Playing online poker is virtually the same as playing poker with your friends at the kitchen table, except that you can play against players from around the world, or with friends that live too far away to get together on a regular basis, on a myriad of online poker sites. Perhaps you enjoy playing just for fun, using poker chips without real money involved. Online poker lets you do that. More than likely, however, you want to put some cash on the table, test your against real live poker players, whether it be small stakes or high-roller action. Online poker lets you do that, as well.
Modern technology has become so advanced that playing online poker is so realistic when compared to the real thing, many players have given up playing at brick-and-mortar casino poker rooms entirely. Why make the long drive, fighting traffic and other obstacles, then waiting for a seat to open in your preferred poker game and limits, when you can turn on your computer from the comfort of your home, choose the game and stakes you prefer, and begin playing immediately?
Online poker provides amazingly authentic graphics, with colored felt tables, multiple deck styles and flawless engineering that guarantees 100% accurate game play. No more wondering if your opponent is hiding cards up his sleeves, or short-changing the pot on a bet. Computerized poker play and updated anti-hacking software updates from the rooms themselves have evolved so much that nearly all possible forms of cheating – with the exception of collusion – are a thing of the past.
From the strategic poker players stand point, online poker presents a much better opportunity than a real table game. Can you walk into a casino and ask what poker table has the highest ‘viewed flop percentage’? Certainly not. How about the average pot size or hands played per hour? No way. To gather such information, a player would have to sit and watch the progress of a poker game for a significant length of time and calculate these factors himself. Online poker rooms, on the other hand, provide this information directly from the lobby, giving poker players the full advantage of strategic choices.
So what about online poker tournaments; how do they compare to real sit-down poker tournaments? Playing in an online poker tournament presents numerous advantages. For starters, you can play from home, avoiding the traffic and deadlines to register and enter the tournament on time. Secondly, casino-based poker tournaments are set on a strict schedule and only attract a limited number of players.
Online poker rooms can bring in thousands of players from around the globe, increasing the challenge and profitability of each tournament. An online poker room runs 24/7, never closing their doors; therefore the tournaments run 24/7 as well. Can’t sleep? Go ahead, crawl out of bed at 3a.m. and check your favorite online poker room – there’s plenty of tournament action ongoing no matter what time it is.
Here’s the biggest question – is it safe to play at an online poker room? Especially after Black Friday back in April, 2011, the landscape of online poker has changed dramatically. However, from a trust standpoint, online poker is still one of the safest bets out there. One of the main things you’re looking out for is if online poker room is licensed and regulated. Such information should be visible directly on the front page of the online poker web site, usually by scrolling to the very bottom. Look for something like “Alderney Licensed”, “Government of Gibraltar”, “Licensed in Curacao”, etc.
This assures players that the online poker operator is following the legal guidelines in regards to security and payouts. This means your personal and financial information are secure, your deposits are going to the online poker room and all appropriate withdrawal requests will be delivered in a timely fashion. In addition, ALWAYS make sure the site has encryption and SSL certificates up to date on their software. This information is normally found on every poker website before you download any software, so keep a close eye out.
Recommended safe sites that 4Flush recommends personally are Carbon Poker, America’s Cardroom, Black Chip Poker and Bovada. These rooms are all licensed and offer the best deposit and withdrawal options for USA players and citizens abroad. We’ll be offering reviews of all these properties soon enough. In the mean time you can check out this recommended Carbon Poker review from one of our partner sites; it’s the #1 recommended site for USA players and one of the safest internationally behind powerhouses like PokerStars, 888 and PartyPoker.
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