There are 2 types of poker software
- Those that require the user to download and install a separate new piece of software on every device they want to play on.
- Those that allow the user to play in the browser.
Thank goodness within a few years only the second type will exist. In browser play is better for both the players and the poker rooms; it’s even better for heads up display providers and affiliates. It’s better for everyone!
Advantages of in browser play
The key word here is convenience, playing in the browser is more convenient in a number of ways. We already have browsers that we use all the time on all of our devices so there is no friction in starting to play poker in the browser.
Consider the point of view of a first time online poker player who is not even sure if he trusts the poker room. In that case downloading and installing a poker client is a big hurdle.
Also consider playing from a work computer or any device on which you don’t have permission to install new programs. In that case you can’t use a stand alone poker client but you can play in the browser.
When we play poker we often want to switch between the poker table and websites, either related websites to support our play or unrelated websites when the action on the felt gets slow. In browser poker makes this much easier.
Why didn’t we do this 10 years ago? What has changed?
Until recently poker rooms had good reasons to make their own stand-alone software
Different users had different browsers with different configurations and different extensions. This gave developers little control over the environment in which their program would be run, something they hate.
Some people even used Internet Explorer! which was a nightmare to develop for.
Today there is much better standardization and compatibility between browsers, this has come from positive co-operation between Chrome, Firefox and Safari as well as the long awaited death of Internet Explorer.
In browser technologies
It used to be impossible to develop graphically rich interactive user experiences in browsers. Developers used to have to use flash which was unreliable, buggy and not supported on some devices.
Since then there have been great advances in browser technologies. HTML5/CSS3 supports rich media much better than previous versions did.