Playing poker on Ubuntu

Poker, the most popular card game of all times.

Everyone loves it, but can you get your fix on Ubuntu?

As you all know all the commercial poker clients are written for Windows (or OSX), but as an Ubuntu (linux) user, you have a few options.

1. Wine

Hate it or love it, but there is a poker client that runs on Wine.

It happens to be the PokerStars client, the biggest online poker room in the world.

Install Wine from the repositories (in a terminal: sudo apt-get install wine), download the PokerStars client.

Right-click the .exe installer and run it using Wine.

I use this one myself, without any problems.


The PokerStars client.

A customized poker table at PokerStars

A customized poker table at PokerStars

That’s about it for Wine.

Some sites claim the Ultimate Bet works with Wine, I installed it but I couldn’t type anything when I tried to register, in my book that means it doesn’t work.

I tried multiple clients with Wine, a lot of them will install (eg. Full Tilt, …) but they don’t work properly once you run the client.

2. Java based

Some commercial poker sites also have Java based poker rooms, making them work on almost any OS.

This is  PartyPoker running in Firefox using Java.


A PartyPoker freeroll table.

The PartyPoker Java client.

The PartyPoker Java client.

Other good Java poker clients include:

Pacific Poker

Poker Room

3. Non Commercial Poker Client (texas holdem only)

Are you just looking to play some poker against the pc or online for free?

In comes PokerTH.

It’s in the Ubuntu repositories and is also available for Windows and OSX so you can play against your friends.

You can create privates online games or just join public games.


PokerTH, a cross-platform non-commercial poker client.

It must be said that the level of some players on PokerTH is extremely weak.

I hope this was useful to some of you.

If you know other poker clients that can run on Ubuntu, or have any comments on this article, please drop a line in the comments.

    • Rob
    • November 14th, 2008

    Nice! I knew about PokerTH but as you said the players are fairly weak.

    Now the hard part is resisting installing this, as I will then be sucked in for hours and won’t get any work done.

    • Don Birdsall
    • November 14th, 2008

    Linux game developers are simply not sensitive to to the games people actually play (other than Solitaire) in real life away from a computer.

    Play a card game with your neighbors. Yes, it might be poker if your a gambler, but more likely it will be Bridge, Euchre, Pinochle, or Cribbage.

    Go to a game store and look at what’s selling. You will see a variety of Domino sets, Cribbage boards, and a few Backgammon sets.

    Most of these games have been implemented in Windows. Some can be found on the new Apple iPhone and Touch. The Apple developers are aware of some things that the Linux developers are not.

    There is a real opportunity here for a Linux game developer who can look beyond the “point and shoot” mentality.

  1. I have been using Pokerstars for some time now (Ubuntu) and out of the many clients I have tried, the Pokerstars client is definitely the best behaved. And I do like the 45 player (5 table) play money games. And Playing Texas Hold’em can actually teach you things about life, see my blog at (a href=””Amper’s Rants>/a>

  2. I have also been playing Pokerstars under Ubuntu for a long time. If they are prepared to ensure their client works under Wine then I am more than happy for them to rake in all the cash from non-Microsoft users. If you are in the UK then forget Betfair or VC poker, they don’t work.


  3. I just tried out Playing poker on Ubuntu and it works well. The graphics are very good. The only problem was the download source, it was very slow at times but i could finally make it . As it is an online game ,a broadband connection is a must.

  4. I just got Full Tilt Poker working on Ubuntu. Just had to add to make the program run as windows 2000 in the Wine configuration.

    Previously, the program would lock up after 5 min. I just played for hours with only noticeable problem of no sound. Maybe another OS or config option would take care of that too.

  5. You are definately right about Full Tilt Poker not running correctly under Wine. I experienced it first hand. It freezes all the time.

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  8. What really annoys me is all the people who install wine and then that’s it!! they don’t even bother installing all the DLL’s and things or Directx or even the correct fonts.. Most people don’t even know how to set wine up properly and that really bugs me big time.. there is allmost 0 that doesn’t work when you are able to use “Winetricks” to install whatever a programs requires in order to run.

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