With the growth of online poker, much can be written comparing the experience of online poker to that of a real card room. If you have tried one venue and not the other, or must decide in which venue to begin, here are some general considerations.
Much lower limit games exist online than are found in a real card room. You can start your real-money poker career online much cheaper than in a real card room. It is possible to find $0.25-0.50 Hold’em games online, whereas stakes that low would never produce enough profit for the house in a real card room (the lowest limit games found in real card rooms are usually $2-$4.
Online play has much less overhead than a real card room. As a result, it is easier to be more selective about the games you choose to join. If you go to a real card room, you must incur the travel expenses. For many people, the travel is out-of-town with expenditures required for airline, taxis, dining, and overnight stay. Even if you live close to a real card room, it costs money to drive your car and park. At the tables, waitresses will provide drinks and snacks, for which they expect a tip. Dealers also expect a tip from each pot that you win. All of these expenses are in addition to the rake the casino takes for conducting the game. To profit from play in a real card room, all of these expenditures constitute overhead that must be paid from your winnings before a profit is realized.
Psychologically, overhead makes it difficult to be selective with the games in which you choose to compete. All poker books stress the need for choosing the right game, one that is within your betting limits and populated with enough poor players to be profitable. Much has been written on choosing the right seat at the right game. But suppose after spending substantial time and money getting to a card room, you can’t find an ideal seat at a good game. Naturally, you will play in the available seat in whatever game is underway.
Another feature of online play is the impossibility of violating conduct rules during play. You cannot act out of turn, place string bets, see other player’s cards, show your cards to others, or squirrel money away unseen in a table-stakes game. The software rigidly enforces the rules of the game and precisely displays all the game parameters. At all times, you know precisely the number of active players, how much money each has, and how much money is in the pot.
In the privacy of your home, you can have poker charts and tables open to aid in your decision-making, and make Judi Online notes as you play. It is easy to know the exact pot odds (a concept that will be discussed in the next chapter) when you bet because the exact amount in the pot is displayed and you can tape a chart on odds from this book above your computer screen. When online, there is no one blowing smoke in your face, an uncomfortable distraction to many. If you do smoke, no one will complain or ask you to move.