There are many differences between online poker, casino poker, and home games. In a home game you might just play strictly with cash. It can make you stop and think before you call a $15 raise and have to physically put three more $5 bills into a pot just to see one card that may not even help your hand. In real life at the casino and sometimes at a home game, you usually have to buy chips with real hard cash. There is a certain shift that occurs when this happens.
It is psychologically easier to throw three $5 chips into a pot than three $5 bills. Chips make counting and stacking a lot easier but they also disassociate you from real hard cash. Real money can once again become clear for a brief time as soon as you have to buy more chips with real hard cash. It always makes you think when you have to reach into your pocket or purse and grab your wallet.
In an online casino, its usually just a matter of using a credit card or sending a money order/wire transfer to the online casino to get your virtual bankroll started. There are no real chips, just icons that represent chips, which are in fact virtual numbers. You must have an even greater discipline to respect your money in this scenario.
In fact, you dont even have to push the chips onto the table to make a bet, call a raise, etc. etc. All you do is click a mouse button and youre done. It can be done so fast that if you dont take a breath; its easy to have your judgment thrown off by emotion.
Your play is magnified on an internet casino. One main reason is that the cards and hands are played so much faster. There is very little physical movement, as all you have to do is point and click the mouse. It literally takes seconds. In real life there is the physical motion of picking chips up, counting chips, and placing them in the appropriate place.
This all takes additional time and fortunately can help you when having to make a decision. There is no real dealer in online poker other than an icon representing a dealer. That means no tipping. At a $1 or $2 tip per win, this can save your bankroll a lot of money.
The rake still exists and actually varies depending on the online casino you choose to play at. The rake should be considered because after all said and done if you break-even while playing, the rake would eventually take all of your money over time.
When there is a rake involved in poker it is your responsibility to find and play with players that you are better than. A home game is the only exception as there typically is no rake. If youre in a heads up game online and your opponent is almost equal to you in playing ability, then you are both going to break even most of the time with each other, and find your bankroll slipping away to the houses rake.
On average, an online poker game will move three times as fast as a real casino. That means your weaknesses will be magnified three times. That means the rake is three times as much. Of course youre still getting three times as many hands for your money. For some players however, this can be catastrophic. What seems like hours for someone to call a raise may in reality only take seconds in online poker.
Its so easy to get used to this faster type of play, that you can easily lose perspective on the real amount of time passed. To go to a real casino takes planning. For some of you it might entail a flight, for others a lengthy drive. The time that it takes to get to the casino can be very helpful for your mindset because it psychologically forces to give you time to prepare.
In an online casino, you can play it right in your own home. What might take an hour or so to get to the local casino or a day or so for some of you, others can get into a Holdem game online for real money in one minute or less. You dont have to shower and shave or change your clothes. You simply have to click a few buttons and youre ready to play. There may be no transition of mind set at all.
If youre in a bad mood or good mood, happy or sad, you will most likely stay in that mood while you are playing until you have time to adjust. If its a mood problem, it might cost you an arm and a leg during that transition.
In essence it’s a good idea to pump and psyche yourself up. Its one way many successful players mentally prepare for poker. Personal problems will definitely affects your game and not in a good way.
Stay tuned for more proven poker tips in this multi-part article series. You too can become a very successful online poker player.