You’re torn. You’re nervous about trying something new, but you love to play poker. You don’t want the hassle of getting a bunch of your poker-playing friends together and you live miles away from the nearest land-based casino. Obviously the first advantage of an online casino is a no-brainer. Convenience. You can play whenever you want. So if you’re up at two in the morning and itching for a game, sit down in front of your computer and after a few clicks you’re off and running. You don’t have to get dressed or wash or shave; play in your pajamas, no one can see you. (Be sure to turn off the webcam if you want your privacy.)
Second. Some casinos offer low-bet poker games. Would you believe two-cent bets? You can even find no-bet or free games. I only recommend these for beginners and advise you not to spend a lot of time playing for free or low-bet games. Why? These games are not real life situations. If there’s little or no money involved, why fold? Just keep on playing and hope to make that monster hand. You haven’t got much to lose. If you’re a real newcomer to playing poker, then certainly practice at the free games, but bear in mind you will be playing a different game with different strategy at the for-money tables.
Third. If you choose the right online casino you will be able to play different kinds of poker and different casino games altogether. Had enough Texas Hold’em? Click, click, click and you’re playing seven-card stud. If your head is aching from focusing on poker, take a break and try your luck at baccarat.
Fourth. Environment. Playing online can have fewer distractions. No background noise. No waitresses disrupting your concentration by offering you drinks. No dealer or other players attempting to chit-chat with you. No big screen TV with your favorite team struggling to win the big game. When you fold a hand, don’t take a break because study time begins. Do some detective work and observe your opponents. Are they frequent folders? Do they bluff often or never? Do they raise on mediocre hands? This valuable information is up for grabs; don’t waste time.
And fifth. After you become good at online poker, you can play more than one game at a time. If you turn into a poker junkie, go for it.
Finally you’ve earned a bonus for reading this far. Here is one disadvantage of playing online versus land-based casinos. You can’t capitalize on “tells” online. What’s a tell? A tell is something a player does that gives away what he’s holding. For example, suppose you notice a player always smiles when he has a winning hand. This could be very valuable information. However, be careful. Good players may fake tells to throw you off. Doyle Brunson attributes a lot of his success at the poker table to his ability to read faces, but then he competes at the brick-and-mortar casinos.
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By Joseph Starr
Joseph Starr (pen name) completed his formal education when he earned a Ph.D. in Finance and Accounting. He taught business, economics, and computer subjects at the college level for thirty years and is now retired. Visit his website http://allaboutcasinogambling.com to read all about popular casino games and strategies.