Using an Emulator to Play Online Poker with a Mac

Make your Mac 'think' it's a Windows machine

The majority of online poker rooms like Party Poker don't take into account that Mac computers aren't compatible with their Windows based poker software. Only a few online poker rooms have taken it into account, more specifically PokerRoom and Pacific Poker. However, all is not lost for those who want to play elsewhere, such as Party Poker or Absolute Poker. It takes a little bit more effort and requires some extra software to make these online poker rooms work on your Mac, but it is definitely possible. This special software is called an "emulator".

By definition, an emulator is a software program that simulates a different type of software. In this case, it will make your Mac computer simulate (or emulate, more correctly) a Windows machine. After installing a Windows emulator and running it on your Mac, you will be able to properly install and run almost any Windows designed software. It's not always foolproof, but in general, quality emulators like VirtualPC (official Microsoft software, recognized by Apple Computers/Mac) are very reliable and stable.

Your Mac will still run on its regular operating system, the emulator doesn't "take over" your Mac. In fact, itís just like having a Windows computer in a single window on your Mac! It is a nice capability to have, since so many programs aren't Mac compatible. And don't worry, your Mac still remains a Mac in every way, VirtualPC simply gives your Mac the ability to run the Windows programs that you want to run. 


Windows emulator in it's own window on a Mac computer

So, if you're determined to play poker on your Mac at a specific online poker room out there, this is your solution. Suddenly the world of online poker opens up to us Mac users! Thanks to my copy of VirtualPC, I am able to play at Party Poker on a weekly basis. I still play at the Mac compatible poker rooms, usually when I'm looking for a quick game or two of poker. I don't always use my emulator program, especially when I can just log on to PokerRoom's Mac compatible online poker room from their homepage and sit down for a quick game. However, when I'm looking to play multiple tables at the same time, I always run VirtualPC and log on to Party Poker for a few hours of play time.


There are a few brands of emulators for Macs, but my personal feelings are that anything I install on my computer should be coming from a reputable source. Therefore I only recommend VirtualPC because it is written and supported by the good people at Microsoft. Apple even recognizes and recommends VirtualPC to Mac users who need the ability to run Windows programs. It's nice to know that Iím not installing something that was written by some high school kid. VirtualPC is very stable and secure, so you should have no problems. I have never had any problems at all with my emulator, or with any of the Windows compatible online poker software I have running on my emulator program.


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If youíre just looking to get into the online poker scene on your Mac, I suggest trying one of the Mac compatible poker rooms like PokerRoom or Pacific Poker. If you want to play at an online poker room that isnít Mac compatible, I recommend you go and get a copy of VirtualPC. These are both good options for us Mac users, and both are equally secure. The emulator route just takes a little more effort. For some Mac users it is worth the effort, for others it is not. Many Mac users have already installed an emulator on their computer, so this eliminates that task making the process even more effortless.

For more information on emulator compatible online poker software, visit our emulator compatible poker software page (coming soon, check back often!) for a complete list of online poker roomís that you can run on your Mac.




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