The game of poker is much easier to play today than ever before. An important reason for this is the widespread adoption of online poker. Once a niche market, online poker has become a multi-billion dollar industry, with millions of players worldwide taking part in cash games and tournaments. Greater accessibility, flexibility and variety and more training options are just some of the advantages of playing poker online. Live poker will always have its place, of course, but if you’re looking for a hassle-free way to raise your game, online is definitely the way to go. Let’s take a closer look at why.
Ease of access is one of the primary drivers behind the growth of online poker. One of the biggest barriers to entry in poker historically has been money. In plain words, it generally takes a great deal of money to play live poker. Not only do you require a substantial bankroll to compete at a professional level, but travel costs and accommodation fees also take their toll. None of this applies to playing online poker. There’s no need to pay for hotels, planes, trains and automobiles when you can join online poker tournaments from anywhere in the world on your laptop, tablet or phone. As regards money, online poker can accommodate every player, from the micro-stakes level all the way up to the highest-stakes No-Limit Hold ’em events.
Flexibility is a big game changer when it comes to online poker. The ability to join a table any time you choose means you can fit the game into your schedule rather than the other way around. It’s up to you what to wear, where and when to play, and who to play with. Apart from the convenience, this makes it easier to improve. You have to play a great many hands to get good at the game, which is hard to do if you only play live poker.
With online poker, you can get a few hands in any time your schedule permits. It all adds up. The more you practice poker online, the quicker you’ll improve. This flexibility also makes it easier to make a living from poker. Granted, the majority of players aren’t at the level where they can do that, but it’s largely a matter of dedication. If a player has the necessary discipline and commitment, at some point, they can make the leap. There are plenty of low-stakes players all over the world grinding a living the way that suits them best.
An abundance of options awaits the poker player online. Live poker players aren’t quite as fortunate. Multi-tabling, for instance, is physically impossible to do live, but the skilled online player can multi-table with ease, finding soft targets and getting paid. In fact, multi-table tournaments (MTTs) are one of the most popular poker event types today. Cash games and sit-and-gos are also always available.
The variety of games on offer online is exceptional too. Texas Hold’em is the standard, but why not take things to a higher level with Omaha or revisit the more traditional form of Seven Card Stud? Different betting structures are also available, so you can experiment with the different styles of play required to be successful in fixed-limit, no-limit and pot-limit games.
The shift to online gaming has had a massive impact on poker training. Quite simply, it’s much easier to get access to high-quality training than ever before. Specialist poker training sites offer courses ranging from free tutorials for the uninitiated to premium educational content aimed at the more serious player, often in association with poker superstars such as Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Fedor Holz and Daniel “Kid Poker” Negreanu.
Taking things to a higher level, poker tools such as poker trackers, HUDs (Head Up Displays) and equity analysis software allow you to study your hands, understand your leaks and fix them, learn how to do math and equity analysis and improve your game overall.
Now that you know how easy it is to practice poker online, here are the first steps toward successful online play. First, create a play zone that’s free from distractions. It’s not ideal to play poker in the same room as you watch TV and play video games. An ergonomic chair and a high-performance laptop are also good to have.
Next, identify a trustworthy poker site and start playing low-stakes poker so you can get used to the software, adjust to the faster pace of online play (especially the time-bank feature) and learn how to exercise good bankroll management without putting too much at stake. Play single tables at first and start adding tables when you can win consistently on one table. Use the software tools present on most poker sites to your advantage, especially the note-taking and color-coding functions.
Keeping tabs on your opponents helps you to remember how to play them when you encounter them again, and tagging them according to their strengths or weaknesses helps with table selection. If a bunch of players you’ve tagged as “good” are at a table together, you might want to avoid them! After that, it’s largely a question of dedication to the game.
Practice Poker Online at BetMGM
Accessibility, flexibility, variety and training all come together at BetMGM’s poker site. Register to play cash games with all types of stakes and join poker tournaments with buy-ins to suit every budget, including free rolls. Play poker online with friends anytime, anywhere on mobile or desktop and enjoy a range of poker variants, including limit, no-limit and pot-limit Texas Hold’em, Omaha and Seven Card Stud. If this is your first time playing poker online, our handy guides will clue you in on what you need to know to get started. Get your poker hand in at BetMGM!