Aside from the increased popularity of the internet and Poker in general, what makes the online variety of Poker so attractive? What is it about Online Poker (other than the obvious fact, of course, that it takes place online!!) that distinguishes it from its live counterpart and explains its success and individual’s preference for playing online?
Overall, Online Poker operators avoid many of the obstacles that live casinos must face and thus, online sites can pass the benefits of such lower overhead costs down to the players. Since the house isn’t playing when it comes to Poker, they make their money through or by taking a small percentage of the pot. Rakes in online casinos are much lower (typically no more than 5%) than Poker rooms in Vegas or elsewhere (up to 15%) and therefore, the player takes home a larger percentage of his/her winnings. Playing online not only doesn’t include the hassles of waiting for a table or dealing with too much cigarette smoke, but also, in terms of expenses, players online don’t have to tip the dealer. While tips given to the dealer are generally only a few bucks, this expense can add up over the long-term for players who play regularly and the avoidance of it shouldn’t be discounted.
Online players also have the advantage over their live counterparts of being able to play multiple tables at once and more hands per hour. Depending on how many tables a player is playing at once, good players can substantially multiply the winnings they would normally receive in the same time period playing at a live casino. When the speed of the hands is considered as well, this multiplication factor increases and once again displays the speed advantage online games have over live casinos.
Online sites also make it easier for the player to keep track of everything occurring. More specifically, most online games will provide the player, and display on the screen, the exact amount of money currently in the pot, how many other players are betting and the specific amounts of such bets. This information not only makes it easier to quickly formulate odds calculations, but also makes it easier for beginners to avoid mistakes which would otherwise embarrass them at a live table.
Continuing with beginner players, Online Poker offers several specific advantages which aren’t provided by most live casinos. Playing at a live table for the first time can be incredibly intimidating and very difficult for someone who may not know the rules too well but would still like to learn the game. Online casinos provide a far more welcoming environment to novices and even offer tutorials and the opportunity to play, for free, games involving no money. Players can then get their feet wet slowly: learn the basics, become familiar with strategies and techniques, etc. After a period of time, players can even move up from play money situations to games involving only pennies, or micro-limit games. Once a player becomes comfortable, it is much easier (and less intimidating) to make the step either to a live game or online games with larger stakes.
The list of Online Poker’s advantages vs. its live counterpart could go on and on. It’s important to remember, however, that while some features and advantages apply to everyone, many aspects of Online Poker benefit only certain types of players. In other words, depending on personal preferences and style of play, live casino games may present a better option to many people. As a player, it’s important, therefore, to explore both games and discover which style suits your capabilities and is more appealing for you, personally. Finding the right fit will ensure the enjoyment and success of your Poker experience.