Poker is a game that has really grown in popularity in recent years. Of course, it has always had a following, but it was considered more of a niche interest.
The main reason why it is now reaching more people is technology. The existence of poker games on the internet and mobile apps has made them more attractive to young people, women and other demographics not traditionally associated with poker.
People who never visit bricks and mortar casinos are quite happy to log into an online one and play poker. So does that mean that the online game is inherently superior?
In this article we will look at real-world poker venues and online poker, examining the benefits of each of them.
This is the vision that most people have of poker – a bunch of guys (it is usually guys) sitting around a smoke-filled table holding their cards tight. It gave poker its classic reputation and there are benefits to playing the game that way.
- You can always see the other players
A lot of online casinos have live games that let users play against opponents they can see. There is always the potential for a technical glitch to cause the video link to go down though.
Given how important being able to look into the eyes of your opponents is in poker, the fact that this will never happen at a real-life poker venue is a big benefit.
- It is social
Even in a live video poker game online, people are mostly playing against opponents that they do not know personally. That does not make the games less interesting, but it does get in the way of them as a social experience.
Playing poker with friends is a great way to relax and that is sometimes more important than the game itself or winning big money. Poker venues are better for that.
- The games can be easier
There are several reasons why this is the case. The first of them is that playing poker at a real-world venue is typically slower.
Everything from the dealing to counting the chips and shuffling the cards is done by a human being, so it takes longer than automated online poker. That gives players more time to think about their next move.
Then there is the fact that the players at live poker venues are often older and less likely to use online training tools and information to sharpen their skills. Finally, players bet fewer hands than people playing poker online, which holds back the development of their skills.
All of these things make playing at a venue the easier option.
This means playing either standard automated or live video games at an online or mobile casino. It also has clear advantages.
- The games are cheaper to join
A bankroll of between $300 and $500 will usually be needed to join a real-world poker game. That is quite a lot of disposable income for most people.
Furthermore, in many cases, it can be more like $4000. Online casino poker games do not set limits of anything like the same amount.
It is entirely possible to start playing with just a handful of dollars in your deposit account.
- It is convenient
For young people brought up in the age of technological convenience, the sheer ease of accessing online poker is probably its biggest benefit. It totally removes the need for travelling to a venue, with the attendant waiting on buses or taxis and commuting costs.
The emergence of mobile poker apps means poker can be played online from virtually any location. Given the total market dominance of online poker among younger players, there is a strong chance that it will lead to more live venues closing in years to come.
- There are bonuses
The bonuses that are offered by online poker sites are attractive whatever the age of the player is. New players will often have their initial deposit matched, giving them free cash to play with.
That is just the start though, as there are constant bonus offers and loyalty schemes for long-term players. Land-based casino poker rooms do not have anything to rival these offers.
Ultimately, people like poker venues and online poker for different reasons. The former medium offers the opportunity to play with friends and relax, plus the chance to switch off technology.
The latter provides all of the convenience and comfort of that technology as well as cheaper games and lucrative bonuses.
Therefore it is not really a case of one being better than the other. Which an individual prefers will be a matter of what they consider important but a balance of the two may provide the best overall experience of poker.
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