There’s no question about it – as fun as playing live poker is, it can be a laborious experience – games often take many hours to complete, as blind levels tend to be much longer than they are online. Playing poker at my local casino, tournaments usually take a minimum of six hours to complete – and even if you choose to play cash, it can take a long time just for a single orbit of a full table of nine players.
Considering these facts, who can blame poker fans for choosing to play their favorite poker games online? Let’s look at some of the specific advantages of online poker, and why they are causing such a monumental shift in the number of players that choose to play in card rooms vs online poker websites.
When playing at a casino, every hand requires the dealer to shuffle to the cards – even if an automated shuffling machine is used, this takes time, and even just passing out two cards to each of the nine (or six) players seated at the table takes time too.
Online poker just sets up the hand in seconds – every player receives their cards, and the first round of betting has begun long before the cards would even have been dealt in a regular casino game.
Whenever a call or raise is made, the dealer must count the chips each player adds to the pot – another task that computers can deal with instantly. All these things add up to ten-minute blinds seeming “long” in an online game, whereas twenty- or thirty-minute blinds are considered the norm in card room poker.
If you play cash at a casino, the rake is always much higher than it would be at an equivalent online game – after all, the dealer must be paid somehow. Tournaments players aren’t immune from this either – a game with a $100 buy-in online will usually be accompanied by a $5 charge for joining the game. In a casino card room, you can expect to pay at least $10 as a premium for joining the game, and you’ll have to pay it a second time if you choose to rebuy too.
The short-handed random tournaments which have become so popular at online card games usually cap their rate rake at 5% – if you join a $1,000 tournament, you’ll still only pay $50 for joining the game. These sorts of games can often cost $100 to enter in a casino environment, which can make the feeling of exiting early more frustrating.
Reduced Need to Watch Your Behavior
Whilst it can be great to be sitting at a card table with several players who have obvious tells, you’re only likely to find this the smaller stakes. Those playing bigger pots really should have learned how to hide their tells by now, but if you don’t have years of card room experience yet want to play higher stakes, online poker is a god send.
Don’t think that playing online frees you from this completely, however – every action you make at the table reveals information to other players. From the size of your bet, to whether you choose to call or raise, other players well be quick make assumptions based on these facts. Just make sure that they are wrong – which can often involve a double-bluff.
Increased Choice, and Availability of Games
Sometimes, it can take a long time for a poker table to fill up in a card room – and the only game you are likely to find on offer is Texas Hold’em too, although Omaha is beginning to be offered by more and more card rooms. The biggest online Poker sites will often fill their tables before you have even finished choosing your settings – you’ll need to be quick to get a seat!
Better yet, you have a much wider choice of games online – from PLO, 7 Card Stud, Badugi, or even Razz, you have an excellent chance of finding enough like-minded players to get a game going in a minute or less. Just watch out for sharks in the water if you do try these alternative games!
Land-based casinos tend to keep their best promotions locked away for their most avid slot fans, but sites dedicated to online poker can easily afford to offer greater benefits to their players than a land-based poker room or casino ever could.
With a virtually unlimited number of high-quality online poker rooms out there these days, you could be collecting new welcome bonus every week if you wanted to. If you choose to concentrate all your play at a specific site though, you’ll soon find that they will reward you handsomely for your loyalty. Access to high-paying freerolls will be unlocked, and you’ll often find free casino chips sitting in your inbox too.
If you singed up with the site via an affiliate, you may even receive regular rake back payments, too – reducing the cost of playing online even further.
In short, playing poker online is way more convenient. and offers you the chance to practice strategies you may not want to risk in a real casino environment too. You’ll receive better promotions, you can play many games at once using the multi-tabling features offered by pretty much all online card rooms, and you don’t need to fear that you are making huge mistakes by giving away tells. That’s a whole lot of advantages, and I could probably list a dozen more.
Still, live poker will continue to exist, because playing the game at an event is an entirely different experience to sitting in your bedroom playing online poker. There’s no doubt that live poker has its place – but most poker is going to be played online for the foreseeable future – and likely forever.
- As per the Public Gambling Act of 1867, all Indian states, except Goa, Daman and Sikkim, prohibit gambling
- Land-based casinos are legalized, with certain guidelines, in Goa and Daman, as per the Goa, Daman and Diu Public Gambling Act 1976
- Land-based casinos, Online gambling and E-gaming (games of chance) are legalized in Sikkim under the Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Rules 2009
- Only some Indian states have legalized online/regular lotteries as per and subject to the conditions laid down by state laws. Kindly refer to the same here
- Horse racing and betting on horse racing, including online betting, is permitted only in a licensed premise in select states. Kindly refer to the 1996 Judgement by the Supreme Court Of India here and for more information
- This article does not endorse or express the views of Qrius and/or any of its staff.
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