Mac users haven’t always had it very easy. For many years it was all about Windows, and if you didn’t have a Windows computer then you were at a severe disadvantage when it came to playing games and using certain apps.
Such was the case with online gambling sites. Early downloadable casinos and poker rooms just weren’t available on the Mac operating system, and it took a surprisingly long time for them to become available. In fact, years after the first online casinos were being produced for Mac, the poker world was still dragging its feet.
Some of the biggest gambling sites in the world still use software that can not be played on Mac, making you wonder just how much these companies care about making their poker rooms accessible. In this guide we’ll tell you which gambling sites have been neglecting their Mac users and we’ll also tell you which ones have been catering for them.
The Sites Lagging Behind
Take a look at the following snippet:
“[Betting site] does not offer a Mac or Linux compatible client.
However, customers can use Apple’s ‘Bootcamp’ which allows users to run windows on their Mac, therefore allowing them to play using the Windows version.”
This is shown to Mac users when they try to download poker software on a particular gambling site. They are redirected to the terms and conditions, shown this message, and then sent to a URL detailing how they can download software that basically allows them to install Windows. As any Mac user will tell you, this can be a nuisance, to say the least. It doesn’t always work and it also exposes your Mac to countless malicious programs.
In other words, it’s not a good option to have and is very much a cop-out by a gambling site that clearly hasn’t gone the extra mile for its members. You have probably figured all of that out for yourself and it wont come as a surprise to read that. But you probably will be surprised to learn the name of the site in question: BetFair.
Yes, what is arguably the biggest gambling site in the world has not made its poker software available on Mac. That may change in the future, but we’re writing this in late 2018, some 10 years after gambling sites started catering for Macs and a good 10 years after BetFair should have done the same!
The irony is that BetFair used to be part of a network that could be accessed through a Mac. But in their infinite wisdom they decided to make a switch and in doing so they alienated every single Mac user that they had.
What is the Issue with Mac Gambling Software?
There is no real issue. Software can be made compatible for Mac. It’s possible, but it’s not easy and it’s not cheap and this puts a lot of gambling companies off. You wouldn’t expect the likes of BetFair to be deterred by this, but they are.
Around 10% of internet users own a Mac. But BetFair are relying on the fact that most of these will also have an Android or iOS device, so they have put more time into creating mobile software and making it accessible than they have into launching a Mac poker room.
Other Big Sites with no Mac Poker Room
If you punch “Mac Poker Sites” or “The Best Mac Poker in Canada” into Google you will get a list of affiliate sites showing every single poker site out there, including BetFair. The truth is, these articles are not written by experts, nor are they written off the back of any decent research. They simply list the poker sites that they are affiliated with, regardless of whether they allow Mac users or not.
This creates a lot of confusion and frustration for Mac poker players, and we don’t want to add to that nonsense. So, it’s time for some honesty.
The first thing you need to understand is that most poker sites work on a network. This network connects multiple sites, allowing them all to use the same software and add their own games and benefits, while also taking advantage of the features that a large network can offer.
BetFair uses a network called iPoker, which is not available on Mac. This means that Coral, WilliamHill, PaddyPower, Ladbrokes, BetFred and other top names are not available either. In fact, there are a huge number of top sites that use this network and that pretty much rules out all the big sites for Mac users.
Mac Poker Sites
It’s not all doom and gloom. Big gambling sites seem to prefer iPoker when adding a poker room to their site, but if the site is poker first and everything else second, like PokerStars, FullTilt and even SkyBet, then they tend to create software that is accessible to all.
The same goes for 888, who have one of the best proprietary poker rooms and have always focused on the Mac market, while also making their software available for all other platforms. OnGame is a good network as well. It’s not as popular as it once was (this was the network formerly used by BetFair) but we have always had a soft spot for it.
Generally, modern poker rooms are Mac friendly and it’s only iPoker that is not. The bad news is that this rules out a huge number of sites, the good news is that these are not the sort of sites that you want to be playing poker on full-time anyway.
The Best Mac Poker Sites
If you want to make it as a poker pro then you need a proper poker site, not a sports book masquerading as one. For that, take a look at the graphic at the top of this page
This is updated all of the time to include the very best poker room of the moment, one that is geared towards Mac users and Canadians, but one that also ticks a host of other boxes, from great bonuses and a loyalty scheme, to a variety of games, poker variants and more.
This site may change as our top list and recommendations change, but one thing is for sure: where Mac poker sites are concerned, you will never see us recommend BetFair!