When settling in to play an online poker session, it’s essential to have a setup that allows you to play at your best. This includes ensuring you’ve got a computer that’s up to the task, a mouse and keyboard that’s easy to use, a comfortable place to sit, and an environment conducive to focusing.

It can be challenging to keep focus when playing on your own in your room, so you need to tailor your environment to ensure you’re free of distractions. So sit up straight, clear the Cheeto bags and Mountain Dew cans from your desk, and read on to discover what you need to create an optimal poker environment.

How Good Is Your Rig?

the new modern powerful gaming computer with beautiful rgb lights of different color and a glass case on the table in the dark

You’re going to need a decently powerful PC or laptop if you’re going to be taking poker seriously. You can’t afford your system to lag just as you’re about to jam pocket aces in someone’s face. You need a system that will run smoothly, particularly if you’re using a HUD or playing on multiple tables simultaneously. You’ll be amazed at how much computing power is required to run the latest versions of the GG Poker or ACR.

We’re not saying you need to go out and buy an Alienware gaming PC capable of hacking into the Pentagon; you just need to have a solid system that can handle all your poker software (plus whatever YouTube video you’re watching on the side). 16GB of RAM should be plenty for your poker-playing needs, and an Intel i5 processor is more than capable of handling a few different poker sites and a HUD. Just make sure you’re running the 64bit version of Windows – otherwise, you won’t be utilizing all your RAM!

As well as a fast-running PC or laptop, it’s important to have a high-quality keyboard and mouse as part of your setup. You’ll be holding your mouse for a long time, so you want to ensure it’s comfortable in your hand. There’s nothing worse than getting carpal tunnel after a couple of hours of play because you decided to be stingy and buy a cheap $10 mouse. It’s an investment that will pay off in the long run, and your wrists will thank you!

A Feast For the Eyes

Custom built gaming computer with white screen, keyboard, mouse, desktop, components, hardware, gaming chair under low light. Selective focus.

Once you’ve sorted your poker rig, you’ll want a good monitor to view the action. There’s no point going all out for a top-of-the-line PC if you’re looking at a 10-inch CRT monitor, so make sure to save some money for a decent monitor or two.

How many monitors you’ll need will depend on how many tables you’re playing. For example, suppose you’re playing 36 tables at once like Randy “Nanonoko” Lew. In that case, you’re going to need several monitors to be able to support all those tables! However, if you play only a couple of tables at a time, one decent-sized monitor should do the trick.

Many people like a dual monitor setup as it allows them to have their tables on one screen and their video/music preferences on the other. While it’s best to have as few distractions as possible, if you’re someone who plays better with music or general background noise, this could be the optimal solution for you.

While it’s tempting to go for the brightest AMOLED screens, eye strain is a legitimate concern. Too much screen time can cause headaches and even nausea in extreme cases. Rather than spending $100 on blue light glasses, you can install F.lux (INCLUDE OUTLINK to F.Lux), a free-to-use app that darkens your screen throughout the day to reduce exposure to blue light.

Relaxing All Cool

Different computer gamer soft ergonomic chairs in the furniture store.

Comfort is one of the most important things you must have when playing online poker. You need to be fully focused on the game and not on whether or not your ass cheek is about to go numb. They say never to skimp on quality when it comes to something you use often, and chairs certainly fall into that category.

We’ve all had to spend a significant amount of time sitting in an uncomfortable chair–it’s torture. Minutes feel like hours, and you’re constantly wriggling around, trying to find a comfortable position. You can hardly focus on anything when you’re in that state, let alone play a game for money!

It’s well worth investing in a gaming or comfortable office chair if you’re spending a lot of time playing poker.

Somewhere to be Zen

Bearded man sitting on gaming chair preparing to play online video games on pc. Room with colorful neons.

Even if you get a top-of-the-range PC, three stunning monitors to use, and the most comfortable chair in the world, it’s all for nought if you don’t have an environment that allows you to play your best poker. People these days are far too easily distracted; it only takes a few seconds of being bored before we whip out our phones to find the latest banger tweet or dumb TikTok trend.

If you’re serious about playing poker, you need to create an environment free from distractions. Ban yourself from YouTube, restrict access to the time-wasting apps on your phone, or block out the world altogether with noise-cancelling headphones. There’s no feeling like being in the zone and playing great. Still, getting in that zone is hard if you’re being interrupted by phone calls, instant messages, or “the call of the internet.” Try to find some time in the day just for you, where you can be free from interruptions. Just make sure not to distract yourself!

Finding this zen-like peace can help you stay in control of your emotions and let you play your A-game more often. While poker is a game of strategy, it’s just as important to be able to properly implement your strategy when you’re at the table. Give yourself the best chance of doing that by creating an environment that’s quiet, free from distractions, and lets you relax as you play.

Jordan Conroy

Jordan Conroy

Author
Jordan started writing about poker in late 2020 after discovering he could combine his passion for explaining things with his favorite game. He continues to stay on top of the newest poker theory and the latest goings on in the poker world to deliver top-quality content. While poker is his biggest passion, he also closely follows soccer, snooker, and F1.
Jordan started writing about poker in late 2020 after discovering he could combine his passion for explaining things with his favorite game. He continues to stay on top of the newest poker theory and the latest goings on in the poker world to deliver top-quality content. While poker is his biggest passion, he also closely follows soccer, snooker, and F1.