Playing Poker Online
One of the ways that many people play poker in these modern 21st-century times is playing poker online. There are both advantages and disadvantages to playing poker online, and in this article we will attempt to explore them objectively.
Advantages of Playing Online Poker
The biggest advantage of playing online poker is the convenience factor. You can, literally, play online poker any time and any place. There is no need to get dressed up and travel to a casino. Play from the convenience of your own home, or play anywhere you have a connection to the Internet through your computer or your smart phone. The online casino makes finding a poker game a cinch.
Another advantage of online poker is the wide variety of poker games available. Unlike a regualar casino, which might have a Texas Hold'em table plus one or two other poker tables, an online casino can offer a dozen or more poker variations. Online poker players can enjoy Three-Card Poker, Bonus Pai Gow Poker, Cyberstud Poker, Poker Ride, Poker Pursuit, and many others. That's a lot of options and a lot of poker.
Finally, there is the possibility of winning a progressive jackpot when you play a progressive online poker game like Caribbean Draw Poker, Poker Ride, or Progressive Cyberstud. A progressive jackpot is a jackpot with no defined limit. It progresses — in other words, it grows bigger — every time someone plays the game until some lucky player hits a Royal Flush and wins the jackpot. Then it resets and immediately starts progressing again. The progressive poker jackpot can actually reach hundreds of thousands of dollars, and all it takes is one lucky hand to win it. Like lightning, the progressive jackpot can strike unexpectedly, but only in a good way.
And the Disadvantages
The biggest disadvantage to playing poker online is the loss of the social dimension of the poker game. Typically, about half of the action around a poker table concerns the cards and the bets. The other half concerns interaction between the poker players. Some of this is game related: players trying to psyche each other out, judgijng the strength of each other's hands, and so on. And some of it is totally social: chatting about family, jobs, hobbies, whatever.
None of this is present when you play online poker against the Random Number Generator in your computer. Some people consider this an advantage; it enables them to concentrate more efficiently on their cards and their poker strategies.
Choosing an Online Casino
Once you have decided to play online poker, you must find a good online casino to play in. You don't want a casino that is going to take your money and run, and you don't want a casino that is going to be lax about protecting your identity and your financial data. What you do want is an online casino that will not only provide the security you need, but will also pamper you a little with bonuses and promotions that make your online poker play worthwhile.
The two most important things in choosing an online casino are making sure that it is certified by eCOGRA and making sure that it is licensed by a legitimate licensing authority. eCOGRA is an independent testing and monitoring agency that confers the Safe and Fair seal to online casinos that maintain the highest standards of integrity and responsibility. Governmental licensing authorities, such as the Kahanawake Gaming Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority, subject the online casinos to stringent standards and award licenses only to those casino that comply with their strict standards regulating confidentiality of personal information, fair games, and prompt payouts. So when you arrive at an online poker casino that holds a license from Kahnawake or Malta and a Fair and Safe seal from eCOGRA, you know you are in a safe place where you can relax and enjoy a good game of poker.