There’s something about poker that gets the blood racing. The excitement of the game, the bustle of the casino, the sound of the chips clicking as you count your stack; all of this combines to create one of the most popular games in the UK. But what if the casino isn’t quite your scene? Perhaps there’s none in your local area, or maybe you just don’t think it’s worth getting all dressed up for a night out just to play a few hands of poker?
Well, if that’s how you feel then you wouldn’t be the first to think this way. People are turning to the online version of the game in their droves. In fact, according to the UK Gambling Commission, the remote industry, which accounts for online betting, bingo, and casino games such as poker, commands 38.8% market share. That’s a phenomenal piece of the pie and so today we’re asking the question – is online poker better than the real thing? Because according to those stats, it would appear that many people feel that it is.
What is online poker?
First off, let’s be clear on one thing – online poker is very different to virtual reality casinos. Playing the game doesn’t require any expensive tech other than your smartphone, a tablet, or your computer. You join the platform as a member, deposit some cash, take a seat in an online poker room, and start playing. Simple, right?
Of course, there’s a little more to it than that but overall online poker is quite easy to take part in. But if we’re to decide whether or not it’s better than the live game, then we really need to take a closer look at what’s so great about online poker.
The benefits of online poker
It’s great for beginners
Imagine sitting in a casino having never played poker before. Quite the daunting prospect isn’t it? What if your first game was in a more relaxed and controlled environment, like your living room for example. You’d feel much more confident about playing your first hand.
And that’s why online poker is so great for beginners. Often these platforms will have step-by-step tutorials that guide you through the basics of the game. Once you feel comfortable with the rules and your strategy, you can then start to play safe in the knowledge that no one is physically watching your every move.
Another one of the most attractive options of online poker for beginners is the ability to take part in free poker tournaments. This allows you to play a serious game without taking any risks – something that should appeal to any novice!
It’s good for your wallet
If you’ve ever been to the casino, you know that it can be an expensive night out. You need to pay for your transport, make sure you have money for drinks, and there may be minimum buy-ins for games. That’s before we even mention the possibility of food.
Online poker though is an entirely different kettle of fish. You can play for really low stakes and only play a few hands at a time. The fact that you can drop in and out of games when it suits your schedule means that you have complete control over your budget. If you only want to spend a tenner in a session, then it’s very simple to do so.
We can just imagine the looks you’d get if you showed up at the Grosvenor in your PJs. You probably wouldn’t make it as far as the end of your street before you realised what a huge mistake you just made.
Play online though and you can wear whatever you like. Not only that but, as we mentioned earlier, you can play any time of your choosing – morning, noon, and night. If you feel the poker itch, you can just jump on for a few hands and then get back to whatever else you had planned for the day.
The fact that most poker providers now have mobile apps makes it even more convenient now than ever before. Long train journey, a night house-sitting your aunt’s place – wherever you are, you can still play.
There’s more game selection
Okay, so now we’re getting down to the actual poker. At casinos, you may be limited to Texas Hold’em or Omaha hi-lo, which is perfectly fine if that’s what you’re after. However, every now and then you might want to mix things up a little by playing another variation of the game or by varying the stakes.
With online poker, your opportunities are practically limitless. The global nature of the online game is such that at any one time, there’s always a table somewhere to suit you, in terms of both game variant and stakes. Like we said, the choices are almost limitless.
So is it better than live poker?
Well that really depends on who’s asking the question. If you’re a beginner poker player then yes, online poker is absolutely better than the live game. It offers you a more controlled environment to hone your skills while staying within your budget.
For more experienced players it’s a matter of circumstances and personal tastes. While the online game may be a more convenient option for those living…
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