Since poker was first brought online in 1997, it has grown into a worldwide phenomenon. To such an extent that millions who would never have considered visiting a traditional casino have become regular poker players online.
To put into context just how big the online gambling world actually is, it’s estimated that the annual figure of online gambling is $72 billion, and it’s predicted that this growing sector will reach $127 billion by 2027.
While the true golden age of poker was (arguably) between 1998 and the late 2000s, it is still one of the most popular online gambling activities of all time. It’s also evolving and diversifying at an impressive pace, bringing more people on-board than ever before.
Though when you break the whole thing down to its fundamentals, there are three main reasons why online poker continues to prove so popular:
- It’s social
- It requires skill
- It’s competitive
When you think about it, there really aren’t many comparable casino games that meet these three criteria. While some people play online poker for money, others play it for the love of the game and experience. Irrespective of whether or not there is money on the line, all three of the above still apply.
This is where much of the appeal of poker lies, when compared to other casino games like slots where there’s really no skill, competitiveness or social aspect involved.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Online Poker Room
Getting to grips with online poker as a newcomer can be somewhat intimidating. With more options than ever before, it can be pretty daunting figuring out where even to start.
Let’s say you’re from the UK and completely unfamiliar with the online gambling world. What’s your move? Do you start with finding the right site? And if so, do you choose a site with the most flexible withdrawal options, a site that offers a 200% deposit bonus in the UK, or a site with 24/7 live support?
The answer is…all of the above!
But even then, this is really just a starting point. Ticking a few basic boxes is all well and good, but you ultimately need to choose a poker site that works for you. There’s no shortage of options to choose from, which in many instances is precisely where the problem lies.
Nevertheless, it becomes much easier to narrow things down if you prioritise a handful of important factors. Three of which are as follows:
#1 Your Budget and Bankroll
While there are some people that really enjoy playing poker more for the experience, the overwhelming majority are all about the money. It only tends to be when there is cash on the line that people start taking poker seriously, and the competitive element of the whole thing really hits its stride.
Time and patience are pretty much the two main ingredients for success when it comes to playing poker. But at the same time, you also need to consider exactly how much money you have available, and how much money you can afford to lose.
As with all gambling activities, poker is something that should be enjoyed exclusively with disposable funds you can do without. Every game should be entered into with the knowledge that you could quite easily walk away with nothing. Carefully consider your bankroll, make sure you’re playing with money you can afford to lose and find a poker room that suits your risk appetite.
#2 Poker Variations
This is technically an optional consideration, but is nonetheless guaranteed to bring added enjoyment into the whole experience. Depending on the poker room you choose, you could be looking at anything from just a couple of poker variations to more types of poker than you knew existed.
It’s entirely up to you which way you go, in accordance with whether you intend to branch out into other types of poker. But what is definitely worth looking into is whether or not the poker room you’re considering hosts plenty of regular tournaments.
Whether it’s your first time playing or you’re a seasoned veteran, tournaments provide a fantastic opportunity for stretching your bankroll further. They can also pave the way for incredible prizes and are often free to enter.
Ultimately, nothing matters more than enjoyment. This is why it is typically advisable to play the field and give a few poker rooms a try, before seeing what works for you.
The user experience has a tendency to differ radically from one poker room to the next. Some are visually stunning but a nightmare to navigate, whereas others aren’t particularly pretty but are a joy to work with. It’s down to you to decide what represents the ideal balance between presentation and performance, just as long as you enjoy what’s on offer.
Still, it’s also true to say that when it comes to online poker games, excitement and profitability complement each other and can’t really go without one another. Just imagine playing poker without having the option to win some money or without having those feelings of anxiousness, stress, adrenalin, and excitement all at once; the game wouldn’t be the same.
In a Nutshell…
Truth is, there’s really no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ option when it comes to choosing a poker room. That is, just as long as you open an account with an established and reputable provider, who can be counted on to deliver the goods.
In terms of the actual gameplay, it’s entirely up to you where you head and which tables you sit at. Be sure to take into account your skill level and consider carefully how much you can afford to lose. Be mindful of things like bonuses and the availability of tournaments, which can make a huge difference to the enjoyment of the whole thing.
Finally, don’t be afraid to play the field and try your luck with a whole bunch of different poker providers. Many of which have their own unique points of appeal, along with various different bonus offers to take advantage of.
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