In this article you’ll learn…
- What you need to start streaming
- How to prepare your Twitch account
- Simple instructions on how to install the (free) software you’ll need
- How to make your stream look great
- Improving your stream with Chatbox and Alerts
- Everything else!
So you dare to stream! In this article, we want to show you one way of how to click the go live button for the first time, starting from scratch!
The below is one way of doing it, but please know that there are many different approaches to streaming solutions, and none of them are wrong if they bring the result you are looking for.
Don’t be afraid to play with different streaming software and ways of how to set up your scenes. You’ll find plenty of other options on the web.
If you have any issues or questions, please come and join us on the official discord server at https://psta.rs/Discord. We have a channel there to help with your streaming questions!
The easiest bit – you will require an account on twitch.tv to start streaming to it! In your account settings on twitch, you will find a unique streamkey that you will have to enter into your streaming software. Make sure not to send this key to anyone, as it is all that is required to stream to your channel! More on the streamkey further below.
Internet speed plays a huge role when it comes to streaming, to be specific, upload speed. We recommend broadcasting with an internet connection that consists of at least 5 Mbps Upload speed, ideally aim for 10 or more Mbps. You can test your connection with a speed test website, for example https://www.speedtest.net/
You’ll need a PC! Streaming PokerStars Tables doesn’t require a latest high end gaming PC, but a decent PC that isn’t too old is still preferred. Please note that this guide will focus on Windows machines. Streaming on a Mac is possible but will require some extra steps.
You’ll need a Webcam and Microphone – besides your Keyboard and Mouse, of course.
Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) is one of the most widely used software to stream to twitch. It is free, offers a variety of features and can be further improved by plugins later in your streaming journey. You can get OBS from https://obsproject.com/download
Not necessarily a requirement, but making your stream look nice will encourage viewers to stick around! The overlay is an image which will fill the gaps around your camera, table and other assets you may place in your stream. If you don’t have one or don’t know how to create one yourself just yet, don’t worry – we have a Dare2Steam overlay for you to download here:
We have created two overlays – one for a single table and one to showcase two tables. We’ll focus on the single table one here, but after going through this guide, you will be able to set up the other one as well on your own.
Preparing your Twitch Account
Poker is a game for mature audiences, so you should ensure that you always stream with the mature content option turned on. To do that, log in to your twitch account and head to https://dashboard.twitch.tv/settings/stream. Check the Mature Content setting.
On the same page, you can also turn on VODs. It will allow viewers to watch your past broadcasts while you are offline to get an idea of who you are. Turn it on, it might encourage more users to join your stream the next time you are live!
Installing and preparing OBS Settings
After downloading and installing OBS, you can find your main controls at the bottom right. For now, we will prepare the overall OBS settings.
There are no changes required here, but read through the options to see if there is anything you would change! You can make OBS automatically record every time you click the Start Streaming button, for example.
This is where you must connect OBS with your Twitch account, so it knows where to send your stream to! There is two ways of doing that – you can use the “Connect Account” button, to log in to your Twitch account through OBS, or use the stream key option. You can find your stream key on the twitch website when visiting https://dashboard.twitch.tv/settings/stream while being logged in to twitch in your browser. Make sure not to share it with anybody!
You’ll want to adjust the video bitrate to something your upload speed can handle. We suggest using at least 2500 Kbps. Twitch’s maximum bitrate is 6000 – there is no point in using anything higher than that.
The bitrate will determine how clear your stream looks to the viewer. Higher is better but will require a better upload speed on your end. If your stream is lagging, try reducing your video bitrate!
Your Desktop Audio device and Mic/Auxiliary Audio setting can be left as “Default”, as long as you have set the speaker and microphone you plan to use for streaming as the default devices in your windows audio settings.
If they differ for any reason, please select the given devices you would like to use.
You can see your selected devices in the OBS Audio Mixer, where you are able to adjust their volume for the viewer or mute and unmute them completely.
In the output (Scaled) Resolution is where you can specify your streaming resolution to twitch. A common resolution is 1920×1080, but you could choose 1280×720 in case your internet upload speed isn’t the best.
We recommend keeping the Base (Canvas) Resolution at 1920×1080 in any case – that is the dimension of the preview in your OBS, and since most (including ours!) Overlays are 1920×1080, they will fit right in.
You can leave the Downscale Filter untouched and chose a framerate you would like. We recommend at least 30, but 60 will make your stream look smoother if your upload speed can handle it!
This is where you can specify hotkeys to switch between your scenes, toggle mute and camera, go live etc.
An important tab for a Poker streamer, this is where you can set a stream delay. You should never go live without a delay when your cards are shown on stream. Chose a delay that makes you feel safe but keep it reasonable, so you don’t lose the interaction with your viewers in the chat.
Setting up OBS Scenes and Sources
This is the part where there are many different methods and solutions to get your stream to look and function to your liking. There are different ways to capture your tables and how to manage multiple of them in your streaming software.
At the bottom of your OBS, you can find areas with your Scenes and Sources.
Scenes are the different views you can push out to your stream. Each scene consists of multiple sources. Sources are the individual assets you would like to showcase in your scenes – for example the overlay image, your webcam, and PokerStars Tables.
Setting up your first Scene
OBS should have already created your first scene for you, but it doesn’t have any sources yet! We are going to add the Overlay, Camera, and a PokerStars Table to start.
Adding an Image
To add an image to your scene, press the + button in the Sources section and select “Image”. Give your image a name (this is what the Source will be called in OBS, for this image for example “Overlay”) and click ok. Select the Overlay image file location in the next window and confirm with ok. We are going to start with the single table image in this article.
Since you probably never want to move this image around, it’s best to click the little lock icon next to it to lock it in place.
You should now have your first Source added to your Scene and see the image in the canvas/stream preview!
Adding your Camera
Click the + Button on your sources again and select “Video Capture Device”. Give it a proper name as well, for example “Cam”.
In the next window, select your camera under “device” and select the maximum resolution your camera is capable of. Click the OK button and you should see yourself in the preview.
Since the camera will be in the transparent area of the overlay, we need to move the Cam Source below the Overlay image source. You can do this by selecting the camera in your source list and pressing CTRL + Arrow Down or by clicking the down button at the bottom of the sources area.
After that, you can drag and resize your camera in the canvas to place it in the correct location, and then lock it as well.
Adding a PokerStars Table
Next, we’ll get add your first table to the canvas. In this example, we will use window capture to get them in.
Click the + button in the sources area once again and select window capture. Give it a name – e.g. Capture 1 – and click ok. In the next window, select a PokerStars table in the “Window” Dropdown. Don’t worry about having to do this while playing, you can prepare this while just spectating a table you are not taking part in. You can leave the rest as is and click ok.
Next, make sure the Table is sitting below the overlay image just like your camera and move and resize it to fit the transparent area in the overlay. Then lock that in place as well.
Should you have multiple tables open, you can highlight the Capture Source and use the dropdown to select the one table you want to showcase.
Your canvas should look something like the below, and in theory, you could click the Start Streaming button to go live!
Adding Scenes to switch between multiple tables
If you have seen a stream of our PokerStars Ambassadors, you will know that they are playing multiple tables at the same time and switch between the action on their Stream. There is nothing wrong with focussing on a single table if you prefer! If you do want to be able to showcase multiple tables, here is how:
Since we already created one scene, we can simply duplicate it and make some changes to it to show a different table in it.
First, right click your current Scene and select “Rename”. The longer you stream, the more scenes and sources you will add to your OBS over time – it’s good practice to keep them clean and properly named so you don’t lose overview. Rename your first source to something like “Table 1”.
Next, right click the scene again and select Duplicate. Name this one accordingly, for example Table 2.
Both of your two scenes will contain the Source “Capture 1” we added earlier. That means they would both show the same table. Even if you change the selected table in one of them, it will change in the other as well.
We don’t want that to happen, so we need to delete “Capture 1” out of our newly created Table 2 Scene. Next, add a new Window Capture and name it “Capture 2”. Position it as we did while setting up the first Scene and you can then use it to select a second PokerStars table to show. Each of your two Scenes should now show a different table. Just click them in OBS to switch between them or go back to the main OBS Settings to set hotkeys for each scene.
As your stream goes on, you might be busting and entering more tournaments. OBS might be able to detect the new tables automatically, otherwise, keep using the dropdown in OBS to select the correct table while your Window Capture source is selected.
You can follow this procedure to add as many scenes for as many tables as you like.
Filling in the blank
At the bottom right corner of our example overlay is another transparent box. You know by now how to add sources – fill it with whatever works for you! You can add text or images to showcase your username on other social platforms, bring in a guest via video call and window capture or place your alerts here. It’s up to you!
Improving your stream – Chatbox and Alerts
You’ll notice that there’s some empty space to fill on your overlay! You can use the area below your camera for different things. You know by now how to add a source – you could fill it with a text source to show your audience which tournament or stakes you are playing. Or you could add a chatbox to let your audience know what you are reading on delay.
We’ll add a chatbox in our example. There are many third party services that offer this feature, we will go with streamlabs in this article. Another option you could look into is streamelements.
To add your chat to OBS, go to https://streamlabs.com/ and log in via your twitch account.
On your streamlabs dashboard, head over to “All Widgets” and then “Chat Box”.
You’ll see plenty of options on how to style and configure what the chat in your stream will look like. Have a play and see what works best for you!
To add it into your OBS, you will need to copy the Widget URL.
Next, in OBS, click the + on sources once again and select “Browser”.
In the next window, replace the URL with your Chatbox Widget URL we copied earlier form streamlabs. Click OK and position the Browser source in the correct location. Since this is not in a transparent area of the overlay image, make sure that the browser source is above the overlay image this time.
If you have ever watched a twitch stream, you’ll have seen alerts! They’re the little animations that pop up on the screen if someone subscribes, cheers with bits, or follows.
Getting your alerts into OBS is similar to the chatbox we added above. In your streamlabs dashboard, select “Alert Box” the left side. You will find another Widget URL here to copy and to add as another Browser Source in OBS.
Streamlabs lets you customize the setting for all the different alert types your alert box contains – New follows, Donations, Raids etc. You can also have streamlabs generate a URL that only contains some of the possible alerts.
Once you placed the browser source with your alert box widget URL in OBS, you are also able to trigger each alert type as a test from the streamlabs site.
Polishing your Twitch Channel and adding Nightbot
When browsing to the “About” section of your twitch account, you’ll find a toggle to edit your Panels. Panels allow you to place Text or Images below your stream, and to link images to other websites. You’ll find plenty of graphics on the internet to utilize in your panels to link to any of your social media accounts or discord server, or if you know your way around image editing software, you can create your own. If you use images from the web, make sure that they are clearly marked as free to use!
To encourage new viewers to stick around, it’s a good idea to add a text panel with some information about yourself. You can add your country, when you started streaming or started playing poker and your hobbies are a great place to start. Making a good first impression to a new viewer is always good.
You can also change your Profile Picture and banner at https://www.twitch.tv/settings/profile
Once again, there are countless of chatbots out there that help keep your chat clean and call commands to answer FAQs, regularly post links to your socials or discord and to get some memes out there. Nightbot is one of the most frequently used bots out there, so we focus on that one here.
To get started, head over to nightbot.tv and log in via your twitch account. You’ll be taken to your Nightbot dashboard and the first thing you want to do is click the “Join Channel” button.
Nightbot will be in your channel, but to help with moderation, we still need give it the mod permissions. Go to your twitch channels’ chat and type in /mod Nightbot
You’re ready to add commands now! Back in the nightbot.tv dashboard, select commands and then click the Add Command button. Specify your command and message and submit it. When you post the command in your chat, nightbot should reply with the message automatically:
Which commands you create are up to your imagination! You might not need any at all when you are just starting off, but it’s good to get familiar with nightbot early on.
Instead of needing to actively call a command in the chat for nightbot to reply, you can head over to the Timers section in the nightbot.tv dashboard to have the bot periodically post the messages you’d like. Give it a name, add your message, and specify the interval in which you want discord to post the message.
The last nightbot section for this article is the Spam Protection. It offers a variety of filters to automatically delete messages you wouldn’t want to see.
Taking a look at the Blacklist filter, you can specify a word or phrase per line you want to delete automatically and timeout the user.
The list is up to you, but you will also find curated lists on the web you can paste in here. To keep the chat even cleaner, you can check the box on the “Silent” option.
If you have any problems getting set up or if we’ve missed something here to get your streaming journey underway, please join our community on Discord and let us know!
We’ve covered the basics here and there are many different approaches and more things to learn as you go. Don’t let that discourage you to click the Start Streaming button for the first time. Becoming a great streamer doesn’t only happen in front of the camera– take some time to see what other software, services, features, and plug-ins are out there to improve your stream over time.