Most gambling sites offering poker are part of large poker networks and get their poker software from them. The most well-visited poker networks are iPoker, Ongame, Revolution Gaming, Merge and Microgaming. There are also several poker sites, including the giant PokerStars, that have their own proprietary poker software and do not belong to any network. Examples of poker sites with proprietary poker software are PartyPoker, 888 Poker, Svenska Spel och Everest Poker.
For news about poker software, a good place to start is the web site of the software owner. PokerStars does for instance post poker news that concern their software here .
Downloadable poker software
Downloadable poker software needs to be downloaded and installed on the computers that you wish to play poker from. Once in a while, you will receive updates that also need to be downloaded to your computer to keep your poker software up to date.
Playing poker in a downloaded poker client takes up less bandwidth than playing directly in your browser, since graphics, animations, sounds, etc will be stored in your computer. Only new information needs to be sent back and forth over your internet connection.
There are still quite a few poker sites that only have downloadable poker software available for Windows. Fortunately, there are also sites that have downloadable poker software available for several different operative systems, such as Windows, Mac OS and Linux.
Play poker directly in your web browser
Playing poker directly in your web browser is convenient since you don’t have to download and install any poker software on the computer. This is especially important if you’re playing from a computer to which you aren’t allowed do download and install new software, e.g. a work computer or a computer at an internet café.
As explained above, the major downside to playing poker directly in your browser is that it will take up quite a lot of bandwidth since so much information needs to be sent back and forth between your computer and the poker server. This is especially noticeable when playing in a graphically heavy 3D poker room. Also, it is quite common for browser players to have access to fewer features than client players. You may for instance be unable to save notes and statistical information when playing in your browser.
Browser play is normally available regardless of operative system. You may need to update the plug-ins for Flash and Java to the latest version for everything to run smoothly.
Poker software that helps you get an edge at the table
Today, various types of software has been developed to aid online poker players. The selection ranges from simple odds calculators and note pads to advanced analytical tools that will gather massive amounts of information about your opponents and analyze it for your benefit. The use of analytical poker software at online tables is controversial and several poker sites have taken various counter measures, including the introduction of anonymous (alias free) cash tables.