Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Poker Friendly Macs

There was a time when if you wanted to play a computer game, you had to run Microsoft. This was true for all the gaming acronyms, everything from RPGs, to FPSs. It was even true for something as simple as Minesweeper. Macintosh ran Oregon Trail. That was about the extent of its gaming library. Thankfully, Steve Jobs was one who would follow the money, and there is a lot of money in gaming.

Gaming on Macs has become just a full-featured experience as on a PC. This is relevant to us as poker players because in the most basic sense, we are gamers. We are the most invested gamers—high-stakes gamers. I am only willing to play on a system that I can count on. When screens freeze and connections break it costs me my pride, sanity, and good old-fashioned money. On-line, I can only bluff as well as the software allows. Apple raised its game, so now I raise on a Mac.

Searching “poker” in the Mac App Store returns 55 results. Some apps are graphically rich card playing simulations, some are learning tools, some are odds calculators, and some are unique concepts I don’t quite know how to classify—and the App Store is just the tip of the iceberg. Apple’s public persona shies away from apps that are seen by some as vices, so gambling games are out. Luckily, there are plenty of big name sites that offer Mac software for real money play. I recommend taking them out for a trial run with “play money” before committing to a deposit, but I have yet to have trouble on my Mac.

Macs are no longer the minority machines in the gaming world. Even Apple’s touch interface, iOS, is seeing more innovation than the average PC today. Speaking of iOS, poker a growing scene on the iPad and iPhone. Getting into the Apple ecosystem by playing on a Mac seems like a no brainer. Oh, “and one more thing” the ability to share your screen to an Apple TV via AirPlay lets you play cards on television. You’ll feel like Daniel Negreanu. Only on the couch. Probably without pants.