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System Requirement

System Requirement

Necessary Hardware

You need two critical components in order to play online: a computer compliant with gambling software and access to the Internet.

If you bought your computer within the last five years, chances are that it is already equipped with the necessary hardware to gamble online. That is, it already has everything it needs to run the casino's software. The basic rule of thumb is simply having Internet access - if you're computer is able to surf the 'Net, you're probably good to go. If you don't have Internet access yet, and you're working with an older model system, you'll need to check to see if your computer can handle the job. While you don't need to have the latest but your system does at least need to meet the following minimum requirements:

Pentium chip
16 MB of RAM (Random Access Memory)
256 color VGA monitor
20 MB of Hard drive space
14.4 Kbps modem

Of course it is always better to have a faster connection like DSL - as these will make everything faster and more realistic - as long as you've got those basic needs met, you can at least gamble on the 'Net'.

Necessary Software

Most, if not all, online gambling sites offer their software free to anyone who cares to use it. So, all you need to start online gambling is just a capable operating system, which we mentioned above, and an Internet browser.

Sites that offer casino games may also require players to download their own casino software package in order to play the games. However it not applies on all because there are several different casino software platforms, some of which allow gamblers to avoid the download process and play right through the browser.

Don’t worry if you should settle on a site that requires the download. They walk you through the process step by step and make it about as painless as possible. This software is also free, as the casino's goal isn't to sell you a couple of bucks worth of gaming software, but to get you through the door where they have a shot at getting some real money. With that in mind, always be wary of sites that ask you to pay for their software download, as that's usually the first sign of a scam in progress. Also, don’t buy software CDs on auction sites like eBay, anyone can get those CDs for free from the casino.

Software Platforms

The software platforms depend on different types of the games, different sites and the methods different players get access to. Currently, there are three major types: downloadable, JAVA-based, and Flash.

Download Platforms

As the industry progressed, however, this form of software package installation has become more streamlined, allowing players to download only the basic casino components with additional optional downloads later.

For example, now a player can quickly load the casino's basic software package - usually only about 4 MB - which consists of the general casino images (entrance, tables, etc.,) and only a few basic games like blackjack, slots and a video poker machine or two. Once this casino shell is downloaded, players can then log on to the site and start gambling. If they want to install additional games later, they simply select which ones they want and download them individually by clicking on a link from the original software package.

This method for installing the casino software is especially important for the "larger" sites that have over 100 games, as it allows players to selectively add games and avoid wasting the tremendous amount of time it would take to install so many unnecessary files.

JAVA Platforms

JAVA-based software is the next generation of online gambling. players no longer needed to download the site's software onto their system - they could simply visit the site, register and start playing right through their own browser. This new feature revolutionised online gambling, allowing players the easily jump from site to site, without having to waste time and memory space by incorporating the software onto their own system.

JAVA has its limitations. One major drawback to this type of software feature is the quality of the graphics. Since the games are played directly from the site's server, rather than from information stored on the user's system, the visual appeal is sometimes mildly diminished.

Flash Platforms

Flash technology is the latest innovation in online gambling software which allows gamblers to again start playing without the need for the lengthy software downloads. However, while JAVA software sometimes has graphical limitations, Flash uses streaming technology to create a very realistic, smooth-flowing gambling experience. The only real drawback to the player who uses this platform is the need to download the Flash plug-ins - the software necessary to run the program. While this may seem to be just as inefficient as the original download platforms, the plug-ins typically take less time to incorporate, are provided directly from the site and need only be installed once.

Obviously, it is up to the individual to decide which format best suits their needs. Thankfully, many casinos are now offering all three options to players, allowing them to decide for themselves which to use. Some players prefer JAVA or Flash formats because they provide for greater flexibility when site hopping - requiring little or nothing to download. Other players prefer the stability of downloading the entire software package onto their system because they feel more in control of the gaming, get better graphics, and trust the site. In addition, by downloading a site's software, players are more likely to return to that site, which helps to earn more comp points.