Advantages and disadvantages of playing online poker versus playing at a poker table
The differences between online poker and more traditional poker table games are sometimes not as obvious as they seem.
Unlike sitting at a poker table with friends, or even strangers, online poker has an added dimension these days. There is a lot of pressure from many quarters to outlaw online poker, particularly in the United States. You will almost always know if the table game you are playing is in an area where poker is legal, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to know if this is true of online poker.
Despite these gray areas, millions in the US and around the world regularly enjoy playing online poker games from the comfort of their homes. Just to give some perspective, in 2005, online poker revenue was reported to be around $ 200 million.
Not only does online poker generate huge amounts of revenue and create new millionaires among players, site owners, and affiliates of poker sites, but due to its widespread influence, the appeal of poker in general is growing. The public is not only gaining knowledge about poker, but is also showing interest in all things poker. From the tables to the chips on the table, to the people who play at the tables, poker is huge.
Poker players like Chris Ferguson (Jesus), Annie Duke and her brother Howard Lederer (The Professor) and Hoyt Corkins (The Alabama Cowboy), to name a few, had never been heard by the public a few months ago. They are now celebrities in their own right. Even former celebrities, like Jennifer Tilly, Ben Affleck and Mimi Rogers, have traded the bright lights of Hollywood for the green felt on the poker table, at least on occasion.
While many of these famous people play sit-down tournaments with poker celebrities, most mortals enter the field of poker through online poker websites such as partypoker.com, pokerstars.com, ultimatebet. com or fulltiltpoker.com.
Sitting at a poker table can be intimidating, especially for the new player and is not as appealing to the beginner. They are likely to feel out of reach, and if the others at the table are more experienced or strange, they are likely to be intimidated.
The online poker experience is quite different. There is an anonymity that protects the psyche of the “newbie”. They can watch games for as long as they want before participating. Also, most online places will have tutorials and practice games for beginners to help ease the learning process. Sometimes the main site will have a completely separate site set up strictly for beginners. Another help for the beginner is that online games tend to have buttons labeled for the various actions and often include on-screen prompts for appropriate action.
Internet poker sites also offer a variety of limits so that the beginning player can actually start betting pennies. It is not only easy to bet, but also access. Unlike a board game, an online game can be found 24 hours a day from anywhere in the world that has a computer and an Internet connection.
However, there are two drawbacks to playing online, particularly if one’s goal is to eventually participate in the highly televised poker tournaments that take up the most primetime television spots. First, there is the obstacle of actually sitting down and playing at the table. No amount of online preparation can duplicate or make up for the first few times you find yourself in a chair across from Doyle Brunson, Chris Moneymaker, or Daniel Negreanu.
Second, although it IS possible, it is extremely difficult to bluff in an online poker game and even more difficult to learn to play your opponents.
However, look on the bright side. It’s easy to learn basic poker skills and improve your technique online, and you won’t have to worry about your poker face!