idea (myth) realize that one of the colluders will lose the pot and the other will win. Since they are partners, they will still profit off of the unknowing cheated players. This seems like it would be fairly easy to do, but it is probably safe to say that learning to play poker would be easier and less risky than colluding. All reputable poker rooms usually have a policy that players using the same IP cannot play together at the same table. It is pretty easy to get around this though and luckily the poker sites know this.The poker rooms have software that watches the betting patterns of players. This software is made even easier to use because of the hand history poker rooms offer. When players collude, one person will usually have a good to great hand and the other player will have rags. Because of the software that the on-line poker room uses, they can easily see that these two players play at the same table together quite a bit (even if from separate IPs, states, etc…) and they are always raising and folding when one has a great hand and the other has a really bad hand. It won’t take long for the poker room’s software to find out if they are colluding or not. But, the fact that other players quickly report any type of strange behavior in order to alert the poker room, the time this pair of colluders has to cheat other players out of money is drastically decreased. Even if there is a huge team of colluders, lets say 20 people, the bankroll necessary to make this effective, the amount of planning that would need to go into this, and having to play high enough limit games in order to make it worth their time, greatly decreases anybody even trying it.The poker room not only relies on other players and one type of software to track a player’s history, cashout requests, and history, but they also have software and manual checks that take place when a withdrawal is requested. This software and security representative check for inconsistencies in a player’s betting, to check for chip dumping, and any other ‘shady’ or illegal behavior. Even if the colluders were successful at the table, they still need to be able to withdraw their funds. Being that it will need to be a large amount in order for the colluders to make enough money for their time and risk, the withdrawal will be analyzed much closer and if it is proven that collusion had taken place, the funds will most likely be returned to the cheated players in someway.There are other methods that the poker rooms use for detecting cheating, but because of the need for secrecy, they are not as public as the above mentioned methods. The purpose here was not to show all the methods used, but to help rid the fears of the sites cheating and/or allowing cheats. The large sums of money that poker rooms make is more than they could ever make from cheating. In order to protect this profit, they also implement methods to prevent others from cheating their players. These methods are usually sufficient, but there is always risk that is out of the poker rooms control, but is in the player’s control. The second part of this article will discuss ways a poker player can protect their computer and spend more time learning to play poker and enjoying themselves while learning.
Online poker rooms make it easier for the average person to play poker without having to wager vast sums of money, and this is especially true of the free online poker rooms. Whatever your game is though, be it free or not, you will find that knowing some online poker strategy and game plays will be of great help to you.It is true that with the advent of online poker, more and more people are learning to play poker, and as such it behooves the new player to learn as much online poker strategy as they can. This will not only give them an advantage over the other poker players who don’t use any type of strategy to play, but it also gives you a better starting position, as you will be ready for any contingency.The main trick to winning at online poker, or indeed any type of poker, is practice and experience. Without either by your side, no amount of knowledge of online poker strategy and game plays will be of help to you.To that end, it is to your benefit if you spend more time playing the game of poker rather than reading about poker strategies and things. Leave that to a time when you are better able to play poker without having to stop and think about whether or not you have a possible good hand or not!In short, use online poker strategy and game plays only when you have the knowledge and the know-how to play poker properly.Another thing that you will want to keep an eye out for when you are looking into these online poker strategy and game plays, is whether or not they are out and out poker cheats, or even whether they are borderline poker cheats.Either way you will want to be careful when you are dealing with these strategies which fall into gray areas as you could be penalized for having used them, even if you were unaware of what they were to begin with. Remember, ignorance is not an acceptable excuse in most places, and you want to be very careful when dealing with strategies and things which could be construed as cheating.When all is said and done however, you will find that once you are more conversant with playing the game of poker, using an online poker strategy will be of help to you, but only when you have become conversant with the game.Until then you might as well be playing blindly for all the good utilizing an online poker strategy will do for you. Learn to play poker first, then go in for the poker strategies. This is the first poker strategy that you should learn.