The first real money online poker games were played way back in 1998. By 2010, there were around 545 registered online poker sites, although not all are made equally. As time progressed, the popularity of online poker has grown, and for good reason.
There are many advantages to playing online compared to at a brick-and-mortar casino. This article will explore what makes online poker so appealing.
One of the most immediately obvious benefits of playing poker online is the convenience. No more long drives to the nearest casino. Players who live in countries where online poker is legal can simply log on to their computer and jump straight into a game.
Online poker sites, especially international sites that attract players from multiple territories, will have games running around the clock. The tournament schedule at online sites will be jam packed with games at buy-ins that range from low to high. Cash games will also be running constantly.
This brings a level of convenience that casinos will simply never be able to offer. Unless you live on the Las Vegas Strip, even well-run local casinos will usually only have one tournament per night, with most of the action taking place at the weekends.
There’s more to this convenience than meets the eye. It’s not just about the availability of games. Many popular sites facilitate mobile gaming, allowing players to join in the action from their smartphone or tablet.
Deposits and Withdrawals
Online poker sites will usually also offer more ways to make deposits and withdrawals. Well established sites often offer crypto gambling by supporting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as deposit and withdrawals methods, along with traditional banking options.
Bodog is one site that offers crypto gambling along with other payment options. Players can even get their hands on additional bonuses by using cryptocurrencies like Litecoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin Cash, and will be subject to smaller transaction fees. Besides, using cryptocurrency negates the need for a central authority, meaning transactions can be processed in a matter of minutes, or up to 24 hours in the case of the most famous crypto, Bitcoin. This is much faster than utilizing traditional banking methods.
Traditional casinos are starting to catch up by offering players the opportunity to buy in to games using cash, debit or credit card, or sometimes a payment app. But very few are yet to offer cryptocurrency options.
Type of Games Available
This is one of the huge appeals of online poker over traditional casino poker. When it comes to online poker, there are not only more games available, but also a greater variety of games on offer.
Typically, and again unless you live in Las Vegas, you’re unlikely to find much variety at your local casino. You’ll be playing the most popular type of poker, which is Texas Hold ‘em.
This is fine for most people, most of the time. But many players like to mix it up by trying their hand (whether that is a one pair or a straight!) at variations such as Omaha, Stud and mixed games, as well as KO and PKO events. Online poker sites offer these variations as part of their regular schedule.
Not only that, but poker sites will often have formats that are unique to the online environment. The Jackpot Sit N Go on Bodog, for example, is a hyper turbo format in which the prize is randomly generated at the start of the game. This allows players to enjoy a fast format and win up to 1,000 times their buy-in.
Another example is Zone Poker. In this game, players will be moved to a different table and dealt a new hand as soon as they fold. This eliminates any need to sit around waiting for a hand to be dealt and makes the action more instant than ever before.
Players can also multi-table when playing online. This involves starting up multiple poker games at once in order to maximize the number of hands played.
Firing up two tables of Zone Poker could result in up to 700 hands of poker per hour, which is many times more than you could ever expect in a brick-and-mortar casino. At a casino, you might only expect to see 25-30 hands per hour.
Local casinos have been known to offer welcome packages that include a free bet, as well as food and drink vouchers, but they are nothing like what is available online.
There are two main reasons why online casinos offer more lucrative bonuses. First is that they have to compete and do so be incentivise players to make their first deposit and to return to the site. Second is that overheads are lower for online poker sites, and some of these savings are passed on to players in the form of bonuses and lower rake.
Typically, online poker sites will offer generous sign-up packages and welcome bonuses that can reach values of hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Online poker sites will also usually offer ongoing VIP loyalty schemes, so that the more someone plays the more they can expect to earn in bonuses. There may also be a Refer a Friend scheme, additional bonuses for using cryptocurrency, and promotions that run occasionally to give players a boost.
All in all, you can expect much more in bonuses from an online poker site than from a traditional casino.