Ways to troubleshoot common poker client problems

There are few feelings worse than sitting down at your poker table of choice only to be greeted with an error message or unresponsive interface. While a complete shutdown is usually indicative of a problem on the provider’s end, there are a number of other issues that may lie within your power to resolve. 

In this article we’ll walk you through a series of steps which should help get you back in the game. Before we begin it’s important to note that we can only cover issues relating to the poker client itself - problems with your internet connection or computer hardware/software aren’t covered here but may be remedied using the same processes detailed below.

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Possible Issue #1: Freeze ups

Symptoms: Unresponsive buttons, inability to move mouse over certain areas of client, poker client not refreshing after action taken (such as folding).

Steps to resolution:

  1. Try closing any other applications or browser tabs that may be running in the background. This could be slowing down your machine or hogging resources required by the poker client to function properly. 
  2. Right click on the poker tab/window and select ‘Restore Down’. Even if the poker client isn’t currently maximised, this process can often help to refresh it and allow you to interact with the buttons and sliders once again.
  3. If step two wasn’t successful, right click on the poker tab/window and select ‘Close Tab’. This will force the poker client to re-open fresh. Once it has restarted, restore your tables and you’ll be ready to get back into the action.
  4. If none of these work, try completely shutting down the poker client then re-opening it. If that doesn’t do the trick you may need to delete the poker client and download and install it fresh. Instructions for doing so can generally be found on the operator’s website.

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Possible issue #2: Disconnection from poker site

Symptoms: Sudden loss of table / tournament , pop up window displaying ‘Lost Connection to Server’, repeated requests to sit at full tables leading to automatic seating. 

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Before you assume this is an issue on your end, check with other players on your table / tourney to see if they’re also having disconnection issues. This would suggest a problem on the poker site’s end which should be resolved ASAP. If it’s just you dropping off however, here are some steps to take:

  1. Check your internet connection. Slow or intermittent connections can cause problems with keeping a stable poker session. Try accessing another website to see if you can rule out your internet service as the culprit. You might also want to try moving closer to your router as this can strengthen your signal. 
  2. Close any other applications or browser tabs that may be running in the background. These programs could be slowing down your machine or hogging resources required by the poker software to maintain a connection. 
  3. Check your firewall settings. Your antivirus or firewall program may be blocking the poker client from operating correctly. Temporarily disabling these tools should allow you to run the poker client without restriction. Just be sure to re-enable them when you’re finished playing.
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If none of these solutions work, try deleting the poker client and downloading and installing it fresh. Instructions for doing so can generally be found on the operator’s website. As a last resort you could try resetting your router or contacting your ISP for further advice.

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Possible issue #3: Inability to login to poker client

Symptoms: Receiving an error message upon entering username/password combo, spinning wheel instead of login page/information.

There are several reasons why you might experience trouble logging into your chosen poker site:

  1. Incorrect username/password: Double check that the details you’re entering match those attached to your account. If you’ve neglected to CAPITALISE certain letters in your password for example, you won’t be able to log in. Forgotten your sign in info? Most operators provide a link that allows you to retrieve your credentials via email. 
  2. Cookies: Cookies stored on your device could be causing a conflict with the poker site. Go Incognito by opening your web browser in Private or Incognito mode. This will open a new session that does not retain any previously stored information or cookies. If this enables you to log in then it’s likely one of your current cookies is to blame and you could attempt to delete it. 
  3. Clear browsing data: Another way to remove cookies and possibly resolve login issues is to clear your browsing data. Each browser operates slightly differently so refer to relevant instructions online if you're unsure how to do this. 
  4. Outdated software: If you’re trying to run an older version of a web browser to access an older version of an online poker room, you may find yourself locked out. Online poker sites regularly update their security protocols so an outdated combination of browser/poker room could cause problems. Try updating your browser or downloading the latest poker client.
  5. IP address ban: If you’ve been engaging in prohibited behavior on the poker site such as multi-accounting or collusion you could receive an IP address ban. This means anyone attempting to log in from your IP address will be blocked. If you think this might apply to you, you should contact customer support directly to plead your case. 
  6. Server issues: Occasionally players may encounter login issues due to problems on the server end. If you suspect this might be the case, check social media pages or poker forums for updates from other players. If it really is a server issue, the poker provider will work to resolve it as soon as possible. 
  7. Account closure or deposit issues: Similar to IP bans, these issues will typically result in account holders being unable to log in. If you believe this might be applicable to you, check your emails for correspondence from the poker provider or visit their help section for more information. Alternatively, reach out to customer support who should be able to explain the situation and advise on next steps.

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Possible issue #4: Tournament clock not advancing

Symptoms: Other players fail to receive their next cards/actions, clock frozen on identical stage, no blind increases etc.

This issue is more common in and can be extremely frustrating for all involved. However, before you start throwing virtual cards across the table, first make sure that the problem really does lie with the clock:

  • Is the problem affecting all players? If so, it’s almost certainly a technical issue. On the other hand, if only you are experiencing delays then it’s more likely to be an issue on your end. 
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Try refreshing the browser page to see if this advances the tournament. If it doesn’t, the problem is definitely on the operator side and you should wait a few minutes to see if they pause/restart the tournament. If everyone else is still stuck in limbo however, you should alert the to ensure the issue is brought to the attention of the poker provider. 

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It’s important to avoid making moves until the tournament clock resumes as this could lead to you being disqualified (e.g. Declaring all in bets when blinds haven’t yet increased). Equally however, you shouldn’t sit around wasting precious chips if the tournament isn’t going to resume.

Tournaments are an easy source of revenue for poker providers so they have a vested interest in getting everyone paid. Therefore it’s very rare for a to disappear without some form of conclusion. That said, extended delays are obviously frustrating especially where prize money is concerned. If the problem persists for an excessive amount of time you should engage with others at the table to file a formal complaint with customer support. 

One final point to note is that live tournaments sometimes experience similar problems where the clock fails to advance. However, in these instances, a tournament director (TD) will be present to correct issues and keep the tournament running smoothly. Should the TD be unable to resolve an issue, they will either resume the tournament at a later point or cancel it altogether. 

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Issue #5: Unable to track/HUD not working

Symptoms: Tracking program failed notification, HUD not pulling data, holes cards not populating in HUD.

  1. First things first, check your internet connection. If your tracking software is unable to connect to the internet it obviously won’t be able to pull data in real time. Similarly, your poker client may also need an internet connection in order to share data with third party apps like tracking software and hole card viewers. Check with other programs to see if they’re able to connect. If not you may be experiencing a wider internet outage.
  2. Ensure your tracking software is up to date. Regularly developers release updates and patches designed to fix bugs and glitches. Neglect to install these and you could leave yourself vulnerable to errors further down the line. 
  3. Verify that the poker site isn’t blocking access to tracking software. Some operators take a dim view of third party apps and may use algorithms to detect them. If caught, players using tracking software could be banned or even accused of cheating - although this is very rare. To determine whether your provider takes a hardline stance against HUDs etc, check the terms and conditions. 
  4. Try restarting your tracking software and see if that solves the issue. If not, try closing both the tracking software and the poker client then starting everything fresh. It may be worth restarting your computer entirely to ensure all background tasks are closed. 
  5. If you’re using a hand histories to populate your HUD rather than playing live, check that you’ve imported the correct hand histories. If you’ve played on multiple tables you need to ensure you’ve imported hand histories from all of them. Furthermore, make sure you’ve selected the correct poker client / skins in the tracking software settings. Hand histories from different clients will not be compatible. 
  6. Make sure you’ve installed the pixel or code snippet provided by your tracking software supplier. This will ensure it can communicate with your poker client. The supplier’s help files should provide guidance on installation. 
  7. If you’re still experiencing problems, delete and reinstall both the tracking software and poker client. As a last resort, you could try a different web browser; tracking software may not be compatible with certain browsers. Alternatively, speak to other players using the same tracking software to see if they’re experiencing the same issues. If so, it’s probably an issue for the developer to resolve.

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Issue #6: Can’t hear hole cards

Symptoms: No sound when cards dealt, struggling to understand announcements made during live streams. 

  1. Before panicking that you’re about to go all Dave Nachbar without knowing it, double check your volume controls. It may seem obvious, but it’s worth ruling out the possibility that you’ve muted the video stream or turned the sound right down. Likewise, check the volume on your computer/TV to ensure it hasn’t been accidentally reduced.
  2. If the volume controls are all in the correct position, try restarting the video stream or poker client. If that doesn’t solve the problem, try doing a full shut down of the application then restarting it afresh.
  3. If you’re watching a live stream on YouTube or Twitter or similar, the problem may lie with the broadcaster rather than yourself. Search social media to see if other viewers are reporting similar issues. If so, the streamer or platform should be made aware.
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Issue #7: Tournament overlays not updating

Symptoms: Cash prizes/number of entries failing to refresh, inaccurate ICM calculations.

Online tournaments frequently display an overlay when they fail to attract enough entries to cover the guaranteed prize pool. As players pay their buy ins into the pot, the overlay should gradually reduce until it disappears altogether. However, on occasion the overlay display can fail to catch up with reality.

The first thing to establish is whether other players are experiencing the same issue. If so, it’s clearly a problem on the provider’s end so the best course of action is to simply wait and see. Provided the overlay eventually reduces to zero, no one will be out of pocket.

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However, if you’re alone in your overlay woes then you could miss out on a share of the guaranteed prize pool. For example, let’s say a $10,000 tournament attracts 50 players paying $200 each = $10,000. However, an hour into the tournament an additional ten players turn up wanting to enter. Under these circumstances, the tournament organiser still has to find a way to give these latecomers somewhere to sit, otherwise they’d be breaching their own terms and conditions.

So where will the extra $2,000 come from? Well ideally it would be clawed back from the original overlay i.e. The difference between the initial buy ins ($10,000 - $8,000 = $2,000). However, this adjustment may not show up in real time on every player’s screen.

Unfortunately this is an issue the players have collectively compounded by demanding more satellites and with bigger guarantees. Back in the day, you had to turn up and battle for the prize pool available on the day with no second chances. Now we have endless opportunities to qualify for events at cheaper prices which, in turn, requires tournaments to offer larger and often artificial guarantees.

Ultimately if the overlay display doesn’t catch up with reality, tough. Although it must be said that it’s pretty rare for this discrepancy to swing a life changing ICM chunk so don’t go splashing cash you can’t afford. 

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