A quick Google image search of ‘sickest poker setups’ reveals offices that look more like trading dens than regular offices.

Multiple monitors are the norm, along with gaming hardware such as computer mice, keyboards, unnecessary RGB lighting and deluxe gaming chairs.

How much of this is necessary?

The following 888poker guide should help you decide on your perfect poker lab.

Perfect Poker Lab: Computer Hardware Specs

Our choice of computer is the most crucial decision when setting up a poker lab.

In poker terms, poker clients will run on most computers, even older systems. However, professional players use additional software, such as poker trackers and often play a large number of tables at the same time.

These programs up the hardware requirements.

Perfect Poker Lab: Computer Hardware Specs
Perfect Poker Lab: Computer Hardware Specs

Here is a rough guide for recommended specs:


  • x86 processor, minimum 6 cores

Ideally, we should choose one of the newer generations of processors that mix performance and efficiency cores. This hardware is handy for laptops and prevents the device from overheating when playing poker for long periods.

We specify the x86 CPU architecture because not all poker software will run on ARM chips (whether Apple silicon or the newer Windows ARM chips).

Although ARM chips are often less power-hungry and run cooler, they won’t run the full range of poker software professionals use (at least, not yet).

Unless you’re planning a fun game of strip poker, the latest MacBook Pro might not be the best laptop choice for serious poker players.


  • 1TB Storage SSD

We have specified a middling amount of storage here. Technically, we can get by with a lot less if we are purely grinding and nothing else.

If we plan on working with vast databases or solver models, you might require an even larger storage space than 1TB.

We specify an SSD (solid state drive) because older traditional HDDs (hard disk drives) are no longer fast enough to reliably support a professional player. 


  • 16/32GB of RAM

RAM is especially useful if we play many tables simultaneously or work with RAM-intensive poker software like solvers and trackers. If so, we may choose a system with even more RAM. 16GB or 32GB of RAM is typically enough for grinding.

Perfect Poker Lab: Physical Hardware

Perfect Poker Lab: Physical Hardware
Perfect Poker Lab: Physical Hardware


Monitors are the second most crucial consideration after the computer itself.

An expansive multi-monitor setup is potentially unnecessary, but a second monitor is always good. 

When selecting a monitor, you should carefully consider its resolution. 

The most common resolutions are as follows:

  • 1920 x 1080 (known as 1080p)
  • 3840 x 2160 (known as 4k)

4k monitors can display much more content than 1080p monitors (although they are more expensive).

It might seem counterintuitive, but a 24-inch 4k monitor can display considerably more tables (and any poker combo programs) than a 27-inch 1080p monitor. The monitor size in inches does not determine how much a monitor can display; it’s the resolution.

There are many other hybrid resolutions outside the main two listed above.

The key is to consider both the size and resolution when selecting monitors.

Mouse / Keyboard / Gamepad

Our input device is third on the list, and some might consider it more essential than the monitors. 

Most poker players use a mouse, although playing poker with a keyboard or gamepad is possible.

Some players use a mouse with one hand on the keyboard for hotkeys.

Perfect Poker Lab: Mouse / Keyboard / Gamepad
Perfect Poker Lab: Mouse / Keyboard / Gamepad

Distributing the work of playing poker across both hands will increase efficiency and reduce the chance of a repetitive strain injury.

Whatever input devices we choose, quality and ergonomic design are essential. Our setup should include a decent (and sufficiently large) mouse mat.

Internet Connection

We’ve ranked internet connection fourth, although, without this, we’d technically be playing no poker whatsoever.

Given that thousands of dollars could potentially be at stake on a single hand, it doesn’t make sense to skimp on that $20 upgrade to your internet package.

Furthermore, it makes sense to have a backup connection, especially if you’re playing higher-stakes poker board games.

A hotspot connection to mobile data is often enough to successfully finish a poker hand when our main connection drops.

Perfect Poker Lab: Other Hardware

CHAIR – Quality is essential since we spend all our time sitting here. The classic option for poker players is a gaming chair.

However, many may prefer an ergonomically designed office chair over a gaming chair. It all depends on preference, so consider both.

Perfect Poker Lab: Other Hardware
Perfect Poker Lab: Other Hardware

DESK – Our desk needs careful consideration since it needs to be large enough to support all our monitors and input devices.

It’s worth thinking about whether our monitors will -

  1. A) Stand freely on the desk
  2. B) Be attached via a desk clamp and monitor arm.
  3. C) Be mounted onto the wall.

Standing desks (or convertible desks) are a popular option since there are health benefits to not sitting down all day.

CABLE MANAGEMENT – While not crucial to the function of the setup, nothing says ‘amateur hour’ like masses of cabling hanging down from various parts of the setup. The best-looking setups nearly always involve extremely tidy (and often concealed) cabling.

Take time to carefully consider where our cables will go and how we will keep them tidy/invisible.

LIGHTING – RBG lighting, LED strips, and artwork are the final touches to the setup. Make sure these extraneous items don’t interfere with the ability to play any poker hand properly. Realistically, they add nothing to the performance of the setup, so this step is optional.

Perfect Poker Lab: Getting Started

Why not try running that Google image search mentioned earlier to get inspiration for your poker lab?

If you are on a budget, focus on the items at the top of this article since they are the most critical.

Also, don’t worry if you can’t include everything at once.

It’s normal to start small and gradually upgrade our setup when the cash becomes available.

With over 10 million registered members worldwide, 888poker is the fastest growing online poker room, with a new player signing up every 12 seconds. 888 has been a forerunner in the online gaming industry and a pioneer of safe and responsible gaming since 1997. We are one of the biggest and most trusted brands in the world, providing one of the largest selections of games, high value tournaments and exciting live events for poker players around the globe.