Texas Holdem on Mac – Apple and Macintosh Texas Holdem
Within the world of modern computer operating systems, the age-old dilemma
pits PC users and their Windows platform against Mac users who prefer Apple’s
This debate won’t be settled anytime soon, what with diehard PC and Mac
loyalists living and dying with every system update sent their way. Simply put,
each side has its converts, and seldom do they cross streams.
But when we confine the issue to the pursuit of online Texas Holdem, the PC
vs. Mac divide becomes a yawning gap. For one reason or another, the major
online poker operators out there today tend to direct their energies toward PC
compatibility, leaving Mac users out in the proverbial cold.
Up until recently, major online poker sites like 888 Poker (2013), Americas
Card Room (2015) and Ignition Poker (2016) didn’t even offer a Mac compatible
The reason for this delay in Mac adaptation is readily apparent, at least
from the operators’ perspective. People use PCs over Macs at a rate of better
than 10 to 1. That’s according to Apple Insider, which revealed that the
percentage of Mac users worldwide had “grown” to just 7.4 percent in April of
With less than one player at any given cash game or tournament table
utilizing the Mac platform, online poker rooms just never had a solid incentive
to spend loads of cash developing Mac compatible software clients.
Instead, most operator’s chose to take a shortcut, setting up Flash based
browser versions of their online Texas Holdem products that are accessible
directly from a Mac user’s Safari browser. And while these browser-based
products did the job, allowing access to the online poker room itself, the
experience was subpar, to say the least, on the user’s end.
Crude onscreen graphics, lagging animations and interface glitches regularly
plagued players taking a shot at the Texas Holdem tables via a Mac device.
Rather than receiving a constant flow of software updates to refine issues like
this, browser based online poker rooms running on the Mac platform were
essentially static, forcing players to accept glitches and the like without
Worse still, even when the browser-based games were running perfectly, they
paled in comparison to the fully functional PC software product. While PC users
were busy toggling between several games during a multi table session, or
diligently studying their hand histories while looking for ways to improve, Mac
users were stuck with single table play and no hand history capability.
The situation is slowly getting better though, and today most major online
poker rooms offer their Texas Holdem games in both PC and Mac format. This has
been accomplished through the development of dedicated Mac based software
clients that users can download directly to their device.
These software platforms are the product of serious investment by the top
sites, as they needed to replicate every successful aspect of their PC side for
an entirely different system. That should show exactly where the iGaming
industry is headed in 2017, because when successful companies decide to siphon
profits and redirect them toward technological improvement, a certain level of
demand must be documented.
And that demand is there without a doubt, as evidenced by readers like
yourself seeking out the latest news on Texas Holdem for Mac users. The market
segment may be under 10 percent at the moment, but that market of Mac users is
generally more “connected” to the Internet than your average PC user. For this
reason, online poker operators are finally recognizing the importance of
catering to the Mac crowd.
This page is intended to provide a full tour of Texas Holdem as the game is
played on Mac machines. We’ll cover the biggest and best Mac compatible online
poker rooms first, before moving on to the App Store for mobile applications. To
conclude, we’ll introduce you to a few of the most popular PC emulators used by
Mac fans to recreate their favorite PC-only poker rooms.
Mac Compatible Online Poker Rooms
Like we mentioned already, the movement toward Mac compatibility continues to
gain momentum by the day.
Currently, you’d be hard pressed to find a reputable site spreading Texas
Holdem that didn’t offer a Mac software suite.
The following capsules highlight the best and brightest online poker rooms
that now offer dedicated Mac downloads, along with links to help you get
started. Each of these sites have been spreading Texas Holdem action for
several years running, and all have worked hard to cultivate strong reputations
within the online poker community:
The world’s largest online poker room is one of the earliest Mac adapters,
having integrated the platform with a full-fledged software suite way back in
Ten years later, users on either side of the spectrum report no discernible
difference between the PC and Mac versions, which is the strongest evidence of a
Mac users can now enjoy the same lineup of Texas hold
’em tournaments, cash games, sit-and-go’s, Spin-and-Go’s and all the rest of
PokerStars’ popular offerings.
As for players living in New Jersey, the triumphant return of PokerStars to
American shores means that anybody in the Garden State can log on via their Mac
device to enjoy the PokerStars.NJ platform.
If PokerStars is the industry’s big boy on the block, 888 Poker is the little
brother that somehow grew up, filled out and formed as a true rival.
In fact, the world’s second largest online poker network has been up and
running since 2003.
Making it only a year younger than PokerStars.
The site rolled out full Mac compatibility via software download in 2013, so
it’s still a relative rookie on that front, but 888 Poker’s Mac version is a
carbon copy of that enjoyed by millions of PC users worldwide. That means you’ll
find seamless access to 888 Poker features like the speed based Snap Poker and
the four-handed lottery style sit-and-go’s known as Blast.
At one point before the poker boom, PartyPoker was by far the industry’s
leader, attracting Texas Holdem fans from far and wide years before Chris
Moneymaker became a household name.
Today, a strategic shift to the European market has made PartyPoker the fifth
largest online poker network in the world.
PartyPoker rolled out its first Mac
compatible software client in 2011, and a constant stream of updates has refined
the platform ever since. As a result, the player experience for PartyPoker users
on a Mac device is nearly identical to the product PC users know and love.
That means Mac players can take part in PartyPoker’s popular eight-handed
cash game tables and the POWERFEST Texas Holdem tournament series.
Formerly known as Bodog Poker and then Bovada Poker, the newly launched
Ignition Poker platform caters exclusively to the American market.
The site’s hook is anonymous tables, which remove screen names and other
identifiers that pros on the bigger sites use to “bum hunt” unsuspected
Thankfully, that and more has been successfully ported to
the Mac version, which like Ignition Poker itself, is only in its first year of
That late implementation is likely a boon for Mac users, as Ignition Poker
didn’t design its PC platform first, only to craft a Mac alternative as an
aside. Instead, the site was built to be both Mac and PC capable from the start,
so no matter which operating system you prefer, you’ll literally be playing a
clone of the other.
Americas Card Room
Another U.S. facing site that tries to bring the great game of Texas Holdem
back to American soil, Americas Card Room (ACR) has become a beloved member of
the poker industry in recent years.
The game’s community of semi pros and grinders take to ACR every Sunday for a
series of high stakes, mid stakes and low stakes tournaments including the
Million Dollar Sunday event, which guarantees a prize pool of $1 million.
Per the player reviews posted on popular poker forums, ACR is still working
out the kinks for its Mac client, which was launched in a beta testing phase.
But even with a bug or two, the ability to fire up your ACR account and get in
the game has become a rite of passage for American players – and now Mac users can
finally join the party.
As the name suggests, BetOnline is a sportsbook by trade, but like most
iGaming sites today, they spun off a poker platform in 2010.
It then took a while to add Mac compatible software, but the launch of
BetOnline Poker’s dual Mac/PC platform in 2016 has proven to be a hit among
All of your favorite Texas Holdem tables are available across both
So you’ll never miss out on a juicy tournament overlay or
fish laden cash game.
SportsBetting.ag has been a thriving online sportsbook since 1999, but it
only became a poker hotspot in 2012 when BetOnline acquired the site and added
its own functionality.
As a result, the look and feel of this platform will closely resemble that of
BetOnline Poker – which is great news for Mac users.
All of the site’s popular
features remain intact across both Mac and PC operating systems, including the
various Texas Holdem tournament leaderboards for multi table and sit and go
players and $100,000 guaranteed prize pool events every Sunday.
Mac Compatible Texas Holdem Apps
Apple’s line of iPhones, iPads and other mobile devices aren’t technically
classified as Mac products, as they use the iOS operating system rather than Mac
You’d be hard pressed to convince any longtime Mac user of that gulf though,
as most people who use Mac desktops and laptops also carry an iOS capable device
in their pockets at all times.
For this reason, we’ve compiled capsules for a few of the best and brightest
iOS compatible Texas Holdem apps on the market today:
Once again, the industry’s titan was ahead of the curve on iOS adoption,
rolling out its PokerStars mobile app all the way back in 2012.
From then on, anybody carrying an iPhone or iPad along for the ride could
fire up their favorite Texas Holdem games while riding the train, waiting in
the lobby or walking home from work.
Today, the European Poker Tour (EPT) and other series held outside of the
U.S. regularly see players showing up to play live Texas Holdem tournaments
with iPad in hand. From there, these intrepid souls take the concept of
multi-tabling to a whole new level, alternating between their live hands and
PokerStars mobile games.
Once again, as PokerStars has been welcomed back to the U.S. market via New
Jersey’s regulated iGaming industry, players there have their own iOS app to
As is usually the case, 888 Poker is ahead of the curve when it comes to iOS
app capability – and has been since 2012.
In the five years since then, 888 Poker has made sure to tinker with and
tailor its iOS platform, to the point where players today using an iPad notice
no differences whatsoever between mobile and desktop/laptop play.
You’ll need iOS 6.0 or later for full compatibility, but once you’re up and
running, 888 Poker’s full complement of Texas Holdem tournaments, cash games,
sit-and-go’s and more are at your fingertips.
When Tom Waters, who serves as Group Head for PartyPoker, heard that players
using the site’s mobile app on iOS weren’t receiving the same features as
Android users, he quickly worked to rectify the situation:
“After the release of mobile-multi table on Android… I’m delighted that iOS
users can now also experience these improvements.
The ability for people to play more than one table at a time was critical for
us and I’m confident that our players will love the usability of the new mobile
Statements like this demonstrate PartyPoker’s commitment to customer service
across all of its related platforms – a great sign for Mac fans that are typically
underappreciated when it comes to mobile online poker apps.
Even better, thanks to PartyPoker’s entrance to the New Jersey regulated
iGaming industry, anybody in the state can hop on the site’s handy iOS app to
take their Texas Holdem action mobile.
Unfortunately, fans of Ignition Poker who like to take their gaming on the go
won’t have access to Texas Holdem tournaments when using the site’s iOS app.
With cash games and the Zoom Poker format preserved, most players will still
have plenty of action to explore.
The app is compatible with iPhone 4 and up,
along with iPad and Apple’s related tablet devices, so you should be covered
with most modern devices.
Ignition Poker is still in its infancy, having only launched last year, so
players should be prepared for a slew of updates and patches as the company
improves its iOS app down the road.
Mac Compatible Texas Holdem Play Money Sites and Apps
Most players get their kicks from wagering real money on their Texas Holdem
talent, but genuine gambling isn’t for everyone.
Fortunately, a handful of well-established sites and apps out there
specialize in “free play” or “play money” poker, allowing players to test their
proverbial waters without touching their bankroll.
Practice makes perfect when it comes to poker, but not all of us can afford
to back up bold bluffs with big bucks. That’s where play money tables come in
handy, as they allow for a certain sense of freedom to experiment with advanced
strategies and creative plays.
Indeed, for many out there, the play money tables become a challenge to
tackle in their own right, with skilled opponents standing in the way, “cash”
games and tournaments that play out just like their real money counterparts and,
of course, the thrill of victory when the pot is pushed your way.
Below, you’ll find a few of our favorite Mac compatible poker destinations
where play money reigns supreme:
By far the world’s biggest play money poker site, Zynga released its first
Texas Holdem product back in 2007, and within two years, over 40 million users
on Facebook were enjoying free play poker.
Zynga has grown by leaps and bounds in the intervening decade, moving to an
astounding 350 million active users, but one thing that remains the same is the
company’s commitment to play money poker. Sure, the company has dipped its toes
into real money functionality, but that is just a side project for the play
Boasting top-notch graphics and animations, which are bright and colorful in
a refreshing change of pace from iGaming industry norm, the Zynga Poker app for
iOS immediately catches your eye.
You can also customize your avatar, using pics of your puppy or glamorous
self-portraits, which provides a personalized touch. Thanks to this clever touch
combined with a fun chat function, for most Zynga Poker veterans, the tables are
more like a club than a forum for competition.
But that’s not to say the Texas Holdem action isn’t intense. Building a
play money bankroll up to billions of chips may sound like an easy task, but
some of the sharpest players online are actually mixing it up on the Zynga Poker
virtual felt. They take pride in playing as perfectly as possible, and even with
no “consequences” attached to a lost pot, every hand is contested as seriously
as you’d expect in a $2/$5 No Limit game on PokerStars.
Brought to you by the fine folks at the World Poker Tour (WPT), Club WPT has
been a staple of the play money poker circuit since 2008.
Over that span, millions of players have signed up and pursued their Texas
Holdem dreams of playing at a WPT televised final table – all without risking
a dime in the games.
As a subscription based service, Club WPT isn’t exactly free play poker, but
for just $19.95 per month at the base tier, you can compete for a legitimate
shot at playing a genuine WPT event.
The site uses an ingenious mix of free play and prize components to create a
whole new game.
When you collect every virtual chip onscreen in certain
events, you may just stamp your ticket to a live WPT tournament as a Club WPT
That’s how Jason Kim managed to sit alongside World Series of Poker (WSOP)
Main Event winners Ryan Riess and Joe McKeehen during the L.A. Poker Classic in
2016. And Kim didn’t just show up and participate, he played his way deep into
Day 2 to live every recreational player’s dream come true.
All of the prizes aren’t of the grand variety either, so you can grab payouts
like free gallons of gas at affiliated locations, luxury watches and even a
behind the scenes tour of the WPT set where Mike Sexton and Vince van Patten do
You can try Club WPT for two weeks free of charge, and trust us, after taking
part in the trial, you’ll be back for more of this world-class fusion of play
money and prizes.
Having pioneered the prizes via play money concept, albeit under a
subscription plan, the WPT decided to take the full free-play plunge in 2016
with the release of Play WPT.
This mobile app combines all of the functionality that fans of Club WPT have
come to expect with zero costs. The prize on the line for Play WPT participants
is pride, and believe it or not, that can provide prime motivation for poker
Once you’ve customized an avatar and hopped in a tournament of “cash” game
play, WPT will make you feel right at home – with even Mike, Vince, Tony Dunst and
Lynn Gilmartin all making an appearance.
As the name suggests, Play WPT offers a more playful appearance than its Club
WPT predecessor – using bright colors, cartoonish avatars and a bouncy
soundtrack to liven up the experience.
Your job as a Play WPT practitioner is simple – climb the points leader board
by consistently outplaying your opponents. No matter what style of Texas hold
’em you’re best at, tournaments or “cash” games, the leader board structure
provides immediate incentive to improve.
Considering that exactly zero online poker platforms integrated Mac
capability when the industry began booming, today’s flourishing industry is an
Players today are no longer forced to accept inferior products simply because
they prefer Apple operating systems – and that’s a good thing for everybody. After
all, when Mac players are forced to sit on the sidelines, prize pools shrink,
cash game liquidity dries up and the overall site experience suffers as a
Thanks to vocal lobbying by the Mac community and the proliferation of iOS
mobile devices, today’s top Texas Holdem destinations are now available to
players on either side of the PC/Mac divide.
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