Most poker fans nowadays, thanks to the hi-tech world we live in, were introduced to the game in its online form rather than visiting an actual bricks and mortar poker room or casino. Indeed, there are features that are specific exclusively to the online game that we would never see in the traditional setting. Some are barely relevant, but others highlight that, in some ways, these two environments are a world apart.
As someone who is not in the ‘young’ player category, my experience can be measured in decades, so it is with interest that I look at how online poker has evolved in such a progressive way. Not only was the original online poker boom a couple of decades ago responsible for increasing the popularity of the game globally, but it paved the way for enthusiasts to enjoy poker in a way that had hitherto not been possible.
I might be a little biased, but it certainly seems that online poker has so much more to offer, not least in terms of options available to players. Speed is perhaps the obvious difference, but there are other extras that are afforded online players…
The facility to play at more than one table simultaneously is one of the main attractions of online poker. Of course, it’s physically possible to run around an actual poker room and play at a couple of tables – and a friend of mine won a tournament doing exactly that! – but I wouldn’t recommend it, and not all venues would anyway allow it. But online poker is the perfect medium for such an option, and nowadays, with technological advances being as they are, we can avail ourselves of this luxury wherever we are, on all manner of devices. It’s a great way of bankroll boosting by racking up rakeback, of course, which is what YourPokerDream is all about! And the more skilled the player, the higher the earning rate.
This is a great feature of online poker, and one that has for a long time been the subject of debate. We associate the 4-colour deck – typically Red for Hearts, Blue for Diamonds, Black for Spades and Green for Clubs – with the online format but, of course, there’s nothing to stop Bricks & Mortar poker rooms also using the same in their traditional games. Yet, despite continued requests from many from the online community, casinos in the vast majority of cases prefer to continue with their tried and tested 2-colour decks. Perhaps ‘tradition’ is the key word here, and that’s understandable. Also, the point behind using a 4-colour deck is to avoid mixing up hearts with diamonds and spades with clubs, but there is arguably less reason for this mistake to be made in this context. Online poker, on the other hand, where so many play on at least two tables at the same time, and where there is limited thinking time available, leaves players far more likely, if using a traditional deck, to not differentiate between suits of the same colour, which is a recipe for disaster when contemplating flush draws, for instance!
This is a murky area because poker purists would quite understandably argue that nobody should have available to them during play software tools that help the decision-making process in one way or another. I tend to agree with this viewpoint, because such aids take away too much of the skills poker players hone and work hard at. But we don’t live in an ideal, fair world, so integrating this kind of tool into the actual software is a good way for online poker rooms to level the playing field. The pioneer in the quest to make online poker as enjoyable as possible for poker fans by providing these and other ‘extras’ is our forward-thinking partner room, GGPoker. This is essentially an irrevocable advancement and, with the genie out of the bottle, expect to see other operators follow down this path in increasing numbers.
There are, obviously, both similarities and shared elements between online and Bricks & Mortar poker environments but, if the last year or so is any indication, we can expect the differences to become more pronounced in future…