Technology and the advent of sophisticated software have led to an explosion of the online gaming industry.
Poker, in particular, has proved to be particularly popular. Successful online games are designed to make it user friendly and often include lessons and free money to those just learning the game. There are three primary differing types of interfaces. Either they must download software or interface with a casino; and play on their site. Some sites also offer the ability to play “live” online, allowing players to hear and talk with one another.
To initiate play, one must register and often put down an initial deposit. Sites differ on payment plans, but most offer payment either via credit card or wired monthly transfer. The player must take care to read all terms and conditions. Terms and are different on every single gaming website; so become aware of the rules of each. Additionally it’s critical to have a clear understanding of all terms & conditions can help identify illegal or fraudulent sites.
Definitions vary as what constitutes a professional poker player versus a amateur players. Many times players will identify the majority of a player’s bills are paid via poker playing. Outsiders viewing the poker industry have identified responsibilities vary and one may be living in their parent’s basement owing a minimal amount of money while others have a mortgage. Some define a professional player as playing in large tournaments. Some industry professionals point to the evidence that some may win a few large tournaments over a long period of time versus other players playing multiple tournaments in a short period. Some analysts look to define the difference between a professional poker player and that of a “celebrity” poker player.
Studies do show that males (versus females) are more likely to play poker; and their average ages vary between 26 years old and 35 years old. Poker players most often play two to three times every week for one to two hours per session. On average, poker players tend to play at more than one table at a time. An interesting observation among poker players is the idea of poker gender swapping. That means that women will pretend to be men and visa versa while gaming. Many females have experienced harassment issues as well as a lack of respect. Men sometimes note that they use the fact that they often think of women as weaker players and try to use that to their betting advantage.
There are a number of ways that online poker differs from conventional poker. Bluffing and other subtle body language signals are non-factors. Some players will try to look for a competitive advantage by watching for betting patterns. There isn’t as much overhead cost of a brick and mortar building, bonuses and freebies may be greater. There is also a savings in that there is no transportation costs, beverage and food costs or tipping fees.
Both online sites and poker players must be careful to avoid fraud. Body language and/or signaling cannot be observed online. Thus, gambling sites look for collusion between players often by checking IP sites to make sure individuals are not playing in the same house. Online poker players must make educated decisions by reading all material on the individual site and checking community boards for reviews. Also, players should look to see if the site is licensed.
Online poker remains popular both in the United States and worldwide. In the U.S., itself regulation varies from state to state. The variety of games, accessibility and financial rewards remain a great draw. Additionally, there is a faster learning curve because of online lessons and the value of the offer of free money. Online poker has a very niche online following. For poker players that love it, these games are available to play all day – every day.