Online Gambling Sites for Mac Users
Despite their deep devotion to Apple products, Mac users have for years been locked out of many interesting markets because of incompatibilities between the software designed for Microsoft Windows PCs and the Mac world. It was always up to the application developer to decide whether to engineer two versions of its software, one for the Mac community and one for the Windows community.
The Internet has leveled the playing field through the use of third-party tools like HTML and Adobe Flash. Browser-based gaming became less dependent upon the user's operating system because the browsers and Flash plugins they were using took responsibility for handling the special functions of the gaming needs. Developers don't have to write special download applications for Mac users if they can play the games in-browser.
Still, with more than 2,000 licensed online gaming sites to choose from, we have found there are some sites that are distinctly more Mac-friendly than others. These sites use more modern, up-to-date game software, and they provide more options for players. Some online casinos still offer only PC-compatible downloads, which eliminate Mac users.
We recommend these Mac-friendly casinos because we have played them ourselves and trust them.
Why are there Differences between Mac and PC Software?
The Mac platform now runs on a version of the Linux operating system. The Windows operating system is proprietary and uses a different set of commands from the Linux system. Software, in order to function on a computer, must make requests to the operating system to interact with data files and the peripheral devices. Peripheral devices are everything not included in the Central Processing Unit (CPU) including the keyboard, disk drive, monitor, and speakers.
It's a curious thing that two different operating systems can use the exact same devices. Every computer's peripheral devices have their own set of commands. Every operating system must use those same commands to control those devices. So why is it that two different operating systems cannot use the same software?
There are two reasons: first, each operating system has its own set of commands for controlling the devices. Second, the operating system commands represent bundles of device commands and each operating system uses the devices in slightly different ways.
Websites use device-independent and operating system-independent programming languages like Java, Javacscript, and Flash to send commands to Web browsers. Each browser is compiled specifically for the operating system it is written on, so the browsers act as intermediaries that ensure the device-independent commands work about the same way regardless of the computer you are using.
Playing a casino game on your computer is bit like playing the classic children's game of "Telephone". The casino site sends a command to the browser. The browser translates the command into the operating system language. The operating system translates the command into device language. The device then responds and sends a message to the operating system. The operating system then sends a message to the browser. And finally the browser sends a message back to the Website.
Playing Casino Games with a Mac
Most casinos still offer downloadable software to their members. There are some advantages to using downloadable software, as it allows the player's computer to do more things. The games should also run faster if they are running primarily on your computer, although to comply with licensing regulations the games must technically remain in communication with the remote server.
Most online casinos still offer only a PC version of the downloadable software but we have noticed a growing number of sites offering Mac downloads too.
Not every game offers a browser version but their number is growing. And we have also seen a trend toward designing new games in HTML5, which is very powerful and flexible compared to the aging Flash platform. In fact, Adobe is no longer updating Flash and browsers have begun withdrawing support for it. HTML5 is the wave of the future.
The greatest advantage of using browser based gaming is that you don't have to download a new app every time your operating system updates. Your browser will be updated for you and it will maintain compatibility with the HTML5 coded games.
One area where downloadable games was always better than in browser games was the quality of the graphics. But as Internet connections have become faster, browsers have become better, and gaming software has been updated to work with modern browsers these distinctions are becoming less noticeable. Online gamers are now more likely to use in browser versions of video poker, blackjack, baccarat, slot games, and poker games. Hence, Mac users have more options than they once did.
Sports Betting Online from a Mac
There is a world of difference between sports betting and playing casino games on a computer. No special software is needed. Sports betting Websites only require that you log into their server side dashboards with a standard browser. The browser handles everything for you.
Mac users report a great experience with sports betting sites because the Mac system is less buggy than the Windows system. Linux is a very stable and powerful environment and it often excels over Windows in any Web based application that uses standard displays like tables and user data forms.
Online Poker Using a Mac
If you tried playing poker on a Mac in the early 2000s you probably wanted to throw your computer across the room. The experience was distasteful because the online poker rooms were designed for the more numerous Windows players. However, because of advances in technology on the Mac, on servers, and in general Web browsing tools the Mac user experience is much, much better these days. We have found that most poker sites now offer Mac friendly options.
Instant play poker is handled as an in browser game just like many casino games. Hence, you only need an updated browser to start playing poker online from your Mac. In browser graphics for poker games should run more smoothly and reliably for the majority of Mac users and your Internet connection is more likely to be the cause of any problems you experience than your browser or operating system.
The advantages in using download software to play poker on a Mac remain the same but in lesser degrees: you have a more stable gaming experience, the quality of the graphics tends to be better, and you have a few more options to choose from as you play. And the play may be faster for you in some ways, although you still have to wait on the other players.
Can You Play Windows Games on a Mac?
There are compatibility programs you can install on a Mac that emulate the Windows operating system. We have not tested these compatibility tools with any downloadable software. What you will find is that the emulation layer runs as an application on top of the Mac operating system, which means the Windows apps will run more slowly than if they were being operated natively on a comparable Windows PC.
In some cases the difference in performance won't matter much but if you prefer the Mac playing experience for poker and other gambling games we recommend that you stick with either native Mac download software or just use your Mac browser for online game play. If you are immensely curious and you have already installed a Windows emulator then you can experiment but we do feel this is unnecessarily risky. Why trade off superior performance for a potentially slower gaming experience?
Mac users enjoy more options and opportunities for online gambling now than ever before. And yet despite the growth in adoption of new Web standards it remains a challenge to find good choices for the Mac audience because as a minority of online players they represent a less valued investment among many online gaming companies. That is why it is so important to understand the strengths and limits of the Mac marketplace.
We are confident in the recommendations we make because we have extensive experience in the online gaming world as players and researchers.
A good recommendation takes several things into consideration, not just the compatibility of the software with your home computer. You should also be concerned about reputation and user experience.
The decision to use a Mac over a Windows PC is a deeply personal one but in general Mac users are very satisfied with the power and performance of their Apple products. That kind of satisfaction is hard to maintain when running Windows emulation software because of the decrease in performance. That is why we make a special effort to recommend truly Mac friendly casinos so that your online gaming experience need not be a compromise in choices.