“How to play online poker on a Mac?” This is a question that I have been asked a few times, and here we’re not talking about the few online poker rooms that provide a download able Mac version of their software. No, here we’re talking about those online poker rooms that don’t offer any kind of Mac possibilities (no install able application, no browser version, etc.), thus leaving all the Mac poker enthusiast out!!!
I myself am a Mac user, because it has simply the best and very user friendly operating system. Though, I also own a Windows computer, since I can’t live without one for several reasons. My Mac is a Power Book G4 and is about 2 years old. This means it doesn’t have the Intel processor that current Mac Pro’s have. Not having an Intel processor is a huge disadvantage if you’re looking in ways to run a stable version of Windows. I basically spent hours trying to get everything to work, just to be able to play online poker on my Mac. Sure, these hours may be less if you have experience, but I did not (just like many others out there).
This article will be divided in two sub articles from here. You may be interested in reading both, but most probably you will just read the article that fits your Mac.
First Sub: MAC WITHOUT INTEL
OK, so this is the situation I am in. I love to play online poker, but I hate to be sitting upstairs all the time. Besides me, my girlfriend hates it as well and she has told me that several times! I have a wireless network installed, so I can use my laptop anywhere in the house. At first I was playing online poker at rooms with the ability to play on a Mac. Unfortunately these rooms are not my favourite. Don’t get me wrong, there are seriously some great online poker rooms available for the Mac. It’s more like a personal thing.
Well, because I really wanted to play at this particular online poker room, I have Googled for a solution and found several options.
I found out later that the easiest way to run Windows on a Mac is by installing Virtual PC 7. It creates a Windows machine on your Mac. It’s also not so expensive, since you can choose form several versions: XP Pro, XP Home, Win 2K Pro, and a standalone version for people who own a copy of Windows. The retail prizes range between $129 for the standalone, up to $249 for the Pro versions.
Let’s me start by telling you this: “If you can afford it, this is what you want!” Virtual PC 7 makes it possible to run PC programs and peripherals right from your Mac, but even better is that Virtual PC 7 runs in a window when using your Mac operating system! It brings a lot of advantages to your Mac, which might not all be related to this article since we’re specifically talking about “how to play online poker on a Mac”. There’s a pretty good demo that covers a lot of options (shared clipboard, shared folders, full screen mode, and lot’s more) on the Virtual PC website.
Before I found out about Virtual PC 7, I found with the following solution to my problem, since I was looking for a way to be able to participate in a poker freeroll for frequent players. It’s definitely just as good as the solution previously mentioned, and best of all it’s free! Though, you should be aware of the fact that it requires a PC on a network having a Windows Pro version installed on it.
Microsoft offers a free “Remote Desktop” client application for the Mac. Installing this on your Mac enables you to work on your Mac and your Windows-based computer from a single location. You have to make sure that your PC has “Remote Desktop” installed, which can be done by following these steps:
- Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
- Double-click Add/Remove Programs.
- Click Add/Remove Windows Components.
- Click Internet Information Services, and then click Details.
- Click World Wide Web Service, and then click Details.
- Select the Remote Desktop Web Connection check box, and then click OK.
- Click OK on the Internet Information Services screen.
- Click Next on the Windows Components Wizard screen.
Next you have to make sure that “Remote Desktop” is enabled, which can be done by following these steps:
- Right-click the My Computer icon on the desktop, and then click Properties.
- Click the Remote tab.
- Make sure that the Allow users to connect remotely to this computer check box is selected, and then click OK.
You also need to know the IP address of the Windows-based PC, which can be done by following these steps:
- Click Start, click Run, and then type cmd.
- At the command prompt, type ipconfig.
- Write down the IP address on a piece of paper.
You can now try to connect to your Windows-based computer using the Remote Desktop Client on your Mac by connecting to its’ IP address.
- On your Mac, open Remote Desktop Connection.
- In Computer, type the IP address.
- Click Connect.
You are now able to remotely login to your Windows-based machine. I hope this solution helps you just like it did me, have fin playing online poker on your Mac!
I have to admit that I personally have no experience with what I am writing here. I have Googled for this information, and I believe that it covers all there is to know in a nut shell.
Owners of a Mac Pro containing an Intel processor are the ones who can choose from several products to run Windows.
First of all there is Apple’s Boot Camp. It is free, and easy to install. Boot Camp enables Mac users to run a copy of Windows natively, just like a PC. The only thing you need to do is pressing the Alt-key at start up.
Advantage: Use your Mac as a Windows machine.
Disadvantage: You can’t switch between the two operating systems simultaneously.
Second there are several other products similar to Apple’s Boot Camp. Applications like Parallels are even better since they can run OSX and Windows at the same time. All these products have their pro’s and con’s, but the main principles are comparable. The biggest difference between Boot Camp and the others? Surely the prices, Boot Camp is free…
No matter what product you’ll choose, all will provide you with the same features and possibilities as a regular Windows machine does, thus it enables you to play poker at the online poker rooms you choose, with or without a Mac version!