Difference between Internet Poker and a live game
As a poker player, you have two standard options for playing for real money – an internet poker room , or live poker at a land-based casino. There are advantages and differences with both, and we’ll go over some of them here.
By far the biggest advantage to playing internet poker is the convenience – even if you only have a little time to kill, you can still get in a game in front of your computer, from the comfort of your own home. If you were to travel to a casino, even if you live very near to one, it would likely take you more than an hour just to get there!
Another advantage is the variety and scope of available poker games.. If you’re a fairly new player and not yet confident in your abilities, you can always find a game with stakes as small as $0.05. Stakes like that are just not possible at a casino. And any poker room, even a smaller one, will have many more players than a casino, covering the whole spectrum of experience and ability level.
Most poker rooms offer, at a minimum, Texas Hold ‘Em, Omaha and 5 and/or 7 card stud. Many others offer other, less common variations such as RAZZ or H.O.R.S.E
If you’re a more serious player, you can also multi-table at an internet poker room, playing as many hands as you can keep track of. At a casino, you can only play one hand at a time. Also, most online poker software has tools available to help you track your games, including hand history and note taking functions.
Rakeback & Incentives
One of the biggest differences between internet vs. live poker is rakeback. When you play online, you can often get rakeback, usually through a VIP or points system.
What is rakeback? Poker rooms charge a fee that is roughly equal to 3-5% of each pot, with a cap of about $3 at the highest limits. This fee is known as the “rake” and is how poker rooms make their money. There is also a rake on tournaments, with the majority of the buy in going into the pool, and a small fee going to the poker site.
With rakeback, you can get a percentage of these fees returned to you (typically 25-35%). But you will also be awarded player points as you participate in those games. Those points can later be redeemed for real money. The amount you can earn back will depend on the stakes and number of hands you play. The bottom line is, the more you rake, the more you can get back.
While live casinos don’t offer rakeback per se, they do offer other bonus and VIP programs, usually in the form of comps – free food, drinks and rooms depending on the amount you play.
The bottom line? Internet gaming rooms may not offer the same experience as casinos, but the convenience, variety and flexibility is hard to beat. Especially because of the great variety of poker games, we recommend Party Poker. They are one of the most reliable and reputable poker websites out there. If you do like a live poker game, you will find lots and lots of online satellite tournaments there. Through those tournaments, you can qualify for great live poker events like the EPT or even the WSOP!
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