Online Poker - What is Online Poker?

Online poker has some differences to land-based poker, but the rules and play are very similar. Poker beginners have the chance to learn poker online.

Definition of Poker

Wikipedia defines poker as "A popular type of card game in which players gamble on the superior value of the card combination ("hand") in their possession, by placing a bet into a central pot. The winner is the one who holds the hand with the highest value according to an established hand rankings hierarchy, or otherwise the player who remains "in the hand" after all the others have folded (the player who makes an un-called bet."

What is Online Poker?

Online poker is the same game that is defined above, however, it is not played in land-based casinos and poker rooms, but on the Internet. Internet poker has become very popular, with players from all over the world playing together while they sit at home on their own computers. One of the major differences between land-based poker and Internet poker is that players do not sit face to face around a table when playing. Some online poker rooms are now operated by live dealers. In these cases, players "sit" around a virtual poker table, while a person, rather than a computer, deals the cards, which are transmitted via the Internet to the players. Some live dealer games will have webcams set up in order for players to see the dealer, and possibly the other players.

Advantages of Online Poker

Players who are new to the game may wish to practice before playing for real money. This can be done in online poker rooms by playing any free games that are offered. Many online poker rooms also offer poker tutorials and tips for new players, and players wishing to hone their skills. Land-based poker games, on the other hand, do not offer free games, tutorials, or tips for their players. Players playing in land-based poker games are expected to learn the game before joining in the fun.

Differences Between Land-Based and Online Poker

Because players usually cannot see each other's reactions in online poker, the game is played with a focus on betting patterns, speed of play, reaction time, looking at the opponents' flop/fold percentages, and online chats that players take part in. In land-based poker, players will spend much time on the art of reading their opponents in order to make important decisions for their game. Players who have mostly played in land-based poker games may take some time to adapt to the slightly different focus of online poker games.

The speed of play in online games if much faster than that of land-based poker games. Land-based games are likely to complete around thirty poker hands each hour, with time needed to count chips, and to shuffle, deal and collect the cards. Online poker games do not have these same delays and players may find that they are in a game that completes around ninety to a hundred poker hands every hour. One of the reasons for faster online poker playing is that players can choose to use an auto-action button, which means that they have already selected their play before their turn comes around, and their pre-selected turn will take place without delay.