No Download Poker
“No download” poker refers to sites that allow you to play without downloading and installing an app or special software. Online casinos do this by offering games directly through your web browser.
There are some pros and cons to no download poker. Convenience and speed are definitely among the big advantages. These rooms are also open to those who run operating systems that aren't supported by most poker sites. The primary downside is that relatively few poker rooms offer this option.
It may be worth your time to find some good no download poker rooms, however, as there is one enormous advantage that can be employed by players of all skill levels.
The Player's Guide to No Download Poker
This guide will explain the basics of no download poker as well as some of its unique advantages. We'll also touch on video poker play through your web browser.
How No Download Poker Works
The poker site delivers its “no download” version through your web browser. Browser support varies between different sites, but they generally accommodate many of the “big name” browsers. Make sure you have a recent version of the browser, and you should be able to play with no issues. You can find a list of compatible browsers on the “software manuals” or “technical FAQs” sections on these sites.
While it's true that “no download” poker rooms and casinos don't require you to install a permanent app or software on your hard drive, they do require some temporary use of space in your browser's cache. For each poker table you plan to play, a reasonable expectation is to have 50 to 100 MB of temporary storage space available.
The quality of no download poker games has improved significantly in recent years. The games now run just as smoothly as their desktop and app counterparts, with all of the same features. The only limitations you might encounter are a lack of tournaments and the inability to multi-table and implement tracking software. The latter can be a major advantage depending on your style of play, however, as we'll discuss in greater detail below.
Who is Best Suited to No Download Poker Rooms?
No download poker rooms are best for those players using hardware or operating systems that poker sites tend not to support with their software and apps. This includes players on Macintosh desktop and laptop computers, alternative PC operating systems like Ubuntu and Linux, Chrome OS players whose system doesn't support Android apps, and those who prefer the native BlackBerry OS on their mobile phones.
Some people simply prefer to get into the action quickly, however. A no download poker room saves some time in downloading and configuring software, as well as waiting on periodic mandatory updates.
Video Poker at No Download Casinos
If you're looking for video poker action, you'll find a wide range of options available. Online casinos almost universally offer a no download version of their site that includes their full range of video poker games.
If you're a regular poker player but don't dabble in other casino games, you might want to investigate video poker. It's a good way to introduce beginners to hand hierarchies and the fundamental rules of draw poker. It's also one of the few casino games that regularly returns over 99% of wagers to players, and under the right circumstances (such as a favorable pay table and the inclusion of comp offers or use of bonus funds) has a theoretical expected return of over 100% to the player.
The One Big Advantage for No Download Poker Players
If you're a professional player, you are undoubtedly using things like HUDs and odds calculators to give yourself as much of an edge as possible. No download games are not for you, as it is usually hard, if not impossible, to integrate these various pieces of software and apps with browser-based games. Some online casinos and poker rooms—like Ignition Poker, for example—have outright banned the use of HUDs.
However, a lost opportunity for one type of player becomes an advantage for another. If you are a classic or casual player who just wants to rely on your natural abilities when you play, no download games may well be a better fit. Lower-level players don't have to worry about seeing a lot of “sharks” in these waters. On the other side of that equation, higher-level players who are capable of maintaining their play without support software may find a wider range of opportunities.
The Unique Qualities of No Download Poker
No download poker games offer a faster, more convenient form of the game that also dispenses with much of the support software that is useful to professionals and undesirable to casual players. It's also the only viable outlet for players running certain operating systems. Some of the major poker rooms offering a robust no download version include 888Poker and Ignition Poker. If you're looking for video poker in your browser, the options are too numerous to list!