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ONLINE POKER: WORTH PLAYING?

By Charles Hopkins Published 03/13/2006 | Games

Whats poker? No sniggering, were serious here. If you havent played live poker ever, it makes sense to know what it is before you try online poker. So here is a dictionary definition: Poker is any of several card games in which a player bets that the value of his or her hand is greater than that of the hands held by others, and each subsequent player must either equal or raise the bet or drop out. The player holding the highest hand at the end of the betting wins the pot. That is a very basic summary, but the rules for poker are generally easy and the best way to learn is by playing!

The tremendous popularity of live poker has obviously contributed to the almost equal allure of its online avatar. However, a lot of you out there, even live poker veterans, may be slightly skeptical about whether online poker is worth playing, considering its virtual nature, and the fact that you will not physically compete against your opponents.

Well, we believe that not only is online poker worth playing, it has some positive advantages over live poker. Whats more, once you have the rules at your fingertips and your strategies in place, online poker can even earn you a living. No kidding! Just ask one of the several online poker pros who have found online poker worth playing.  

Granted, it takes determination, patience and a little bit of luck, but your chances of winning actually improve if youre playing online rather than live poker, primarily because of the following factors:

‘    With live poker, you are constantly concerned about bluffing and neutralizing such giveaways as your body language. But with online poker, all you have to do is play your hand well and not worry about intimidation from other players

‘    You dont have to wait for a table. Instead you can merely hunt for a room that has a table that can accommodate you. After a few weeks of patient searching, you will be able to create your own list of profitable rooms and tables and know when and where the easier games are played

‘    You never have to cover physical distances (a trip to Vegas, for instance). All you do is walk to your PC and start playing, at any time of day or night, in your pajamas if you like! Of course, this also means zero traveling expenses and zero tips to your slick Vegas dealer.

What It Takes To Succeed At Online Poker

N     You must constantly strive to improve your game. There are several online tutorials and offline books available for both beginners and experts, and you must go over them again and again. In short, you must always continue to learn, even when away from the table

N     Most online poker professionals win their money from weaker players (called fishes or suckers), so finding a table with at least a couple of weak players is important if you want to succeed. As we say, finding the right tables will take time and effort, but will definitely prove worthwhile in the long run

N     Constantly change your style so that your betting patterns arent predictable

N     Only play with money you can afford to lose. That means allocating a poker bankroll and keeping a record of your wins and losses. But remember that online poker offers you a chance to bet with free money as well as real money.

N     Take a break from the table if you have suffered more than three two consecutive losses