If you ever get enough of playing against a machine, or tire of playing games where the house has a built-in advantage, take a waltz into one of the growing number of online poker rooms.
Whether you are a novice or a seasoned pro doesn’t matter. You can find “play money” tables and spend your time learning the rules, chatting away with fellow players, or acquiring fortunes in monopoly money. In fact, just sitting in and gauging the competition is fantastic fun. And none of the poker lessons cost more than the time you spent playing.
To me, that’s awesome!
Of course, if you ARE a seasoned pro, you should be happy to hear that when I walked into Planet Poker tonight I found nearly 500 people playing, with well over a million dollars on the tables. On a Wednesday night. Needless to say, I was impressed. There are tons of people playing everything from $.50 ante to games where the pots average in the hundreds.
Online poker rooms take advantage of the fact that everyone is using computers to keep track of everything. This comes in handy with “anti-collusion” software that detects cheaters and removes them from the rooms forever. In fact, because every card in every hand is tracked, any type of cheating is easier to detect in an online poker room.
It also allows the rooms to put several interesting bonus programs in place. Some poker rooms offer daily bonuses for best hand of the day, and what they call Bad Beats. For instance, at The Poker Club, if you lose with a good enough hand, everyone at the table can take home a piece of a progressive bonus pie. See their site for details.
After stopping at several of the top poker rooms, I found tables where you could play:
- Texas Hold’em – one of the most popular poker games going
- 7 Card Stud – a classic stud poker game
- 7 Card Stud Hi-Low – the pot is split between the best and worst hands at the table
- Razz – basically 7 card stud where the lowest hand wins
- Omaha – a variation of Texas Hold’em with more hole cards
- Omaha Hi-Low – split the pot between the best and worst hands
- 5 Card Draw – the traditional poker game
- Draw Low – 5 Card Draw, low hand wins
- 5 Card Stud – Stud poker where a pair can win it for you
In case you don’t know the rules or finer points of any of the games, the sites are quite helpful with complete sets of rules and playing strategies. You can also enter a room and just watch! See who bets and when, watch how the hand goes, and get a feel for the action of a new game without ever having to sit down.
Online poker rooms are a great way to learn about the games of poker. They are a great way to have fun without having to leave your own home. And they are a fantastic way to compete, testing your skills against those of players from around the world.