Poker was brought into the mainstream in the early parts of the millennium when amateur player Chris Moneymaker shot to fame with the most epic bluff in card history at the World Series of Poker. His success inspired a new generation of wannabe poker stars to place their bets and stack their chips high.
One of the best results from this new wave of poker popularity was the rise of online poker games. In the United Kingdom we have access to hundreds of different sites, almost all of which offer elite poker experiences to customers.
And let’s face it, poker is best played online if you’re in it for the long haul. Many land-based casinos have minimum play hour’s restrictions on entering tournaments and if the entry limits are say 60 hours then you’re going to have to spend a lot of unnecessary time in the casino.
With online poker there’s no such hassle, you can literally play wherever and whenever you want, you can even play on the toilet! You also don’t have to dress up smart, get a taxi, spend money on expensive food and drinks or pay extortionate membership fees.
Those are just a few of the reasons that online poker is the ultimate multiplayer battle, in this article we’ll explore a whole host of other reasons that make the online iteration the ultimate experience for poker lovers.
Most land-based casinos have cash tables available to patrons, however they are only open on demand and the level of competition depends mainly on pot luck for players. A seasoned card pro could head to the tables one night and demolish your stack of chips or alternatively, you could be playing with complete novices and not face any challenge at all.
That’s not the case with online poker as most providers issue you with a skill level and match make your games to ensure you’re playing against opponents perfectly suited to your level of skill.
There are also a whole host of tournaments and different game modes, for example, if Texas Holdem is the game of your choice, you’ll have no difficulty in finding opponents of a similar standard to yourself, who are ready to compete with you at all hours of the day. It’s the flexibility that has made online poker as popular as it is today.
As previously mentioned, the accessibility of online poker takes it one step ahead of the lad-based casinos and traditional poker venues. Online poker is available to users 24 hours a day 7 days a week and there are no restrictions on where you can play.
As long as you have a decent mobile data connection you can literally play poker anywhere from your phone or tablet. The easy accessibility makes it easy to qualify for tournaments and play at a time that suits you, having a much lower impact on your free time than a land-based casino.
Availability of games
Texas Hold ‘Em is the most popular variation of poker out there but online providers offer a whole range of different games; Chinese poker, speed poker, three card stud and many more all available at your fingertips.
Most online providers have pot calculators that you can use in game to calculate your chances of success. You can also use a pot calculator after a hand to review how you played and what you should have done.
They are a fantastic tool to help improve your game and get you accustomed to pot odds and probabilities. They are not available at land-based casinos and the only thing you can learn at a physical poker table is how you respond to pressure and recognise other players tells.
Think of these as the FA Cup qualifying rounds of online poker. Satellite tournaments give those with a smaller bankroll the opportunity to earn entry into higher buy in tournaments such as the World Series of Poker.
Instead of winning cash you gain entry points by placing high in satellite tournaments which accumulate to gain your entry into the higher ticket tourneys. That’s exactly what Chris Moneymaker did in 2003 when he entered a satellite tournament for 39 dollars before going on to win 2.5 million dollars in the World Series of Poker.
The best technique for these satellite tournaments is to play aggressively at the beginning, earn some entry points and then aim to survive from then on to reach the target tournament.
Okay it’s not something that’s widely accepted in the poker world, but the act of grinding is easier in the world of online poker. Professional players or those with a higher skill level can head into lower buy in tournaments with ease and win a decent amount of money from lesser skilled players.
If you are one of those lesser skilled players’ just keep your eyes open for conservative betters who suddenly bet big – they’re more likely to be grinders and you stand a good chance of losing your chips quickly.
Don’t lose the real feel
One of the biggest draws of a land-based casino is the traditional aspect of playing poker. Having a professional dealer, a neat surrounding and waiters piling you full of free drinks and food.
Unfortunately online casino hasn’t developed a concierge service just yet but it wouldn’t be too surprising if it did in the near future! However most online providers do offer customers live, professional dealers that they can interact with.
Some online poker companies also allow players to participate in poker games that are taking place in actual casinos meaning that effectively nothing is lost from the traditional casino poker experience.
Online poker is streets ahead of land-based poker for a plethora of reasons. The competition possibilities are greater and much more equal on the internet platform and give players the chance to go from zero to hero.
Virtual reality technology is currently in development as well which will allow for a completely immersive poker experience almost giving people no need to go and play cards at their local casino.
And then of course there’s the accessibility aspect, no matter where you live you’re never too far away from a poker competition online where you could be playing opponents from the other side of the world.