Online poker is a card game played over the Internet that allows players to compete against real-world opponents and win cash prizes. Unlike traditional casinos and bars, players can play from anywhere in the world at a time of their choice using their computer, tablet or mobile device. The game is regulated by the state in which it is legal to play, and strict consumer protection safeguards ensure that player funds and personal information are secure.
Online Poker is a great way to test your skill level and learn new strategies. The best poker sites offer a large selection of games and tournaments, as well as generous guaranteed prize pools and bonuses for new players. Many of these websites also offer a mobile version of their software for players on the go. This makes it easy to access your account and participate in a game when you have the time.
There was a time in the not-too-distant past when the contrast between live and online poker was stark. Often, you would hear stories of “live pros” venturing online and failing miserably (with some complaining that it wasn’t “real” poker). Today, the contrast is much less stark, with many top players playing both live and online.
With new skills development resources, changes in gambling laws and regulations, and different game formats available to players, it is possible that the experiences of newly subscribed online poker players are quite different than those experienced by their counterparts over a decade ago. This could lead to differences in the length of time that players stay active, their financial commitments to the game, and their win/loss rates.
Interestingly, our sample of recent online poker players had a more concentrated distribution of countries of residence than the corresponding distribution in the LaPlante et al. (2009) study, although this may not be an indication of a trend for the overall population. We might also be able to speculate that this is related to changes in marketing tactics for the online poker industry, which are now more targeted to particular countries by virtue of sponsorship agreements and endorsement deals between poker celebrities and specific online poker rooms.
One important finding from our study is that a majority of online poker players do not withdraw any money from their accounts. This is probably a reflection of the fact that poker players tend to consider their growing bankroll a source of pride and identity as a poker player, and that they are also apt to keep their winnings for future sessions. It is also possible that some players simply do not want to spend any of their profits, especially in light of the relatively high transaction fees charged by many online poker sites for depositing and withdrawing funds. (This is known as the “bankroll effect.”) These observations suggest that the pattern of moderate and responsible poker play observed by LaPlante et al. in their (2009) study is continuing to hold true for the current generation of online poker players.