You might think that because you don’t play against other players in online poker that the game just isn’t worth playing anymore. After all, part of what makes real-world poker so exciting is that it’s as much about reading other players and maintaining your “poker face” as it is about the specific cards in your hand. How can playing against the AI behind online poker games ever come close to competing with that?
The answer, of course, is that it can’t. But that’s because it offers an entirely different playing experience that, yes, lacks the social dimension of a poker game with friends, but it has its own advantages that its real-world counterpart does not.
Online poker is designed for maximum accessibility, where you can literally pick up your phone or login to your computer and you can play as much poker as you want for however much money you want. This means that you don’t need to rely on being able to assemble enough of your friends, family and colleagues to play a friendly game of poker and it requires neither the often far commute and expensive buy-ins of playing poker at a casino.
The card game of poker itself is so enjoyable, in fact, that it’s one of the few online casino games that can be enjoyed without spending a cent. You certainly can’t say that about online slots games, no matter how colorful the virtual machine may be, and no matter how many sub-games it offers. Watching a wheel spin around and around for hours on end with no reward is pretty much just pointless. The same can be said of roulette or craps and even blackjack just doesn’t offer the same innate enjoyment as your average hand of poker.
So what is it that makes poker such a great online game? Simply put, the card game of poker itself just totally rules. It’s not a hard game to pick up but it’s a tough game to master – and that’s something that can be said about not just the best card games, but about video games, board games and even musical instruments too.
There’s plenty of luck involved and when playing against an AI, there’s always the worry that they’re fixed to work against you, but there’s also real strategy involved in winning a hand of poker. Knowing when to bet or fold; knowing whether to play that pair in your hand or try for something bigger; knowing how to maximize your bets. There’s a lot to poker and it takes real know-how and sometimes more than a bit of guts to win a hand. Even when not playing against other players.
To make things even more interesting, like the best video games, a lot of thought goes into the actual design of online poker games, especially video poker, and the graphics can be quite eye-catching. Add to that a chance to win some actual money that doesn’t just come down to chance, and it’s no wonder that when it comes to online casino games, poker soars higher than the rest.