Here I’m going to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of online poker, and also how it differs from regular poker. Want to know the difference between online casinos and land based casinos? We feature casino downloads and online gambling laws along with information on how casino bonuses really work.
Advantages of Online Poker
More Hands You can play more hands per hour. If you were going to play even a fairly loose and fast game at a real casino, you would maybe play 10-15 hands in an hour, as games tend to last much longer. You may only find a few hands actually worth playing. Online, games go much faster, and it’s not rare to play upwards of 100 hands in an hour, though usually its between 40 and 60 for one table. More playable hands (by “playable” I mean decent starting hands) means more potential wins. More wins means more money. More money means a very happy online poker player.
Signup Bonuses – This is one terrific reason. If you sign up through one of our links to a poker website, you’ll get bonus cash that varies from poker room to poker room. Your relatively small bankroll can even double just by signing up through our links. I can’t find any real casinos that will give you even a 25% bonus on the chips your get. The online poker rooms do this to entice you to sign up with them, and it works out quite well for both parties.
Play at Several Tables – With online poker rooms, you are usually allowed to play at more than one table. This means you could significantly increase your winnings. The drawback is that you don’t get to focus as much on one game, meaning you might lose because you’re unaware of what type of players you’re up against. If your style is just to play really tight and only play the best hands, however, this method might be for you. Try it out and see how you like it.
24/7 Playing – Whether it’s 3am, 6pm, or ten minutes to lunch, there are always poker games to be played. Any time you feel like it, you can sit down and start in. There will never be a time when all the tables are taken and you must wait, or when the room is completely empty and you have to sit around for players to join. On any online poker room at any time, there are usually at least 10,000 people playing. That’ll never happen in a real casino.
Lower Limit Games – The game limits are great for the beginning player. For example, you could play a limit game as low as $.01/$02. Real casinos put the minimums much higher so they get more money from the percentage they take from the rake. Since online casinos have so many people playing online, though, they don’t mind only taking a $.2 rake every now and then.
Beginner Friendly – In a real casino, there are usually a few people who are regulars and know each other. They may look at you like you’re the new guy, and think that you dont belong there. It can be intimidating when it seems like everyone is against you. In online poker, however, the tables are constantly changing. There are never any regulars to a specific table, and while there are regular players at poker rooms, youll rarely see them more than once or twice because of the sheer number of players. Maybe a couple people will remember each other from previous games, but its nothing like a brick-and-mortar poker room.
Comfort – You are able to play great poker from the comfort of your own home. You can play a few games as you have your morning coffee, while you’re doing laundry, etc. You don’t have to follow any sort of dress code as you do in some casinos. You don’t even have to be dressed at all. No real casino will let you play a game of Holdem while wearing a bathrobe and pink bunny slippers.
Loose Players – Online poker room players tend to be much looser with their money than real casino players. This is in part due to the fact that it’s so easy to click a mouse, and you’re not holding your chips in your hand as you are in real poker. Of course, not everyone plays like this (hopefully you’re one of those who doesn’t), but many players do.
Less Competition – There are less truly good players online. In a real poker room, the players at the table have to be fairly good (or at least think they are) to play, since the minimums stakes are fairly high. You don’t get in your car, drive to the nearest legal casino that offers poker, and start playing real money poker if you don’t think you can win. Online players are a little different, however. Some of them play just to have fun, some play because they saw it on tv, and some just have nothing better to do.
Disadvantages of Online Poker
Harder to Read Tells – It is more difficult to read your opponent in online poker than it is in real poker. However, that’s not to say it isn’t impossible, just that it’s more difficult. Online poker is more about the mathematics and probability than real poker is. I do still think that poker, online or offline, is a mental game. You still MUST know your opponent’s tendencies and playing style to be able to bluff, trap, and essentially beat them.
Easy Distraction – With online poker, it’s much easier to become distracted from the game. When you’re sitting down at a real table, looking your opponents in the eye, feeling the chips and the felt and the cards, you’re focused. When you’re playing a game online, you want to check your e-mail, read an interesting article, etc. However, this can also work for you if it’s your opponent who’s the one not paying full attention to the game.
Shorter Reaction Time – Most online poker rooms only give you 30 seconds to choose whether to call, raise, check, or fold. This is obviously not as much time as a regular poker room would. For most people, it’s plenty of time. Yet I’m listing it as a disadvantage because I can’t seem to think of any other disadvantages. It can be annoying when you have rush around to go to the bathroom before the time runs out, though, but you can always just opt to sit out while you take a break to stretch your legs.