When we think of PC gamers, we often imagine them engaging with a few popular genres: MMOs, adventure games, competitive online shooters, and so forth. These indeed are among the most popular gaming genres in the world today. But among PC gamers specifically, few are as dedicated or active as regular online poker players.
PC poker players might spend hours at a time playing through tournaments, and require the utmost comfort and focus if they’re to play well. It’s with this in mind that we have some tips to offer about the ideal setup.
1. Invest in a Gaming Chair
While a lot of people have resisted the gaming chair trend, it’s becoming clearer by the day that they’re here to stay. A gaming chair write-up by Curbed.com even went so far as to suggest that the world has “found a new chair” in the form of these popular gaming accessories — indicating that a decade-long takeover is now more or less complete. The bottom line is, these chairs offer comfort, flexibility, and support you wont’ find in any other furniture, and for long hours playing through poker tournaments at your PC, those benefits are invaluable.
2. Choose a Haptic Headset
As we noted in our review of CORSAIR’s HS60 HAPTIC gaming headset, headphones like these can be heard and felt. They offer sensational audio quality, but also give you the sense that some of the sounds you’re hearing have texture. Now, imagine that sort of audio quality in an online poker environment in which there are sound effects for dealing cards, stacking poker chips, and so on. A lot of the best internet poker rooms today strive to provide realistic experiences that players can immerse themselves in. And with a haptic headset, you’ll get a stronger sense of that immersion. It will begin to feel as if you’re truly sitting at a table dealing cards and chips among competitors.
3. Have Some Poker Chips Handy
This is sort of a just-for-fun tip, but PC poker gamers could do worse than to have a few stacks of nice, heavy poker chips on standby. In the real world, many poker players have almost superstitious fidgeting habits. And as often as not, these include the handling of chips. There’s just something about stacking and fiddling with these little pieces that seems to help players zero in on the action. So there’s something to be said for having some chips on your computer desk to handle throughout your games. Just be sure not to mix up the value of your in-game chips with the stack in your hand!
4. Download Quick-Reference Guides
This is perhaps a more valuable tip for beginners than experienced players. But it’s helpful to know that when it comes to poker part of your setup should be on your screen rather than just in the room around you. More specifically, you should take the time to download and organize quick-reference guides and rule sheets that can help you to clarify any confusion that rises while gaming. The Poker.org cheat sheet is a popular place to start in this regard, and exemplifies the sort of quick reference point we’re talking about. It lists the different hands you can acquire in a poker game, along with their relative values. Having a few assets like this available on your desktop, or even in a corner of your screen, will make you a faster and more self-assured player.
5. Control Your Lighting
Lighting setups are actually being discussed quite often these days, given how much more time people have been spending at home at their desks. The Spruce’s take on office lighting is perhaps the most comprehensive in discussing popular strategies, such as letting in natural light, using lamps for flexibility, and so on. But the primary takeaway is that it’s best to have control over lighting. For PC poker players, this is essential. Poker demands concentration, and fluctuations in lighting, or irritating light sources, can be distracting. For this simple reasons, it’s worthwhile for regular online poker players to explore reliable curtains to block out natural light, and LED smart bulbs (like those from Sengled or Philips Hue) that can be dimmed, or even change color. These bulbs allow you to totally control the atmosphere in which you play.