With so much free poker content available on YouTube and Twitch showing other people play, it’s no surprise that new players are finding themselves drawn to poker. The only problem is actually playing.

Whether you live far away from a live casino, or you don’t yet have the confidence to sit down in a live game, not being able to play poker when you want to can be very frustrating. This is particularly true for those of you who also live in countries where real money online poker isn’t available.

If online poker sites are available to you, however, then there are plenty of advantages to firing up a game on your computer, phone or tablet device.

Here are just some of the benefits of online poker.

COMFORT

First of all, many live poker rooms have dress codes, whereas online poker allows you to play in your pyjamas if that’s your thing.

Also, you needn’t sit up at a desk like you’re ‘working’ if that doesn’t appeal to you. Shaun Deeb, for example, has won countless online poker tournaments from a laptop whilst sitting on his couch. Charlie Carrel even won the SCOOP Main Event for $1.2M from a coffee shop.

So go ahead. Get comfortable before you fire up your next online session.

NO COMMUTE

There’s nothing more frustrating than driving for an hour to get to your local brick and mortar card room, only to find the cash game tables are full and there are ten players on the waiting list. You’ve made all that effort to get there, you at least want to play a little before heading home.

This just isn’t an issue with online poker. There’s no travel needed (unless you’re somewhere without internet, of course), so the only commute you’ll need to make is going to the bathroom on your breaks.

MORE HANDS

Online poker also allows you to play far more hands than a live poker game will. There’s a reason they say the online generation got so good so quickly; they were able to play more hands in a year than a grizzled veteran had played in their whole life, even in play money games.

With time banks for every decision, an online poker hand will never take too long. At the poker table, however, serial tanking can become irritating, prompting players to continually call the clock. Playing hands you really shouldn’t be playing out of sheer boredom is never a good strategy.

Randy “nanonoko” Lew is one example of a multi-table wizard

FRIENDLY GAME

In live games, we don’t get to choose is sat at our table. That could mean you find yourself playing against someone you think is much better than you. It could also mean having to tolerate someone you don’t like.

In PokerStars Home Games, you can keep things friendly. Invite all of your mates to join you online for a game once a week and choose the stakes and format you’d like to play.

MULTI-TABLE

Not only can you play more hands, but you can also play more tables online too. Multi-tabling allows online poker players to play more games at once, thus reducing their variance in the long run.

Let’s say you’re playing online poker tournaments, for example. Playing only one tournament and putting all of your eggs in one basket makes it more disappointing if you bust. If you have other tournament runs still going then you’re still in with a shot of winning big.

GAME VARIETY

Maybe No Limit Texas Hold’em isn’t your thing, and you’d rather play different games. Well, unless you’re in Las Vegas or certain other specialist live poker rooms, it’s going to be very hard for you to find a game as most poker rooms have limited games running.

This isn’t the case in online poker. You can play whatever game you wish, so fire up a few 8-game tables and get in the mix.

AROUND THE CLOCK

The beauty of online poker is that it runs around the clock, so whatever time you choose to play, you’ll be able to find a game. You’ll also be able to play with people around the world from the comfort of your own home.

So when you finish your session at 4am, there’s no need to drive home. Just head upstairs to bed.

If you’re looking to plan your online poker schedule, check out five of the best online tournaments running throughout the week.

NO LIVE TELLS

Arguably one of the main reasons that people avoid live poker is because they’re uncomfortable with other people looking at them during a hand. Maybe when you get nervous your hand starts to shake, or you have a hard time controlling your breathing under pressure.

Christoph Vogelsang is known for covering himself during live play

Here’s the good news: when you’re playing online poker, nobody can see you. If you hit your straight on the turn or find a miracle card on the river, and you want to fist-pump the air in celebration, go ahead.

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Jack Stanton is a freelance writer specialising in poker.

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