To begin playing in online casinos you will firstly need a computer and a decent internet connection. If either of these are below standard then problems could arise, regardless of how good the online casino software is.
The minimum required specification depends on the nature of the software, with more complex applications requiring a higher spec. However, this minimum specification is largely the same across all software providers.
For the downloaded software programs you will need a Windows operating system on your computer, as this is the only system they are compatible with. Players with Mac and Linux cannot use the downloadable version and therefore must use the “instant play” software where no download is required. Most software providers list Windows 95 as the minimum requirement, although it is preferable to have a later version.
In terms of the hardware, the processor speed is quite important. If the speed is too low then you may find the on-screen graphics become jerky, with a possible delay between your screen and everyone else’s.
The minimum processor speed is normally between 200 MHz and 800 MHz. Software providers such as Microgaming, with their rich audio/visual content and animations, require higher speeds to run the programs.
The next important factor is the system memory; you need enough RAM to process the applications and enough hard drive space to store them on. All downloadable games are stored on the hard drive of your computer. Software providers with more games on offer will need more disk space to store the extra components. For example, Microgaming requires at least 500MB of disk space.
For more complex online casino programs you will need a larger amount of RAM to process the rich graphical content and animations. Using the same example, Microgaming requires about 128 MB of system memory and 32MB video memory.
For most online casinos a broadband connection with a minimum speed of 56Kbps is required. You can more or less forget about using dial-up internet connection, as this would not be suitable. To play online gambling seriously you need the best internet connection possible. If you have a low connection speed, or an unreliable internet service provider, then you may find that apart from suffering from heavy slow-down, you also fall victim to frequent disconnections. This can be very frustrating, especially if there is a set delay before you are allowed to re-join the game.
Money you were about to win can quite easily be lost if your connection goes halfway through a round. In some cases you may sacrifice the entire game if your internet fails, so make sure your connection meets the minimum requirement for the game you are playing.
Some software providers will specify minimum requirements and recommended specs. If a player’s computer does not meet the minimum spec they will face frequent problems. When buying a new computer system it is essential to get, at least, the recommended spec for the game you intend on playing. Ideally the system should be above the recommended requirement.
With the complexity of online casino games increasingly rapidly, the minimum specs quickly become outdated. Regular casino players would suggest buying a top-spec computer, ideally the best in the current market, otherwise the technology will soon become obsolete and end up costing even more money when it has to be replaced.
Different online casinos list the system specs in different places on their web sites, so you may need to navigate around a bit before you find them. The FAQ section is a good place to start looking, usually under technical questions. Alternatively, you may find this information in the “Getting Started” or “Download” sections of the website.