Advantages of Online Poker
Many people are first exposed to poker through the live format. This can mean playing a tournament or cash game at your local casino, in a university dorm, or even round a friend's house over a few drinks. While the social element to live poker games can undoubtedly be fun, there are far more benefits to playing poker online rather than live.
Online Poker Can Save You Money
Think back to the last time you played poker at a casino. How much was the minimum buy-in? How much was one big blind at the lowest stakes cash game? How much were people tipping the dealer when they won a big pot?
Chances are, even the lowest of these figures is far higher than some of the buy-ins available for online cash games and tournaments. When you're starting out playing poker you will want to practice bankroll management, and if you're starting out small then a cheap online game is surely preferable to a casino game where you have to put down a huge chunk of your bankroll just to play.
And that's not even factoring in the cost of petrol, or the hours spent driving to the casino which could be spent playing and making money online. These things might seem minor, but they will add up.
No Waiting Around
A casino makes some money from poker, but often not as much as it does from the games with a house edge, such as blackjack and slots. Consequently, there may be a limit to the number of poker tables available, and by extension a limit to the number of seats available.
Rather than whiling away your time on a waiting list until there is a seat open, good online poker sites allow you to find a vacant seat right away, at whatever stakes you want to play. And of course without the stress of waiting around, you will be calmer and more focused on your game.
More Hands Means More Profit
Have you ever tried multi-tabling in a live poker environment? It's no walk in the park, that's for sure. Running from table to table will likely make it tough for you to gauge your opponents' tendencies and pick up on tells, instantly negating one of the few benefits of live poker.
Contrast this with online poker, where you can have more than one table visible on screen at any one time. This means you can get more done in a short space of time, and a lot of the time you can end up playing more hands of poker in one session than you will end up playing in a month's worth of live games.
Part of this is to do with the speed of play as well: without the dealer taking time to shuffle and deal each hand, and without waiting for the guy across the table taking five minutes to make up his mind on whether you've got him beat this time, you've started the next hand much quicker than you could expect in the live environment. And of course, for a winning poker player, more hands per hour means a greater profit.
While the waiting around time is one downside to live poker as compared with online, players can sometimes overlook the fact that playing live requires you to commit a couple of hours at least to being in one place. A major benefit of online poker is that you can play for as long or short a time as you want.
On top of this, the growth of mobile and tablet technology, and even the increase in more compact laptops, means you can play online poker anywhere with an internet connection. No longer will you need to miss out on a hand to step outside for a cigarette or move within range of a television to catch the last over of the cricket. With online and mobile poker you can take the game with you rather than leaving it behind.