Jan 08

Your First Time at an Online Casino!

So, this is it. You’ve made the decision to try an online casino and you are now asking those important questions, like “what now”? Let’s start with your computer’s hardware & software and internet connection.

Most casino sites and online poker rooms post the hardware/software requirements somewhere, usually under their FAQ (frequently asked questions). Now you can find out what your computer has by going to your Control Panel and clicking System. Some casinos may have minimum requirements that are fairly low like a 500 MHz CPU, 64 MB of memory, 200 MB of free hard drive disk space, dialup modem connection and Windows 95/98. But most casino site’s requirements will be much higher, like a 2.8 GHZ CPU, 2 GB of memory, a high speed internet connection, a graphics card with 256 MB of memory and Windows XP/VISTA/7.

A question that comes up a lot is what about Mac computers? There are very few online casinos that have downloadable software for Macs. Mac is picky about what hardware goes into their machines usually designing it themselves whereas PCs are built with simpler generic parts, so it’s very hard for online casinos to develop software that runs on Macs, or with Apple software. The work around for this by casinos is to build their games in Flash so that no software has to be downloaded.

Now majority of you will probably opt for the downloadable software which tends to have the most bells and whistles and all of the games where as the Flash version is often missing some of the games. Basically the software is a client of the casino’s server and when you play a game your client talks to the server and tells it what you are doing in the game. So when you bet, raise, call, spin a roulette wheel or sit at a table your client passes along that information to the server which relays that action to all your opponents. And when they do something their client sends that information to the server who shares it with you. There is no worry about the software from reputable casinos.

Now, a word on signup bonuses, always read the fine print regarding conditions. A signup bonus may look fantastic on the surface, but when you read the fine print you discover that you have to play a minimum number of hands to qualify for it, or use it within a certain period of time or lose it. Any reputable site will clearly post the conditions for you to read, but you must READ THEM yourself. So don’t set yourself up for a unwelcome surprise and use some common sense.

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