Poker keeps getting more and more popular as the years progress. It’s a game most people have probably heard of more than once in their life—whether they have played the All-American card game or not. One of the reasons why poker has gained so much popularity over the years is because it’s a card game that combines strategy and several other skills while allowing the player to gamble and potentially win a great sum of money.
Betting (and all of its various forms) is getting increasingly more and more popular throughout the world. There are all kinds of current trends that contribute to this. The United States has obviously picked up on this ongoing and growing trend.
Why Is Poker so Popular?
One of the reasons why poker is so popular (and that the same can be said for many other casino card games) is that the game provides the player with the illusion of control. Many people start to believe that they have power over whatever outcome happens to fall onto the table. More experienced players can have more of this kind of confidence.
The truth about poker (and all other card games) is always going to be that chance rules at the end of the day. Just the other day I saw a famous clip from 2016 where a player with quad aces lost to a guy who managed to hit a royal flush.
To give you some idea of how insane this is that chance and luck could come together and make this happen, the odds of one player hitting a royal flush at a full-ring table are 1 in 3,628, while the odds of hitting quads are 1 in 122. To help you realize how even more insane it is for this situation to have occurred (nevermind the fact that it occurred during the world series of poker), the odds of this specific situation (where you hit quad 8s or better and lose at a table with 6 players) are about 1 in 465,000!
It’s this kind of crazy possibility that appeals so much to even non-gamblers. I think that people see something like this on TV and are just amazed. They feel the energy of all this and want to be a part of that too. Such a rare even is sure to amaze even the most anti-gambling person in the world. Having the confidence to play a game where, even when you make all the right decisions, there’s still enough chance and luck at play to lose like this, is something that most people aspire to.
Poker Can Also Become Addicting
It’s all because of a concept called loss aversion. When a poker player loses money, the player can become obsessed with winning the lost money back, potentially winning the money back and breaking even while also running the risk of continuing to just lose more money. This is true for both online as well as live poker.
The elephant in the room in regards to the increasing rise in popularity for both online and live poker is one that the casino probably isn’t going to tell you upon walking into one to sit at the poker table. A small portion of the population is definitely susceptible to gambling addiction and probably plays a lot more poker than many of the other casual players combined. That being said, the estimated number of people who suffer from this disease is so small that it’s probably not something you should worry about, though if you do find that you have trouble walking away from the table you definitely need to talk to a therapist.
The Truth About Gambling Addiction
That being said, I would say that gambling addiction is not even comparable to alcohol addiction. Very, very few people who drink actually become alcoholics. Almost everyone can control their drinking just fine. With gambling, it’s an even smaller number of people who can get addicted because you’re not putting a substance in your body. Though it’s important to note, it’s not something the vast majority of gamblers need to worry about.
Although both online and live poker are extremely popular, we can say that playing live poker is a hell of a lot easier than playing online. Online poker is pretty self explanatory: you go to a website that features online poker and play the game online much the same way as you would at a casino. Live poker is not limited to the obvious choice of playing in a casino—you can play at a poker tournament at a buddy’s house, play with a friend, or even play with a live dealer online.
The most obvious reason why live poker is easier than online poker is because, when playing live, a player can read expressions on the other players faces or be able to see their body language. An entire book could be written on this topic alone. Instead of writing a book, I am going to quickly focus and elaborate on several reasons why live poker is easier than online poker.
1- Online Players Are Often Better Than Live Players
If you are just a beginner when it comes to playing poker, then playing in an environment at first that is easy and forgiving is great if you can find the opportunity. When I was just learning how to play the game myself, my Grandpa and I would sit at the dinner table for hours upon hours dealing hand after hand while using matches to bet instead of chips.
This gave me an opportunity to not have to worry about playing with real money, which can take away a pressure that might distract you from learning the ins and outs of the game. Playing online for the first time can be good too considering there are many sites available that feature players with a very low skill level.
With that being said, online poker can also include some of the best poker players on the face of the Earth. If someone has a very high skill level and can make a full-time living playing poker, playing online is going to be the most convenient choice for this type of player. A player who is highly skilled can play from home and save the money necessary to have to drive to a casino.
For many people, casinos aren’t necessarily the quickest drive due to live casinos only being found in a select few states across the country. Online poker is much more fast paced than playing at a casino. Fast paced can be difficult for a beginner while highly profitable for an experienced player.
When playing live poker, a player can get away with playing a loose-style or c-betting (continuation betting) often (when a player continues to play bet after bet). This can be okay and not as dangerous as if a player were to play this way online. If a player is playing loosely, experienced online players can pick up on it in a heartbeat and usually leave the over-confident beginner empty-handed.
2- Live Players Experience More Short-Term Variance
What is variance in regards to online and live poker? Variance, to put it simply, is the statistical measurement of how much a player’s results can differ from their expectations. So it’s basically how much a player is expected to win or lose during their time at the poker table.
Variance is not to be confused with how well a player can play. This has nothing to do with skill level but more of statistics and probability. A player’s skill level can indeed impact a player’s variance. So if a player is playing with an aggressive style, they know what they’re doing and are spending hours at the poker table. Then it could be said that this particular player plays the game with a high variance.
When we look at variance in live and online poker, a big thing that should be taken into consideration is how many games an experienced player has the capacity to plow through online compared to what is possible at a live poker table. Real money online poker can be way more fast-paced than live, and an experienced player can sometimes almost eliminate variance from even being in the picture. This also can eliminate the online player’s chances of having a losing month.
Poker can be a truly fun game no matter how you choose to play it. Not only can you potentially make some decent money betting with friends or at casinos, there is also ample opportunity for you to be able to do so online.
Regardless of which form of poker is easiest, both platforms can provide great practice and experience for your poker game.
If you have other reasons why live poker is easier than online poker, or maybe vice versa, then please feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments!
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...
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