Texas Hold’EM poker is the poker game variant that has experienced the fastest amount of growth on the internet to date. It is only necessary to play a couple of times in order for you to see why. Poker is a passionate and enthralling game, but mainly it is a lot easier to play poker online than it is to play at a casino. In a few minutes you can be comfortably set up in your own house, and ready to play live poker with other players all over the world. A lot of money is won by everyday people, so what can you really say to criticise online poker?
Online poker today
The only reproach that I can justifiably level at internet poker is that I would like to win more often, but this is obviously more to do with my ability to play, rather than a problem with the game. The majority of people who play internet poker are simply looking for some brief entertainment. Of course, everybody would like to win money, but to do this, people most often gravitate towards games of chance, such as lottery or scratchcards, or any other casino game…except poker! Everybody wants to win at online casinos, but not many people have the time to research winning methods and strategies. Who really has the time to study the rules of a game like Poker?
Professional poker players take the time to perfect their game! It is very important to understand that, contrary to other casino games, Texas Hold’EM poker is not played against the bank/house/casino. In games such as Blackjack, the odds are largely in favour of the bank. However, in Texas Hold’EM, players are in opposition with those players who are most skilled.
Therefore, the world of poker is divided between amateurs and professionals. There are two elementary principles which separate amateurs and professionals:
1. Professional players know exactly the type of players they should be playing against. In fact, they do not play against the cards, but against the players. Thus, good players understand their opponents. Even on the internet, it is possible to deduce the thinking behind your opponents play. A good understanding of the different human dynamics around the poker table will increase your chances of winning.
2. Professional poker players understand the odds presented by the cards dealt. By calculating the odds of the hand that you are holding you will also augment your chances of winning. Understanding the odds of the cards is not sufficient enough to understand how to play poker, but it is sufficient in understanding how to wager.
The advantages of internet poker
If you were to enter into a casino with the intention of watching a game of Texas Hold’EM in order to learn how to play, there is every likelihood that the security will ask you to leave. In casinos, poker is not a spectator sport, except if there is a very prestigious tournament happening, like the World Series Of Poker. Starting out as a novice in a casino environment is very likely to be an expensive enterprise. A novice is known as a “fish” in the language of poker, and it is always painful to be a red herring among the sharks (i.e. professionals).
On the other hand, internet poker allows you to watch real live games for as long as you want, for free, and without risk. By observing a table you can learn a lot about other players, especially with respect to their fashion of wagering. The ability to observe players for free and anonymously is one of the great advantages of online poker.
There is nothing ethically wrong with taking notes about other player’s techniques. Moreover, some websites facilitate note-taking during the progression of a game of poker. You have to take note of the types of hand a player favours, the amount of time it takes them to react, and all the other important details that are needed to understand other players wagering and raising profile. In the heat of the moment, you will not always have the time to enter all these details, but the day will come when a player for which you have filed notes will arrive at the same table as you with a massive pile of chips. At that moment you will be very appreciative to have a whole file detailing the complete playing techniques of that particular player.
Knowing the exact amount of the pot:
In a real game of poker, it is sometimes necessary to make an estimation of the amount of money in the pot as you can occasionally lose track of what has been wagered. It is very bad manners to go counting in the pot if you accidentally lose track of the amounts involved.
On the other hand, when playing internet poker the amount in the pot is signified at all times. This allows you always to calculate precisely the amount you should be wagering. This facet of internet poker is paramount in order to establish the betting amounts you should be employing, and this is the equivalence of what professional players do in a live game, and will therefore make you even in this respect. Through the aid of a few mathematical calculations, the educated player can maximise their chances of winning.
Different choices in tables and bets for live and online poker
In any averaged sized casino, there is usually a maximum of 12 tables to choose from for playing a game of poker, and the waiting times to get onto these tables are quite long, especially since the rise in popularity of poker during the ’00s. Additionally, it is impossible to know the style of play at the table prior to being seated and the particular table may not suit your playing style. Since you have waited such a long time to be seated, it will be fairly difficult to change tables, and you will face another long wait for a new one, and there are no guarantees that the next table will suit you better.
On the internet, there are several sites that have hundreds or thousands of tables and who offer a huge variety in the amounts you are able to wager and the players you can play against. This vast amount of choice is validation for playing online poker, even if there is the advantage in terrestrial games of knowing the body language of your opponents.
The web offers a plethora of choices for players who are just beginning to embark in the game of poker. In poker, you have to remember that you are not just playing against the odds, but also against other players and their mathematical skills. One of the key aids for a winning player is in finding a table with a lot of players that have weak poker skills. The fact that you can select the tables you wish to play on when playing poker online, is the major benefit of online poker. This is only the case in cash-games because in tournaments you do not have a choice of which tables you want to play on, but this is also the case for terrestrial poker.
Different perspectives on playing poker online
There are some more obvious reasons why playing online is better than playing in real life. Firstly, it is very practical as all you need is an internet connection. It is not necessary to find and sit yourself down in a brick and mortar casino, which can be intimidating and expensive for most people. It is very clear that bankroll is important, but this is less of an issue with internet poker because you can play cheaply and sometimes for free.
Also, for those who want to play for big money, you can enrol in a tournament for a relatively modest sum and this will give you the ability to live the dream; in other words, to participate in world league tournaments and win mega money.
In the final analysis of online poker, everybody wins; the beginner can learn to play without losing any money, and the professional player can enter tournaments and make a living, all without leaving the comfort of your computer room.
You can also notice the number of women who play online poker, in casinos, the play is largely dominated by men but online you will find a far more level playing field in terms of men and women players.
Contrary to what people often believe, the arrival of poker and other casino games on the internet has allowed these types of gambling to emerge from private arenas, such as private member clubs, it is no longer a closed pastime. It has become a game for the masses, and you no longer need huge amounts of money to play, as you would have in the past. For example, it is possible to enter into the qualifying stages of prestigious tournaments for as little as £1.00. Within a few games of poker, you will realise that it is cheaper than other pastimes, such as the cinema, but you still get all the thrills, strong emotions, suspense, glory, victory, joys and pains.
10 reasons why it is better to play internet poker
1. Internet poker is accessible to beginners. It is pointless to be embarrassed by a lack of knowledge because internet poker is anonymous. Learn the game in your own time and play for free for as long as you want.
2. You can play for free! If you are new to the game, if you have little money, if you are not very good at poker or you just want to have fun, it is interesting to join “just for fun” games. There are also such things as Freeroll tournaments (see links below) which are 100% free and for which you can win real money.
3. You can play against professionals. If you play online poker for enough time, you will inevitably come across a professional player. Most large sites have professional players online.
4. Play from the comfort of your own home. Games played in the corner of a dark and dingy bar, are not always more engaging. On the internet, you can play from the comfort of your own house, or even play a sneaky game at work!
5. No need to travel anywhere, this makes internet poker cheaper, no bus fairs, taxies or petrol prices to pay.
6. Play when you want, for as long as you want. Whether that is 3 o’clock in the morning or in the afternoon, you will always find a game that is open to you.
7. Enthralling tournaments. It is my advice to play in as many tournaments as possible in order to augment your skill level. Registration fees can be tiny and tournaments are played 24/7.
8. Play several tables at a time. If you are capable of following several games at once, it is very important that you exploit this skill. You will save time and increase your winnings.
9. Contrary to terrestrial poker, internet poker allows you to keep track of the pot and to be better able to calculate the odds of the particular hand you hold. Every hand can be analysed and you will be able to calculate your likelihood of winning, there are tables available on this website to help you.
10. Website bonus offers are a lot better than those offered in casinos, and most sites have some very good bonuses on offer.
Gordon Dyke has served as our poker expert since 2017. Gordon has been playing poker professionally and recreationally for nearly two decades.