What is Online Poker?
Online poker, as the name suggests, is the game of poker played over the Internet. Online poker has been responsible for a dramatic increase in the number of poker players worldwide. Thanks in part, to the proliferation of online casinos, the craze for poker is spreading beyond the mega-rich, business-suited elite, allowing everyone a fair chance to place modest bets from the comfort of their own homes.
Statistics confirm the above. In January 2003, the total global daily cash game turnover for online poker was just $10 million (£5.3m) and in 2004 it rose to $60m (£32m). Now, $180m (£95m) is wagered in cash game pots in online poker every day! Not surprisingly, this number is expected to grow steadily every year.
How different is online poker compared to playing it on-site?
There are hundreds of portals offering online poker; most of them are, more or less, similar. The difference, if any, is usually in the gaming environment and the quality of interaction with other players. This could depend a lot on the popularity of the site, as popular gaming sites try to have certain in- built checks and attract serious gamblers who can in turn, enhance your overall gaming experience. Also, while some portals have a responsible, informative approach and offer considerable amount of content (news, tournament results, strategy articles, reviews of online card rooms, etc.), others attempt to act as mere conduits to other sites, normally where actual gambling games are offered.
Though people have many different views, as far as differences between online poker and brick and mortar poker is concerned, most agree on at least few of the following:
Online venues are cheaper and easily accessible.
Online poker rooms are more player-friendly, as they offer suggestions, allow the players to play for low stakes and are very much suitable for beginners.
Online poker playing is a lot faster, as there’s no banter around the table. Though brick and mortar casino players consider this interplay a central element of the game, for most playing online, the stress is laid on mathematical calculations and actual moves. Fixed place or offline poker game is time consuming where the average rate of play is around thirty hands per hour while in online poker these delays, dealing and shuffling, are instant and thus the average play is faster due to ‘auto action’ buttons.
One disadvantage of playing online poker is that it is more vulnerable to certain types of fraud even though most poker sites have safety checks.
Unlike a bricks and mortar casino, you can play at more than one table at a time when you play online. So, you could log into more than one poker site simultaneously, which means that you don’t have to be as good a player to make the same amount of money online (since you increase your chances of winning by playing on multiple tables simultaneously)!
Some experienced players also feel that people who mostly play online poker could be at a disadvantage in a brick and mortar casino, as they don’t have opportunities to learn to study and influence body language.
Another differentiating feature of online poker is that it provides free money play, so that new players may practice without the risk of losing real money.
From the legal point of view, some legal issues are common. Online game poker is very legitimate and regulated in many advanced countries in Europe. Many online poker websites are certified by legal Game Commission bodies and major auditing firms like PWC (Price Waterhouse Coopers) to review the fairness of the shuffle and payouts.
Whether you are a professional or a novice, online poker offers you a comfortable and interesting gaming environment and a safer (compared to brick and mortar casinos) means of learning how to play using smaller bets. There are numerous sites that offer guidelines and tips on learning how to play well. Here are some interesting poker- related terms to get you started:
Royal flush: high cards (ace, king, queen, jack) of the same suit in number sequence.
Straight flush: cards of the same suit in number sequence.
Four of a kind: cards of the same value (e.g. four queens).
Full house: three cards of one value, two of another.
Flush: all cards are of the same suit.
Straight: cards are in number sequence, but not of the same suit.
Three of a kind: three cards of the same value.
Two pair: two pairs of cards with the same value (e.g. queen, queen and king, king)
Pair: two cards with the same value.
The author, Brian Hover, is a well- known online gambling specialist and has been lending his expertise and experience to the Internet gambling industry since 1997.Having studied the scope and potential of secure online gambling alternatives, Brian has been instrumental in providing a number of secure online gambling portals like http://www.cardgamesclub.com. The portal is known for the number of popular gambling options, along with the security and reliability it offers.