The meteoric rise in popularity of online poker play might be heavily attributed to the convenience of playing from the comfort of home, but in fact there are a number of other advantages to choosing online play. In addition to the complete absence of a dress code, online players have access to a wider variety of game play and the ability to join a table at just about any time they like. The continually growing number of online establishments offer poker rooms 24/7, all inclusive game selection and a wider range of wager options to fit every budget.
Since online poker rooms lack the same exorbitant operating costs as their land based counterparts, the result is lowered betting minimums and smaller rake fees for the player so that the range of wager is enormously widened to include all types of bettors. Coupled with the vast amount of games readily available at all times, online players have no trouble finding the right game, at the right wager limit at all times. All kinds of tournament play, including the popular Sit and Go tournaments, are constantly available with all stakes and sizes. Multiple-tabling is another feature that allows the player to sit in on several games at once. Players are to get in many more hands in the same amount of time by moving from screen to screen. Keeping focus on each game is key, however, as this option can become a liability if you don’t.
Ease and Availability aside, the benefits of online poker expand to encompass the game play itself. Players are able to sharpen their skills in practice mode, or by using a free promotional balance supplied by many online poker sites. This is an especially attractive feature for those who are new to the game, but even seasoned pros need to practice or test out strategies sometime. With this option, all players stand to gain invaluable knowledge and experience, while risking little or no real money wagers.
In an online poker room, physical actions and emotions are not going to betray you as they might in a live game, and intimidation is a considerably lesser factor. The anonymous play is particularly advantageous to the novice, and can be very important when playing with a with a card shark who has a sharply honed ability to read other players’ tells (behavior). While there are subtle telling actions in online poker that can be picked up on, these are much more easily controlled and circumvented. With a little effort, they can be learned and used instead against your opponent. Detailed notes regarding your opponent’s style and previous play can be kept close at hand in a notebook – something you cannot do in a live game, and can be referenced and utilized at any time. Online players also have access to their own securely stored history, making it easy to examine and continually improve upon their game from past experience. Other tools at the online poker players´ disposal include easily accessible odds information and statistics, and the ability to use charts and calculators during game play.
Money matters, so it bears mentioning that online players save money (and time and effort) on what could be considered unnecessary extras – like travel, hotel accommodations, etc., when they opt to play the massive selection of online poker games from home. In addition, while playing online, it´s never necessary to tip the dealer – whereas in a live game, it is customary, even expected, that you tip the dealer when you win, in addition to the rake. If you spend much time at all playing poker, this small amount can really add up.
There are a few disadvantages to playing online poker as well, but for many the advantages far outweigh them. Ease, Availability, Game play, and Money saved are consistent factors, but online play can´t provide the thrill of face to face action or the buxom waitress supplying complimentary drinks. Fortunately, online poker play doesn’t preclude live play and many poker enthusiasts are able to find a balance that satisfies both their gaming preferences and entertainment needs.