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In the early days of the industry, when Mac users were a decidedly smaller portion of computer users, it was genuinely difficult to find an online poker site that had developed a full Mac online poker client to download and play on.
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In the early days of online poker no poker sites offered Mac-compatible software but with Apple’s resurgence over the last decade it's now a market impossible to ignore.
Some sites originally came out with in-browser software that could run on Windows, OSX or even Linux but the best Mac poker sites now are ones with dedicated Mac software.
Numerous poker sites are now on board with OSX and all the best poker sites have now released downloadable software optimized for Mac users.
Not all Mac poker sites are created equal, though, so we've done the research to pick the best Mac poker sites out there.
We carefully reviewed the top online poker sites for Mac and created a comprehensive list of the best. Check our complete guide to Mac poker below!
To access the highest sign-up bonuses simply download the software to your Mac and create a new account at any poker site via our links!
ABOUT MAC POKER SITES
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As the world's first-ever Trillion dollar company it's safe to say Apple Computers (aka 'Mac') have revolutionized the computing industry - and the world at-large - over the past 20 years.
The same can be said for online poker. In the early days of the industry, when Mac users were a decidedly smaller portion of computer users, it was genuinely difficult to find an online poker site that had developed a full Mac online poker client to download and play on.
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In fact, none of them did. Some had no download poker options, sure, but they were a far cry from the best a full poker software suite could offer.
With the introduction of the iMac G3 and iBook in the late 90s (you remember the colorful pods everybody suddenly wanted for their home or office), Apple changed the game. The Macbook Pro and Macbook Air laptop computers continued the process and the iPhone and iPad .. well, they might be the most universally used and desired mobile computer products ever.
With that kind of demand building across the world it was only a matter of time before the top poker sites recognized just how much they needed a native Mac client. When the first sites started rolling them out, the rest of the industry followed suit.
These days it’s dead easy to find a great Mac poker client with the top online poker sites - 888poker, PokerStars, partypoker - leading the way. You can also find lots of Mac-compatible tracking software to go along with it.
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Also, importantly, there are plenty of great (and free) Mac poker apps to download and use on your iPhone or iPad. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we get about playing online poker on a Mac or a Mac mobile device like the iPhone/iPad.
Difference Between Mac Poker for Download and Mac Poker Instant Play
There are three basic forms online poker software comes in - a full-feature, downloadable software client you download to your desktop or laptop computer, a mobile poker app you can download to your smartphone or tablet and 'instant play' or 'no download poker.'
The first is, obviously, the most feature-packed and stable with all kinds of customization options. It needs the power of a full computer to run at its peak capacity although it takes up very little of your available computer space. This is what most people who play online poker on their home computer (desktop or laptop) use to play online poker.
The second-most popular option these days is a mobile poker app, which you can download to your smartphone or tablet. For Mac users, that means an iPhone or iPad.
These are also very good software products. All of the major poker sites now have top-flight iPhone poker apps that offer virtually all of the features of the desktop client but with simplified tables, betting functions, lobbies etc.
You can still access the full range of games available to all players but things like multi-tabling and customization are slightly limited. Still, for the average player, you can hardly tell the difference.
And with new poker variations like Fast-Fold Poker (you're immediately moved to a new table with a new hand when you fold) and Jackpot Spin & Gos (prize pools are randomly multiplied before the tournament starts) mobile poker is better and slicker than ever before.
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The third, and least popular form of playing online poker, is 'in-browser' or 'no-download.' This simply means you play the games via an Internet browser (eg. Explorer or Firefox) without downloading any of the software.
This is fine (and for people who only wish to play play-money-poker usually more than adequate) but for playing real-money poker online there's no question downloading either the full Mac poker software or Mac poker app is better for both quality of play and security.
Find the Best iPhone Poker Sites Right Here!
Playing Online Poker on Linux
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Getting an online poker client running on a Mac is one thing but playing online poker on a Linux-based machine can be considerably more complicated.
Although open-source operating system Linux and popular distributions Ubuntu and Mint Linux have been gaining more and more momentum over the years they haven’t exactly lit the poker world on fire.
There are hardly any online poker clients that are designed to run natively in Linux and you’ll most likely be forced to either run some sort of emulator or play on in-brower sites.
That’s not say there aren’t some great sites for Linux, as in-browser and instant-play software has improved dramatically over the years, but it will be significantly more challenging than playing poker on Windows or even OSX.
Online Poker for Mac FAQ
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Do I Need Windows-Compatible Software to Play Online Poker for Mac?No. In the past, when poker sites did not have dedicated Mac poker software, anyone with a Mac needed a Windows emulator to play online on their Mac. Thankfully, those days are gone. Now most major poker sites offer OSX-compatible software for download and those that don't typically offer a Flash-based, no-download version you can play online.
Will New Online Poker Software Run on an Older MacBook/iBook/iMac?Most likely yes. Unlike modern computer games, poker software does not require a lot of resources and the minimum requirements are usually low. There are some exceptions, such as the graphically-intense PKR Poker.
Can I Play on PokerStars on a Mac?Yes, absolutely. Not only are there multiple ways to play online poker at PokerStars on a Mac, as the industry's benchmark for poker software their Mac client is one of the best as is their mobile poker app. You can download the full Mac software (and access our $600 sign-up bonus) right from our PokerStars review page. Once you've created your account you can download the iPhone/iPad app from inside the software or from the App Store. Live in New Jersey? Download PokerStars NJ for your Mac and get $30 free plus an up to $600 bonus!
Will I have to dual-boot Windows to play online poker?Probably not but that is an option if there’s a Windows-only poker client that you really want to play. You can dual-boot any Macintosh computer with OSX Leopard 10.5.
Is Mac Online Poker Software Worse than PC Online Poker?Nope. Most of the time the Mac online poker client is identical to the original Windows version. There will be a few minor interface changes.
What is 'In Browser' or “instant Play” Online Poker for Mac?As we mentioned above, this means you can play right away on your Mac in your web browser (such as Firefox, Chrome, Safari or Internet Explorer) without having to download anything. The benefit is that you can start playing right away. The downside is that browser-based sites are usually missing a number of the features that full clients offer (multi-tabling is generally quite difficult).
Can My iPhone Play the Full OSX-Version of the Poker Software?No, but more and more poker sites have now released separate (and very good) iPhone poker apps. See our toplist of the best iPhone Poker Apps for more.
Will I Only Play Against Other Mac Users If I Play Online Poker on a Mac?No. Not whatever which type of software you use you have full access to the entire poker site’s player base and all of its game and stake options.
Does Mac Online Poker Software Cost Anything?Definitely not. Every online poker site offers their software free of charge. It’s your choice as to whether you want to deposit money and play real-money poker or just stick to the play-money games.
How Do I Know I’m Downloading the Mac Version of an Online Poker Site?It should click over automatically when you hit download but just keep your eye open for a .dmg file. If you’re downloading an .exe file, you’re getting the Windows version.
What’s the Best Way to Start Playing Online Poker on a Mac?Just take a look at the provided list of top Mac poker sites above. We’ve carefully reviewed every site above based on the software, promotions and soft competition available to play against. The list is the very best online poker sites available to Mac users. You might also want to consider starting with a great iPhone (or Ipad) poker app to try out the site and see if you like it.
Can I even play online poker while running Linux?Getting an online poker client running on a Mac is one thing but playing online poker on a Linux-based machine can be considerably more complicated. Although open-source operating system Linux and popular distributions Ubuntu and Mint Linux have been gaining more and more momentum over the years they haven’t exactly lit the poker world on fire. There are hardly any online poker clients that are designed to run natively in Linux and you’ll most likely be forced to either run some sort of emulator or play on in-brower sites. That’s not say there aren’t some great sites for Linux, as in-browser and instant-play software has improved dramatically over the years, but it will be significantly more challenging than playing poker on Windows or even OSX. Below is a brief guide to playing online poker on Linux.
Can I even play online poker while running Linux?You can but it’s going to be more difficult than on Windows or Apple operating systems. There are no online poker clients that will function natively in Linux. Instead Linux users have to settle for poker sites that offer in-browser or instant-play versions.
Is there any way to get full online poker desktop clients running in Linux?The only option is running Windows (or Mac) emulators such as VMware and Win4Lin. There is also a popular free software application called Wine that offers compatibility with a number of Windows programs including PokerStars. Technically Wine is a compatibility layer, which isn't as resource-intensive as a full-on emulator.
Do browser-based sites run OK on Linux?Yes. Because the site runs entirely in the browser, the playing experience should be virtually identical to what you'd get using a browser on Windows or OSX.
What are the best online poker sites for Linux?There are a few but primarily look for poker sites that have good in-browser software. PartyPoker and 888poker are a couple good examples of online poker sites that have spent a number of years developing their instant-play software. Check any of the sites listed above that offer in-browser play.