Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Does Poker Mavens require a dedicated server?
  2. Can I install the game server on a virtual private server (VPS)?
  3. Can I install Poker Mavens on my web site?
  4. How do I customize the poker table graphics?
  5. How do I get the SMTP email functions to work with the Secure Connection option?
  6. Can I use Google's Gmail SMTP server for the email functions?
  7. How many simultaneous logins does Poker Mavens support?
  8. Is the system scalable?
  9. What programming language is Poker Mavens written in and is the source code available?
  10. I would like some custom features, can I get a custom version made?
  11. Where can I hire a programmer to customize my web site using the Poker Mavens API?
  12. Which web browsers work with Poker Mavens version 4?
  13. How do I backup the player accounts and other site data?
  14. How do I remove the Briggs Softworks branding from the player client?
  15. How do I set a percentage rake value on the ring game tables?
  16. Can I use Poker Mavens as a real-money gaming site with deposits and cashouts?
  17. How do I fix the "Could not bind socket..." error when trying to go online?
  18. How do I make a custom card back image in version 4?
  19. How can I use the encrypted SSL option in Poker Mavens?



  1. Does Poker Mavens require a dedicated server?

    The Poker Mavens server module is a conventional Windows application so it will run on a regular desktop computer (Windows XP, Vista, 7, or 8) as well as dedicated server or VPS running Windows Server 2003, 2008, or 2012. On a residential cable modem or DSL Internet connection, the upstream bandwidth (or lack thereof) will be your bottleneck so the Lite version (with its single table limit) is probably more suited for that installation. You can test your downlink and uplink speeds at www.speedtest.net. Pro/Gold version users who expect more players (dozens to hundreds) may want to consider a VPS or dedicated option from a hosting service, as described in the next item.

  2. Can I install the game server on a virtual private server (VPS)?

    Yes, any Windows VPS running Server 2003/2008/2012 will run Poker Mavens. The official Poker Mavens demo site is running on a low-cost Windows VPS system provided by BurstNET. Use Remote Desktop Connection to connect to your remote server from your local PC to install and manage the poker server. The RDC program is included with all versions of Windows under Start | All Programs | Accessories | Communications. Enter your remote server's IP address (or domain name) to connect. You will be prompted for a user ID (Administrator) and the corresponding password. Once logged in, the interface will appear as a normal Windows desktop.

    In the Options section of RDC, check the Drives box under Local Resources so that the copy of Windows Explorer on the remote server can see the disk drives of your local PC. Then you can simply copy and paste files between the two computers. Or use a free cloud drive service like Google Drive, OneDrive, DropBox, etc., to copy files between computers. Or via BitTorrent Sync, which performs a direct transfer without using a third-party cloud service.

  3. Can I install Poker Mavens on my web site?

    Not directly if it's on a shared server. Most low cost web hosts are running hundreds of accounts on a single server and thus will not allow custom software to be installed that could potentially bring down their system. You can, however, install your poker server on an external system and then embed that link in a popup window on your existing web site. Or even inside an iframe like this:

      <html>
      <head>
        <title>My Poker Site</title>
      </head>
      <body>  
        <iframe width="100%" height="100%" frameborder="0" src="http://12.34.56.78:8087">
          <p>Your browser does not support iframes</p>
        </iframe>
      </body>
      </html>
      
  4. How do I customize the poker table graphics?

    This feature is only available in the Pro and Gold versions. See the table template page for instructions.

  5. How do I get the SMTP email functions to work with the Secure Connection option?

    The TLS encryption functions used in the secure connection option require an external library from by the OpenSSL Project, which provides a link to a Windows installation package. Alternatively you can download and unzip the raw 32-bit DLL or 64-bit DLL files and copy them to the Poker Mavens program folder where PMServer.exe is installed. Also, you may need to use port 465 or 587 instead of 25 for the secure connection, depending on the requirements of your Internet service provider.

  6. Can I use Google's Gmail SMTP server for the email functions?

    Yes. Google requires a secure connection so install the OpenSSL DLL's as described above. Then set the following parameters in the Poker Mavens SMTP Server group:

    • Host server: smtp.gmail.com
    • Host port: 465
    • Username: (your gmail address)
    • Password: (your gmail password)
    • From address: (your gmail address)
    • Secure connection: Yes

  7. How many simultaneous logins does Poker Mavens support?

    That depends on your Internet bandwidth (upstream and downstream) and system resources such as cpu speed and available ram. A fast system on a 100 Mbps connection should be able to support a few hundred players.

  8. Is the system scalable?
  9. Not very. However, you could purchase multiple licenses and run multiple servers. Then using a centralized web interface, account management and logins could be handled via the Poker Mavens API to connect players to the available poker servers.

  10. What programming language is Poker Mavens written in and is the source code available?

    The server is written in Delphi. The player client is written in HTML5 and Javascript. The version 4 source code is not published. Source code licenses for version 3 (written in Delphi/OpenLaszlo) start at $10,000 USD, depending on the terms.

  11. I would like some custom features, can I get a custom version made?

    Sorry, no. The software is too complex to try and maintain parallel versions on the side. If you have a feature request with wide appeal, please post a message in the Wish List section of the support forums.

  12. Where can I hire a programmer to customize my web site using the Poker Mavens API?

    PHP and other web language programmers are plentiful and can be found at work-for-hire sites such as vWorker and Elance. You can direct your prospective bidders to the trial version of the software and the API documentation and examples.

  13. Which web browsers work with Poker Mavens version 4?

    Poker Mavens requires a web browser that supports the WebSockets feature of HTML5. These include: Internet Explorer 10+, FireFox 11+ (Windows/Android), Chrome 14+ (Windows/Android/iOS), Opera 12.1+, Safari 6+ (Mac/iOS).

  14. How do I backup the player accounts and other site data?

    Poker Mavens stores system and language settings in the Windows registry and everything else (player accounts, table setups, hand histories, logs, etc.) as text files under the "data folder". For system settings, click the Help button on the System toolbar and use the Export function there. You will be prompted for a file name and the system settings will be copied there in XML format. Likewise, the Language tab has its own Export button directly on the toolbar. For all of your other data, backup the individual files in the Poker Mavens data folder, including the applicable subfolders. The default location of the data folder will depend on the version of Windows you are using. Look in the System Settings group on the System tab for the "Data folder" setting. For newer versions of Windows (Vista and later), it will likely look something like this:

    C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Poker Mavens 4\

    Or for older versions of Windows (XP or earlier), it will likely look something like this:

    C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Poker Mavens 4\

    [username] will be your actual Windows user name (e.g., "Administrator", etc.). The top level "Poker Mavens" folder will contain files like Blacklist.xml, BuddyLists.xml, RingGames.xml, and Tournaments.xml. Under this folder are subfolders such as Accounts, HandHistory, Logs, and TourneyResults that contain the remaining data for your site. AppData may be a hidden folder on your system so you may need to turn on the display of hidden folders in Windows Explorer if you are navigating there manually. You can use an archiving tool like WinZip to make a backup copy of your data folder into a single zip file.

  15. How do I remove the Briggs Softworks branding from the player client?

    This option is only available in the Gold version of Poker Mavens. Branding is controlled by these three settings located in the Client Settings group on the System tab:

    • Remove About dialog - Select Yes to remove the Help|About dialog in the player client that displays the Poker Mavens copyright message.
    • Background logo - Enter the full path of a local image file (GIF, PNG, JPG, or SWF format) to use as the background logo. Leave this value blank to use the default Poker Mavens logo or enter "none" for no graphic.
    • Background logo link - Enter an optional URL (beginning with http://) of a target web page to display in a popup window when a player clicks your background logo.

  16. How do I set a percentage rake value on the ring game tables?

    The rake feature is an option in the Pro and Gold versions of the software that will remove a specified number of chips from each pot and put them in the "house" account. This simulates how casinos make money from ring/cash games. The balance of the house account can be viewed on the Chips menu on the Accounts tab. The amount of chips raked are controlled by the three settings shown below. Each table has its own settings and no rake is collected in hands where there is no flop.

    • Rake - Select the number of chips to rake from the pot for every "Rake every" chips collected in the pot. The main pot and side pots are raked separately but the total is never more than the "Rake max" value.
    • Rake every - Select the number of chips that must be collected into each pot before the "Rake" amount is deducted.
    • Rake max - Select the maximum number of chips that can be raked in a single hand.

    So if you wanted a 5% rake, for example, you would specify a ratio of Rake to Rake Every values that equaled 5%. Rake = 5 and Rake Every = 100 would cause 5 chips to be raked for every 100 that went in the pot. No chips would be raked if the pot was less than 100 chips. You could also get a 5% rake by setting Rake = 1 and Rake Every = 20. In that case, pots of 20 or more chips would get raked. If you have the Gold version, you can use fractional chips. For example, Rake = 0.01 and Rake Every = 0.20.

    A Rake Stats program is available on the Utility Programs page that will create a database of rake statistics by player and table.

  17. Can I use Poker Mavens as a real-money gaming site with deposits and cashouts?

    Poker Mavens was designed as a play-money system, but more importantly, doing so would not be legal in most countries. Governments that did allow it would likely require you to have an expensive gaming license. In many states in the U.S., private home games are legal as long as there are no rake or entry fees collected by the host. Legal ways to operate a for-profit site generally involve using advertising and/or paid subscriptions. Payouts awarded under those types of sites usually fall under the local sweepstakes laws. There is no built-in deposit/withdrawal gateway but the Poker Mavens API includes commands for adding and subtracting chips to individual player accounts. So it can be used to design a custom made system.

  18. How do I fix the "Could not bind socket..." error when trying to go online?

    This can be caused by any of these situations:

    1. You are on a LAN and your Local IP address has changed. Double-click the "Local IP address" setting in the Poker Mavens Server Settings group. This will scan your system and display the IPs that are currently available. In addition to the localhost address of 127.0.0.1, check the box next to your current LAN IP (in version 4.00 or later, just check the "All" box). Click this link for instructions on how to create a static LAN IP address.

    2. Another copy of Poker Mavens is already running on the same computer under a different Windows login. Right-click on the Windows taskbar and click Start Task Manager. On the Processes tab, enable the option at the bottom to "Show processes from all users". Then check the list to see if another PMServer.exe is running, which can be stopped with the End Process button.

    3. Another program is already using one of the ports that Poker Mavens is set to use. Download and run the free TCPView utility and see what other program is using the same File Port (default is 8087) or Packet Port (default is 8088) that you have set in the Site Information group.

  19. How do I make a custom card back image in version 4?

    Beginning with version 4, the entire card deck can be customized and is stored as a single wide image with the card back in the very last position. First download the default decks from the Templates page. Right click on each deck image and select "Save image/picture as" from your browser's popup menu. Save TwoColorCards.png and FourColorCards.png on your local drive. Then load those into any graphics editor and modify the card back portion in the last position. You can then specify those images in the Client Settings group on the System tab, which instructs the server to use those images instead of the default decks.

  20. How can I use the encrypted SSL option in Poker Mavens?

    This feature is only available in the Gold version, beginning with version 4.00. Instructions for creating a Certificate Signing Request file are available on the Utilities page. You will also need to put the required OpenSSL 32-bit DLL or 64-bit DLL files into the program folder where PMServer.exe is installed. These are OpenSSL version 0.9.8r files, not vulnerable to the "heartbleed" attack.