Why Online Poker

Since the mid 1990's, online poker has become a big part of the internet gaming scene. While the industry started off small, it soon reached mammoth proportions, with some poker rooms boasting over 100,000 simultaneous players at their sites. So what is the appeal of online poker, and why do millions of players choose it over traditional casino poker?

One of the main differences between traditional and online poker is obviously the physical aspect. While casino poker is played in a brick and mortar gambling establishment, where you will probably need to travel, online poker can be accessed from practically any computer, making it extremely accessible to anyone with access to the internet. This is possibly the number one reason why players choose online poker - the fact that they can be anywhere, whether at work or their own living room - in order to play their favorite poker games.

This brings us to the second difference: The majority of land-based poker rooms offer a good range of poker games. At peak time, it may be difficult to find place at a table of your choice, leaving you to settle for second best or having to wait in order to play the poker games. By playing poker online, players search for their favorite game with the right table limits, and within seconds they are able to join a game that suits their needs. The choice factor is therefore another major difference between online and offline poker.

Brick and mortar poker rooms work along the same lines as any business with opening and closing hours, as well as specific days of the year closed. Online poker rooms, however, are usually open 24 hours a day, every single day of the year, making it easy for players to simply pop in to a poker room whenever they are in the mood and win at poker.

In a bid to attract new players and outdo the competition, online poker rooms regularly give out lucrative prizes and bonuses - something that most traditional poker rooms cannot afford to do. True, many poker rooms offer great comps in the form of free drinks and meals, but when it comes to the crunch, it seems that poker players prefer free cash and casino credits to other types of comps.

Obviously, the social factor is a huge issue when discussing the difference between traditional poker and poker online. Nothing quite beats the fun and excitement of sitting around a live table with real players, playing a good game and enjoying the comradeship at the same time. Being with live players allows you to 'read' a player better and use your bluffing techniques. Online poker allows you to play against avatars set up by other internet players, but naturally this is not the same as playing around a physical table. Also, the best you can do to understand your opponent is look out for betting patterns and try to get more information out by comments through the chat feature.

Of course, there are online poker loyalists who swear that the chat rooms are more than enough when it comes to poker socializing, and that the pros of playing online more than outweigh the cons. In the end, it all boils down to a matter of personal taste and what a player is truly looking out for in his or her poker experience.