Online poker is a different experience to live poker. The basic concept is very much the same and many poker sites try very hard to make the two experiences as close as possible, but it’s clear that playing on a computer is never going to be quite the same as playing in a casino against real people.
There are a couple of specific advantages of playing live, such as the social aspect and the ability to get physical reads on opponents, but really it’s playing online that now offers the most benefits and advantages to players. This is why the popularity of online poker has grown at such an amazing rate, and yet there are still some people that aren’t sure about whether it’s worth trying it out.
If you’re unsure about whether playing poker over the internet is something you want to try, then you might like to know more about the various benefits. We have explained them all on this page.
The simple fact that you can play whenever you want, without having to go anywhere, is a major advantage to playing online. This is especially the case if you don’t have anywhere local where you can play poker.
It doesn’t matter what time of night or day it is, all you have to do is turn on your computer, log in to a poker site, and you can be sitting down at the virtual tables within moments. You’ll rarely have a problem finding games running, as there are always players somewhere wanting to play.
Choice of Games
The range of games available online is huge. You can play many different variations of poker including Texas Hold’em, Omaha, and Seven card stud, and you can play them as limit, no limit, or pot limit. You can play in full ring cash games, shorthanded games, and even heads up games.
When it comes to tournaments, you are quite literally spoiled for choice. Most poker sites have a decent selection of tournaments and the bigger sites have truly excellent selection. You’ll be able to find plenty of sit and go tournaments and all kinds of different scheduled tournaments too. Rebuys, turbos, knockouts, freeze outs, and satellites to larger events are also available. There are always some pretty attractive prize pools up for grabs, particularly in the large field tournaments.
Range of Stakes
The range of stakes available is just as impressive as the choice of games at most poker sites. You can play cash games with blinds as low as $.01 and $.02 and tournaments with entry fees starting at just $1. At the other end of the scale you can play tournaments that cost thousands of dollars to enter and cash games where the blinds are up to four figures. All the levels in between are covered too.
No matter what your budget is you’ll be able to play at stakes suitable for your bankroll.
Online poker is much faster than live poker. There’s no waiting for the cards to be shuffled and it takes just a split second for the cards to be dealt. There are no physical chips to handle and count either, as everything is calculated automatically for you. It can be frustrating playing in a slow live game and you simply don’t run into that problem online.
With faster games you can win money much more quickly. Of course, you can also lose it quickly too. Bearing in mind that you can play really low stakes though, much lower than you can play live, the speed of the games is far more of a benefit than it is a drawback.
Another advantage of playing online is the fact that you can play across multiple tables if you want. Once you have been playing for a while you’ll find that many of your decisions become almost automatic, which means you can potentially sit at several tables at once and still play winning poker.
The ability to multi-table is a particular advantage in our opinion, if you like to play in tournaments. During tournaments you’ll often find that you’re getting involved in very few pots, especially during the early stages. This can get a little boring, but if you’re playing a few tournaments at once, then you’re very unlikely to get bored. You also increase your chances of winning, as the more tournaments you play, the more opportunities you have for finishing in the money.
Most poker sites have a feature that allows you to review all the hands you have ever played. This feature is very useful when it comes to improving as a player. One of the best ways to hone your skills at poker is to analyze hands that you’ve played and look for weak points, or leaks, in your game. You also need to identify your strengths as a player.
This is really easy to do online, but it’s basically impossible live. You might remember some of the key hands you played during a live session, but you’re incredibly unlikely to remember all of them.
In absolute terms you’ll probably pay more rake by playing online than you would by playing live. However, this is somewhat misleading as online you’ll play far more hands when playing cash and enter far more tournaments because of how quickly and accessible they are. The actual rate at which you pay rake will be noticeably lower though.
A lower rate of take can have a very positive impact on your overall win rate, so this is another significant advantage of playing online. Ultimately your goal is to make money, so anything that helps you do that is of course very welcome.
There are a few other advantages too, but these are the most important in our opinion. Of course, we should also point out that there are some disadvantages. For example, there’s the possibility that you could lose your internet connection at a crucial time. There’s also the fact that it’s easier to get distracted and lose focus on your game when playing online.
Overall though, we think that the advantages of playing online easily outweigh the disadvantages. If you’re still unconvinced, the best advice we can give is to simply try it for yourself and then make a judgment. You can start with a very small amount of money, and if you don’t like it, at least you have given it a try.