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Internet Poker (On Line Poker)


Playing poker at home, in a casino card room or on the internet each has its own advantages and disadvantages. If you want the social interaction and stimulation that being with other people provides, then you will probably prefer playing in a home poker game or a casino poker room. But, provided it is permissible where you live, when poker action is all that counts, internet poker offers numerous advantages that other venues can’t match.

The Advantages of Internet Poker


1. Play at home. Internet poker is the ultimate home poker game. You play with all the conveniences and comforts of your own home. None of the time and expense of traveling. Just roll out of bed, log on and play. You don’t even have to shower or dress. No overpriced casino food. No tipping the cocktail waitress for those “free” drinks.


2. Play 24/7/365. You can play internet poker anytime you want, not just when you can get a group of players to schedule a home game or when you have the time and money to travel to a casino. If you don’t live close to a casino or aren’t part of a regular home game, the internet may be your only opportunity. You’ll find a game on the internet anytime you want and you can play for as long or short a time as you wish. Plus, there is seldom the need to wait a significant period of time to get a place at a table.


3. Wide range of sites. There are any number of internet poker sites to choose from. If you stick with the larger, more established sites, it should be easy to find one you will feel comfortable with and that has the games, limits, bonuses, tournaments and features that you are looking for.


4. Free money. There is enormous competition among internet poker sites to attract and retain players. As a result, nearly all offer deposit bonuses and other incentives. You could pick up anywhere from 10% to 100% or more additional money just for depositing and playing. Some sites will give you free poker money even without depositing a cent of your own. This free money, sometimes called an instant bankroll, is typically a partnership offer between the poker sites and another refering site, rather than directly from the poker site itself. Some sites have special free tournaments for new players that can have hundreds or thousands of dollars in prize pools. And the free money doesn’t stop after your first deposit. “Re-load” bonuses for additional deposits are offered frequently. If you are going to play internet poker, these are offers that are impossible to pass up.


5. Wide range of limits. Internet poker rooms will offer games with a wide range of betting limits or buy-ins. You can find micro-limits of as little as $0.01 - $0.02 all the way up to high stakes games and everything in between. At brick and mortar casinos limits of $2-4 or $3-6 are likely to be the smallest game you’ll find. You don’t need a big bankroll to play on the internet.


6. Play multiple tables simultaneously. On the internet it is easy to play in two or more games at the same time. All it takes is a mouse click to move from one table to another. You can’t do that anywhere else.


7. Lots of tournaments. Most internet poker sites offer a wide variety of poker tournaments. You can find single table (sit and go), multi-table, limit or no-limit, re-buy, no re-buy, just about anything you are looking for. You may also find free, low buy in, guaranteed prize pools, money added tournaments that you won’t find anywhere else. Dream of playing in the WSOP or a WPT event? You may find series of qualifying tournaments for them with initial buy-ins as little as a few dollars.


8. Low rake - no tipping. Granted, if you are playing at home there is no rake or tipping. But, play in a casino, especially in a low limit game and the rake will likely be at least 10%. Then, when you win there is the dealer’s tip. Those costs significantly eat into your winnings and increase your losses. With an internet game the rake at a low limit table is usually no more than 5% and is commonly capped at a maximum. Often times, the higher the limits, the less percentage rake you’ll pay. Plus, there is no dealer to tip. More money stays in your pocket. You win more and play longer.


9. Custom pick your table & opponents. The quality and style of your competition is a big factor in your long term prospects of winning or losing. Before you are seated in a casino, you have absolutely no information about the people you will be playing against. You don’t know if the table is loose, tight, passive or aggressive. You don’t know if you will feel comfortable with the play or not and you may or may not have an opportunity to get a table change. With internet play you can see statistical information about each table before you join. You will know the percentage of players who see the flop to determine if the players are loose or tight. You will know the average pot size, which will give you an indication if the play is passive or aggressive. With this information you can select a table that suits your comfort level. And, after playing for a little while , if you don’t like it you can easily switch tables.


10. Gain experience at low cost. It costs money to learn how to play poker. New and inexperienced players typically lose money. With internet play you can minimize the cost of learning to play by starting with ultra-low limit tables. Many sites also have free no money games. When you gain more experience and confidence and become a winning player you can move up to higher stakes if you wish.


11. Bring help right to the table. This is something that it is impossible to do anywhere but the internet. If you are not sure of the hands you should play or the positions you should play them, just open a book or chart. If you are just learning, have a friend sit with you as a coach. Take or read notes about your own or the other players’ play. Use an on-line odds calculator to help you. Do you think more clearly by talking something out? Go ahead, none of the other players can hear you.


12. It’s easy to get started. Registering and downloading the software for internet play is quick and easy. At some sites, you don’t even have to download to play, you can use “flash” versions that will have you playing within seconds. Some site features may only be available with the downloadable version, however.


All gaming, including internet gaming, may be illegal in your jurisdiction and always involves the risk of monetary loss. It is each individual's obligation and responsibility to fully understand and accept all the associated risks and to make certain it is legal and safe to play. Check your local laws or consult with legal counsel before attempting to play.