Online Poker: A Bigger Industry Than I Ever Imagined

I was amazed when I found out from two different people I know that they both play online poker.  One was my sister-in-law’s boyfriend and the other was a guy at work.  I would have never guessed that these were poker players.  I don’t know what image I had, but I guess I realized that there are probably a lot more people who play poker online than I had realized.

I don’t get the impression that either of these guys plays irresponsibly.  Still, it stoked some interest on my part.  Not in playing, but in finding out more about those that do play.

One site I saw said that over ten million people in Americans play or have played online poker.  Wow!  Now that’s a big industry and I’m sure there are tens of millions of dollars flowing through it.

So, what are some things to remember when it comes to playing online poker smartly?  Here are a few tips:

  1. Set limits– If you decide to play poker online, set limits on how much you will spend.  Just like at a casino.  Stick to those limits no matter how tempting it might be to go over them if you’re having fun or if you think your luck is just turning around.  It probably isn’t!

    Poker by Images_of_Money
  2. Play sober – Casinos in Vegas provide free drinks for a reason, because they know they’ll get the money back on the drinks and then some.  I’d venture to guess that online poker sites see peak times that coincide when people get out of the bar.  Don’t fall into this trap.
  3. Find reputable sites – Because the online poker industry isn’t strictly regulated, the opportunity for scams is pretty high.  Use a list of online poker rankings to research where you might want to play and understand what you’re getting into and what to expect.
  4. Don’t leave your money tied up – I read a news story last year where the government temporarily shut down access to a bunch of sites, during which time any funds that were deposited were also unavailable.  I believe the situation was resolved fairly quickly, but if anybody had any immediate need for that money, they could have been in a lurch.  Keep any balance to a minimum.
  5. Don’t force it – If it’s not working, it’s not working.  If the cards aren’t going your way, shut it down and try again a different time.

Who do you know that plays online poker?  If you don’t think anybody in your family, friends, or co-workers does, think again.  You might be surprised!