Poker is the leading game in the world of modern gambling. It has only gotten bigger over the years with competitions worldwide offering huge prizes. But the biggest factor that increased its popularity has to be Online Poker. Christiansen Capital Advisors estimate that online poker revenues have increased from $82.7 million in 2001 to $2.4 billion in 2005. It is estimated that one in every four dollars gambled is gambled online.
Traditional venues where you can play poker, like casinos or poker rooms can be intimidating for players just starting out. Either they don’t like the tension of more experienced opponents staring them down at the table or just find it out of their way to travel to the nearest casino. Plus, there are not a lot of places where you can play old fashioned poker because casinos don’t really promote poker rooms. Most of it is due to the fact that they can’t properly profit from it. Even though they have a rake or a time charge, the costs of running a poker room are still very high. A lot of brick and mortar casinos often make more money by removing poker rooms and adding more slot machines in that space.
Online poker, on the other hand, is dramatically cheaper because the overhead costs are much lower. For example if they want to add another table it will not take up valuable space like it would in a traditional casino. They also allow players to play for very low sums (as low as 1 or 2 cents) and they also very often offer free-roll tournaments. These tournaments have no entry fee so they are very good at attracting beginners or less wealthy clients.
On the other hand, online venues are more vulnerable to certain types of fraud, like collusion between players. They do have collusion detection techniques though. Online poker room security employees can check the hand history of any player and watch for patterns in their style of play. This makes detecting collusion pretty easy with experience and depending on how skilled the players themselves are at not being obvious. Another thing they can do is check IP addresses in order to prevent players playing from the same house.
One of the major ways in which major online poker sites try to entice players is through tournaments which are called satellites. These types of tournaments offer winners the chance to participate in a real-life poker tournament. They also have a wide variety of poker variants available. While Texas Hold’em is obviously the crowd favourite, you can try your hand at Five Card Stud, Omaha or Razz, just to name a few.
It is stated that as of February 2010, there are around 545 online poker websites. This means that more players are playing online poker than regular poker by a large margin. At least in a legal setting that is. So there you have it, online poker is here to stay.