Whether you’re an amateur looking to learn the poker ropes, a semi-pro player with skills, or a professional poker player looking to grind a consistent profit at the poker tables online, a solid computer setup will aid you. Without a fast, reliable desktop, amateurs won’t be able to get to grips with the fast online action and the pros can’t multi-table and benefit from the use of heads up displays (HUDs) to inform their decision-making. This article may well be particularly useful for those considering grinding online poker. This means someone who is going to play many tables at once, potentially across a variety of poker disciplines, over a number of hours.
There’s no doubt that well-established online pros such as Jeff Gross are earning millions of dollars in online poker tournament winnings will have well-considered computer setups that give them access to all the information they need to make the right calls. To create that winning environment, they undoubtedly also consider other provisions such as access to natural daylight to help improve mentality and keep a clear head.
Let’s take a look at some of the key considerations when designing a desktop computer setup specifically for online poker action.
Desktop monitors: First and foremost, you will need to consider how many monitors your computer can handle. Ideally, you will have a minimum of two widescreen monitors that can handle multiple poker table windows as well as the potential for any HUD software on another screen. Your chosen monitors should certainly be very fast and capable of operating with high resolutions. The image quality itself isn’t necessarily important — you’re only looking at 2D poker tables after all — but a responsive monitor will aid the eyes during those long sessions. Ideally, you should be looking for monitors with minimum resolutions of 1440p.
RAM (otherwise known as computer memory): Fortunately, most online poker clients don’t require you to have a hugely powerful gaming computer that you’d need to operate hardcore gaming titles such as Halo or Call of Duty. However, if you’re planning on running multiple browser windows and HUD software, you’ll want to ensure your desktop has enough RAM to avoid potentially disastrous crashes. A minimum of 8GB of RAM is necessary, although it doesn’t cost much more these days to double that up to 16GB for peace of mind.
Solid State Hard Drives (SSHDs): Another big decision you must make regarding your desktop setup is the choice between two the types of hard drives that are now available. Standard hard drives and SSHDs are used in all desktops today. The latter will be more expensive but potentially worth the outlay as they provide a quicker, stable operating system that’s capable of booting up your poker clients within a matter of seconds.
Processors: Don’t listen to those who say an Intel i7 processor is necessary as a poker grinder. An i5 core processor should certainly suffice, but we would certainly recommend avoiding generic processor models as Intel offers the most reliable CPUs.
Gaming chairs: If you’re preparing to spend hours each day at your computer desk learning and playing poker online, you’ll need a proper gaming chair that looks after your back and neck muscles. Task chairs are preferable than an executive office chair as they will help to distribute your weight forward in the proper typing position, as opposed to being lounged back and having to stretch forward to reach your mouse and keyboard.
Daylight and ventilation: As we’ve already touched upon, it’s important to keep your computer setup as close as possible to windows that can provide much-needed fresh air and daylight to aid brain function at those critical moments at the tables. Also, consider a desktop fan to help keep you and your desktop cool in particularly humid moments.
If you have any questions about specific parts of your own desktop setup for online poker, feel free to leave a comment below. In the meantime, make sure you check out some of our other recent guides. If you’re keen to find out the best laptops for online gaming click here.