What Type of Hardware Do I Need to Play Online Casino Games?

min read
Picture of chips falling on a laptop
BetMGM Nov 08, 2022, 2:02 PM

Americans love their casino games! According to statistics, at least 85% of Americans have gambled at least once and more than 60% have gambled in the last year. The great news is that enjoying casino games no longer means having to make your way to your nearest brick-and-mortar casino. Thanks to technological advancements, it’s now possible to play casino games online on practically any device! 

Of course, regardless of whether you’re already a fan of online casino games or you’re just starting out, it’s important to have the right equipment if you want to have a good gaming experience. Here is some advice about the different types of hardware you’ll need to enjoy playing online.

What equipment do you need to play casino games online?

The first aspect you should look at is the way in which your device connects to the internet, because no matter how powerful your device, if your internet connection is poor, your gaming experience is likely to be poor as well – or worse, you may not be able to play at all. Once you’ve established that you have the right internet hardware such as a good router to connect your device(s) to the internet, you have to look at the hardware you need to play casino games on, whether that’s a computer, mobile device or both.

Internet-accessing hardware

Before you can start playing online games, it’s important to have a stable internet connection that supports online gaming. It’s also worth checking your internet speed (there are many websites that can do this for you) to make sure that it’s going to be fast enough to satisfy your needs. 

Depending on your circumstances, you may have more or less control over how stable or reliable your connection is. For example, if you are renting an apartment with an internet service included, it may not be possible to change your internet service provider (ISP). Alternatively, you may be living in an area that is only serviced by one ISP or one which has an array of providers, all of which offer poor service. Finally, you may be reliant on a good mobile provider with poor coverage in your specific area. In these and some other cases in which service provision itself is the problem, there may not be a hardware solution to improve your internet access. 

If you do have a greater degree of control over how you access the internet from home, the most important device is your router. Although there is a wide range of choices when it comes to routers, for most people the top priorities are the router’s ability to provide a stable Wi-Fi network across your entire property and whether it can seamlessly connect to the ISP you’ve chosen to use. 

More advanced users who have some experience in setting up their own computing devices may want to look for routers that offer traffic management or quality of service (QoS) tools. You’ll need to consider how many people in your household wish to be online at the same time and,  based on what they’ll be using the internet for, how much bandwidth they all need.

Failure to take these key factors into account could negatively affect your internet experience. For example, a router that doesn’t offer high-speed Wi-Fi may manage blisteringly fast and stable speeds closer to the router but a slower and more unstable connection further away in another part of your home (note: there are a number of ways in which you can boost the signal, if necessary.) For the more digitally savvy, traffic management or QoS allows one to prioritize how one’s home network handles internet traffic. Without these features, online gamers may experience games as slow or unresponsive because their internet connection is affected by bandwidth-hungry services, such as streaming video, which other people in the household may be using.

What to look for in a router

Choosing the right router means that you’ll be able to have a fun time even if your fiber or DSL connection is on the slower side. Generally speaking, online games are more about the stability of your connection, the hardware that provides it and where the game servers are, than they are about pure bandwidth. This means that someone with a 10Mbps internet connection and the right router may have a better time gaming than someone with 100Mbps and the wrong router.

 A high-speed internet router.

There are dozens of options to consider, so when purchasing a router, look for a device that supports 5GHz/AC1200 Wi-Fi, and ideally offers traffic management or QoS features. Although routers that provide these features can be found for as little as $60, you may need to spend more, depending on how many people in your household use the internet or how big your home is. Some of the most high-end routers go for as much as $450. Bear in mind that it’s the router, together with the actual internet service you access with it, that provides your connection, so try to get the two working together seamlessly before you start.

Once you have a stable internet connection to provide you with a fun online casino games experience, you need the right hardware to play on, whether that’s a computer or mobile device. Your choice of hardware can make the difference between a buttery-smooth gaming experience and one that is “playable, but a bit on the choppy side.” Let’s explore the specifications for computer hardware, before we take a look at mobile devices.

Computer hardware

While many people may not know the difference between AMD and Intel, dual-core or quad-core or a CPU and a GPU, the good news is that, as far as online casino games are concerned, you don’t really need to. Many of today’s entry-level computers, whether laptops or desktops, provide enough horsepower to run most gambling games. Even if you can only shop at a place such as Walmart or Target, you are still likely to find a cheap computer that can run all your favorites. 

However, just because these games run, doesn’t mean the experience will be ideal or, in some cases, fun to play. That’s why we’ve put together a brief breakdown of what to look for in a desktop or laptop computer.

What to look for in a desktop or laptop

Whether you’re buying a Mac, desktop computer or getting a PC built for you, these are the hardware specifications we’d recommend to deliver a reasonably good experience:

  • A minimum of a quad-core processor: an AMD Ryzen 2200G (which features integrated graphics), AMD Ryzen 3300X or Intel Core i3-10100 (which also features integrated graphics) will be fast enough for the majority of people who want to play gambling games. Apple Macs with a Core i5 processor or M1 chip will also provide more than enough speed. The only exception is if you’re buying a much older second-hand Mac with an older i5 chip, which may only come with a dual-core processor.
  • A minimum of 8 gigabytes (GB) of RAM: while most online gambling games don’t need more than 4 gigs of RAM to run, if you want your computer to continue running smoothly while playing games, a minimum of 8GB is recommended. This is especially important since operating systems and web browsers are using increasing amounts of memory to run. If purchasing a Mac instead, you should still try to find a machine with 8GB of RAM.
  • Integrated graphics or entry-level stand-alone graphics card: when it comes to graphics, two of the three processors that we recommended have enough speed to run online gambling games. If you prefer a stand-alone graphics solution, just about any graphics card will do, so look at what suits your budget as well as your other gaming needs. Macs come pre-built and feature graphics cards or built-in graphics which are suitable for gambling games.
  • Choose an SSD as your main storage drive: speed-wise, even the fastest traditional hard drives struggle to keep up with budget solid-state drives (SSDs). If you can, make sure your desktop computer has an SSD as its primary storage device, since this will speed up the majority of things you do on your computer. Again, budget is the main factor here – you get what you pay for. Also, be aware that while SSDs are much faster, they are usually smaller, so a combination of an SSD and a regular hard drive is best for the perfect mix of speed and storage space.

Mobile hardware

A young man raises his fist in victory after winning a mobile game.

Mobile gaming and mobile online casino gambling specifically are on the rise and no longer thought of as a “niche” industry. In 2021, there were a total of 155 million mobile video gamers in the US alone, thanks to impressive advances in technology and smartphone specs, all of which have taken the mobile gaming experience to new heights. 

As technology continues to advance and the mobile gaming market continues to grow, there’s no doubt that many developers will be focusing their attention on creating online casino slots, live dealer casino games and casino table games that can be played on mobile devices – and some of them exclusively for mobile!  

If you’re interested in casino gaming on a mobile device, there are a lot of different hardware specifications you can look out for, but generally speaking, the more expensive the phone, the faster the hardware that is powering it. While this idea does to some degree also apply to desktop computers, it’s entirely possible to customize an affordable PC to play gambling games well, while you can’t customize the hardware in most mobile devices. 

So, instead of going into excessive detail about hardware specifications, here’s one simple rule to follow: if you spend at least $400 on a new iPhone, $300 on a new iPad (if you can find the right deal), $250 on a new Android phone or $230 on a new Android tablet, you should be purchasing a device that offers you very reasonable performance when using a casino games app.

Online casino games and the global chip shortage

Technology has been advancing at lightning speed since the start of the new millennium and is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Unfortunately, though, this means that the demand for certain technology – and certain essentials needed to power such technology – is at an all-time high. The result? A global chip shortage that has the entire tech industry in its clutches and which has been gripping ever more tightly since the beginning of 2020. This is all thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, its resultant supply chain disruptions and the increase in demand for high-quality PCs and other devices as a means of supporting the growing work-from-home way of life. 

The reality is that chips are used in practically every tech gadget, from new cars to the latest smartphones and gaming consoles. Ultimately, the chip shortage has come about because the demand far outweighs supply, which, in turn, has led to a shortage of a whole range of consumer goods and gadgets. Fortunately, most experts agree that the shortage is likely to be overcome some time in 2023.

Of course, this means that the advancement of tech relating to gaming is likely going to stall, at least for a while, and that newer devices, such as smartphones, gaming consoles and PCs, are going to be more difficult to track down. It also means that there is likely to be a temporary increase in price. Luckily, there are plenty of epic online casino games to play online using your current devices, without sacrificing experience – especially if you choose to play to win at a casino such as BetMGM!

Play all your favorite casino games online with BetMGM

Whether you prefer to play on your mobile phone, tablet or computer, it’s important to know that your hardware (and internet connection/service) is up to the task of handling both old and new casino games. Once you’ve made sure that it is, you need to choose an online casino that has all the games you enjoy and which offers great casino odds – an online casino like BetMGM.

At BetMGM, you can enjoy a wide variety of gaming experiences with great casino odds on your devices. If you enjoy playing games live at a casino online, be sure to check out our live dealer casino games. If you want to strike it big, try out the jackpot online slots at our casino. A fan of casino table games like craps and roulette? We have dozens of games for you to choose from. We’re known for our ever-growing menu, as well as for offering the best slots to play at a casino online. 

Whatever you like to play, feel free to register at BetMGM today to join in the fun and excitement!

Wondering how to play roulette at a casino? Or maybe you’re looking for the best casino games to play online during your next long-haul flight? Our blog is full of interesting topics and bursting with insights to help you learn more about games and online casino culture. Be sure to explore further!

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.