Online poker has exploded over the last decade with millions of hands played each year and billions of dollars’ worth of real prize money flowing into players’ bankrolls.
Despite the huge success of online poker and brands like 888 and PokerStars which have virtually become household names, many people still have a lot of misconceptions about online poker.
In this article we list the 10 most common misconceptions about online poker, so let’s get the ball rolling and bust these myths about online poker one by one.
10 – Online poker isn’t real poker
Seriously? The online gaming industry has been growing at a furious pace in the past years and news about big winnings made on the internet always generates a lot of buzz when they hit the headlines.
Online poker not only is as legitimate as the kind being played at land-based casinos, but in its short history has created overnight fortunes for millions of players worldwide. In fact, for many players online poker is the only poker they know, love and play (this goes for the USA too).
09 – Online poker isn’t safe
More scaremongering by the gambling luddites! All the major online poker operators use highly secure technology to encrypt all the data going in and out of their servers so players can rest easy at night knowing that their money and data is safe.
Just like anywhere else on the internet, how diligent you are with keeping your passwords safe and regularly changing them will impact how secure your data is. Folks, there’s no magic formula: staying safe while playing online poker all boils down to common sense!
08 – Online poker isn’t social
Whoever said that must be stuck in a time warp somewhere! The internet’s all social now and online poker has joined the party a long time ago. Players can easily invite friends, chat while their playing, even send each other gifts.
Online poker isn’t a loners game anymore, though if you don’t feel like talking to a human being you’re welcome not to. However, social has become an integral part of online poker and people make friends at the online tables like they do at the casino.
07 – You shouldn’t cash out your money
Oh no! Don’t cash out your money or the ‘Cash Curse’ will bite you. You aren’t getting any interest on your bankroll if you don’t work it, so feel free to use your money to play or cash it out whenever you please.
Like we said already (Misconception #2), there’s no funny business going on in online poker, so operators won’t try to get back at you for cashing out your money by putting you on a blacklist and having you suffer a losing streak. Where do people even get these crazy ideas?
06 – You can’t win if you can’t read your opponents
We call bullshit on that one! Poker tells might be important, but they’re certainly won’t determine who the winner of a hand will be. That and the fact that only experts will be able to read another experts’ tell, so any advantage inherent in a tell will be lost to the vast majority of players.
If you really can’t play without seeing your opponent’s mug, then sign up for an online poker service that enables you to video chat in real-time with other players. If you feel shy around cameras check out PKR, which lets you create a 3D avatar that you can customise and comes complete with tells, bells and whistles as well.
05 – Only experts win at online poker
Well, they wouldn’t be experts would they! Joking aside, anybody can win at poker because the game combines both skill and luck whether you play it online or offline.
The biggest advantage that online poker gives newbies is the ability to quickly compare other players’ stats and join tables open exclusively for people at a particular level. However, anyone can challenge an ‘expert’ and give him or her a thrashing if it’s their lucky day.
04 – You can’t win a lot of money online
Another blatant untruth about online poker! The truth is that you can play online poker at another level your budget allows you to. You can find hands playing for cents all the way up to hundreds of dollars.
Versatility and flexibility are probably the best qualities that online poker has and to which it owes most of its success into becoming the people’s online game of choice. Low-rollers, high-rollers and anyone in between, they’re all welcome to play a hand on the internet.
03 – You’ll lose more money playing online poker
There’s no reason why you should lose more money playing online poker than in a land-based casino. This common misconceptions arises primarily due to the faster pace of online poker, which means that players have the ability to play more hands per hour, or even play multiple hands at on go!
This characteristic of online poker may give the impression that players are losing more money, but really, it all depends on how disciplined a player is: how well they can track their wins and losses, and knowing the limits they should be playing within.
02 – Online poker is rigged
Oh grow up! Only cry-babies use this as an excuse when they don’t win at a poker hand. Every kind of gaming, whether online or offline, has been accused of being rigged by sore losers at some point.
Whilst fraudster exist on the internet as they do in real-life, all the major online poker operators are severely scrutinised and audited by outside firms to ensure that they provide a fair and enjoyable gaming experience to their customers. It’s definitely a topic which generates much discussion online though!
01 – Online poker is just a hobby
Not unless you want it to be. There’s a whole new generation of poker pros today who started playing online and over the years have gradually taken their game to the five or six-figure levels.
These people exist and they basically make their entire income just from hustling at online poker rooms. If you want to be an online poker pro there are plenty of people you can emulate, but if just want to let off some steam once in a while that’s perfectly acceptable as well.
Go ahead and deal yourself a poker hand after reading this article. If you do your research correctly and open up an account with a trustworthy operator not only will you play online poker safely and win good money, you’ll also receive incredible bonuses that will make you feel like a winner even before you hit the tables.