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Online Poker vs. Offline poker

Wondering what is the difference between online poker and offline poker? Here’s a post that details the differences between these two variations of poker!

Poker is one of the oldest casino games highly recognized by top gamers across the world and is available both in a land-based setting and on an internet-based platform. While the former has existed for decades, the latter has taken the world by storm, given the convenience, it offers, especially to beginners.

In contrast, the brick-and-mortar setting has its own specialties, including the unique ambiance of the playhouse and the opportunity to play against actual people right in front of you. This is where you play with real chips and test your ability to read someone’s body language, and that is surely one of the tricks most expert poker players bank upon. For beginners, the online version is a relief since the physical tells are not revealed.

How Do The Tactics Differ In Online And Offline Version?

Expert players who have had enough hands-on experience in poker employ clever tactics to make the opponent uncomfortable with his moves or use fake body language to make someone fall into a trap. On the other side, the betting speed and the pattern of your opponent is the only clue you can capitalize on while playing the online version.

While this can also be done in the offline mode, mastering the concept takes real-time practice. With an option to play multiple tables simultaneously, online poker allows you to keep an eye on more than one opponent, which can be really helpful when you hit a live table at a land-based casino.

Tracking The Count

The biggest difference between the digital world and the real world is the fact that the former provides you with the privilege of tracking important information at one-click, rather than remembering everything as in the case of a live casino. You may also be presented with useful stats about your opponents, which can be really helpful in crafting a strategy for the next hand of play. You don’t have to keep asking the dealer about the number of chips or stack present, and there is little scope for overestimating the opponent’s stack.

So Which Is Better?

Here are a few contrasting points that sum up the good and bad of both versions:

  • With online poker, you are just a couple of clicks away from the world of gaming, whereas, for live poker games, you might have to purchase a membership of a reputed casino.
  • Games are available throughout the day in the online version, unlike the case with casinos, where you have to wait for a table to open up.
  • When you sign up on an online gambling site, you get welcome bonus cash to play with. Such bonuses, even if offered at a land-based casino, come in the form of complimentary food or drinks.
  • The land-based casino provides you with the real glitz and glamour of the gambling world, while the online version can be accessed from just about anywhere.
  • There is no form of distraction when you play at the comfort of your home, but the off-putting atmosphere of a real casino can make you lose your temperament.

Whether you should go for the online poker or the offline one is entirely dependent upon your level of expertise and comfort. Once you have enough confidence playing the game, you can switch either way!

One thing is true though, unless you know the tricks of the trade, it doesn’t matter which version you play. So here’s a rundown of a few simple hacks to enhance your poker skills.

Practice and play

Playing poker is just not enough to grasp the idea behind the game.  You need to practice and pay attention to the game as if you are preparing for an examination.  Unless you lose a few shorthands, you wouldn’t learn how to tackle the game. Pay heed to the process, and see how your opponents play.  Take note of each and every move, and make sure not to repeat your mistakes.  It’s very easy to get into the trap of chasing losses when you are not well versed in the game. Give yourself a little break, and see what’s going wrong. Take out all the negative moves and play again.  Repeat this process until you have good control of the game.

Use online guides and resources

There are plenty of resources available on the web that can help you improve your real-time poker skills. Scan through the Internet and single out some good video tutorials. Know your game type and build on it by referring to relevant guides. Go through the basics, and don’t try to learn too many tricks at the very onset.  If you are caught in a confusion loop, it’s hard to regain momentum.  Play the demo version and try something you learned.  Break down everything in steps and experiment accordingly to hit the right combinations.

Enroll for a poker course

Yes, you heard it right!  Nowadays we have courses for different casino table games, and it’s really helpful if you manage to find something good. It’s like expanding your knowledge about something you are excited about. Poker is not entirely based on gaming skills, but also the manner in which you beat your opponent psychologically. Take up courses that teach you how to maintain an ideal body language, and how you should judge someone’s facial expression during the real-time play.

Do some math

Winning bets at the game of poker is not purely dependent on luck. You need to decipher your own strategies to increase your odds of winning. Improving your skills is mostly about learning how to calculate the probability of an occurrence. Do a little math, and play with the numbers.  See if you are arriving at a probable number combination.  These things can only be developed by practice.  Use the trial-and-error method in the demo version to know your progress.

Learn by examples

Losing bets at poker is a good thing, until the time you learn something new from every defeat.  Your opponent teaches you a lot of things; in the way that they are better with their moves.  Observe them carefully, and try to figure out the intricacy of the game. The more you get used to the guidelines, the easier it will be to place bets confidently. Remember, you cannot be a pro in a day, but practice always makes perfect!

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History of Casino Chips

Casino chips are one of the most iconic and recognisable items relating to casinos, although their existence came centuries after the first recorded casino even opened. Today there are two different types of chips you can find, the casino chips you find in the brick and mortar casinos and their plastic counterpart that is usually part of a home casino kit from a shop. The future of casino chips is not clear as online casinos become more popular, replacing the need for physical casino chips.

The first casino was the “Riditto” casino and it was opened in Venice back in the 17th century as the first legal gambling venue, although gamblers would use cash for nearly 200 years when playing casino games. The “Gold Rush” in the American West saw prospectors begin to use odd bits of silver and gold as replacements for cash, but with this came more problems. As poker became increasingly popular and widespread in gambling halls and saloons, paying out winnings became more confusing. It was at this point that the gambling establishments began to use pieces of bone or ivory as tokens as a more uniform token to bet with, making it easier to calculate winnings.

Unfortunately due to the use of more common materials like bone and ivory, problems had begun to arise in the gambling establishments as it was easy for people to create forgeries. In order to prevent people from creating replicas, the chips that were used started to become branded, which allowed them to be distinguished from the fakes.

It was in the 1880s that a whole new industry was born as manufacturers began to produce the standardised circular casino chip that is similar to today’s version. The early versions were clay composite chips that were compressed with shellac, chalk or sand and were used up until the 1930s. Eventually colours were incorporated into the chips to allow for different values to be easily distinguished from one another, making it easier to understand how much the players are betting on each round.

Since then the casino chips have become more modern, with the composition being made up from many different materials, usually compressed with clay. As casinos have become more prominent and become more branded, as have the casino chips, with each casino usually having their brand on their chips. The chips have also become more technologically advanced as they are likely to contain something that allows the casino identify them as one of theirs. Such identification includes the use of microchips and serial numbers and this has made them far harder to replicate and forge, so much so that they are harder to forge than official currencies.

Although most commonly associated with games of poker, casino chips can also be used in casinos for games like blackjack and roulette. The colour denominations for the different chips helps the croupier to quickly work out how much has been bet and how much needs to be paid out.

With online casinos becoming more popular, only time will tell if brick and mortar casinos with their iconic casino chips can survive.

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Manage Your Online Casino Bankroll the Right Way

Playing at the casinos, land-based or online, isn’t all about enjoyment or entertainment, but also about self-discipline and self-control especially on financial matters. Along these lines, you should know that managing your bankroll is very important so that you don’t lose all your gambling money in an instant but you can make the most out of it. So, how do you manage your bankroll better if you’re playing at online casinos?

Managing Your Online Casino Bankroll

1. Compare welcome bonuses offered by gambling sites. A bonus or free casino money, such as a welcome bonus is good, especially if you’re strapped for cash and you want to stretch your bankroll. The welcome bonus can be used in playing slots, roulette and so on.

2. Decide how much money you are going to play with. Before sitting at the tables or logging into your account, figure out how much money you are going to gamble with or play on your top pick casino games. But be realistic and honest with yourself to avoid losing all your money. Set aside gambling budget and don’t use what are allotted for paying rent or mortgage.

3. Choose games that allow you to maximize your gambling time, so you may also want to find games that have low house edge (the mathematical advantage of the casino over the player). Some examples of casino games that have lower house edge include high denomination slot machines, craps and blackjack. But of course, each game has their minimum bet required, too, so check on it as well.

4. Do not gamble on credit. One of the best ways on how you can become a responsible gambler, especially when it comes to your finances, is to avoid gambling with borrowed money like that extended by the bank. Think about the interest charged on the money. That alone can make you realize that gambling with borrowed money isn’t good at all.

5. Split your bankroll. Divide your money based on the number of sessions you would like to join in a month. By doing so, you will be able to set a daily limit on how much money you are willing to lose on that day. In the process, you can avoid the temptation of blowing your gambling money for the month at once.

6. Do not try chasing after your losses. It is one of the mistakes committed by players, veterans or novice players. While it may be natural to try recouping your losses, you might just end up losing more money in the end.

7. Know when to quit. When you have reached your limit for the day, stop playing and just come back for another session. In short, stick with your limit, win or lose, and do not go beyond it. Especially if you are having a bad streak, learn when to quit and do not spend your entire bankroll on that day, one of the most effective bankroll management techniques that every wise gambler knows.

8. Take a break from gambling from time to time. Gambling comes with emotions and you can keep them under control if you take a break, such as snack breaks. And speaking of emotions, don’t play when you’re stressed or depressed. If you do, you might not be able to practice proper self-control, especially when it comes to your bankroll. From the moment you lose self-control, you will be in more trouble of losing everything in one particular session.

Proper bankroll management does not only give you longer sessions, but also develop your self-discipline and self-control, two essential characteristics of every successful gambler, not only in terms of winning but also in regards to getting the most satisfying experience they deserve at the casinos.

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What Makes Actual Casino Chips Different?

I’m sure you are aware of the fact that there are two kinds of poker and casino chips in the world (well, actually three types if we count the virtual ones you can use to play at an online casino). There are those you can buy online or in land based shops that look and feel real, which you can use to play casino games and poker at home, among friends, and there are the ones that are destined to be used in land-based casinos and poker rooms, the ones that you can exchange for real money. As you can imagine, these have loads of extra security features to make them safe to use – and to avoid fraud of any kinds. But to really see the difference between the two, let’s take a brief look on their history.

Poker chips don’t have a very long history. Until the 19th century money was used for gambling, or any small valuable object they had at hand. During the Gold Rush small pieces of gold, nuggets and gold dust were used along with cash. Slowly the chips themselves were adapted – round pieces of clay, wood, ivory and a composition made of shellac and clay. But the industry had to wait for the late 1880s for the real poker chips to appear.

Most casino chips today are molded, made out of a combination of a series of materials – clay, sand and other earthen materials, similar in nature to cat litter. The process through which the chips are manufactured, as well as their exact composition are trade secrets well kept by the manufacturers, adding an extra layer of security to the process. The inlays – the printed graphics on the chips – is usually made of printed paper, and covered in a thin plastic film to keep it from wearing off. The inlay is applied during the molding process, and cannot be removed without destroying the chip itself.

Each casino has its unique set of chips, even if the casino itself is part of a larger group of gambling establishments. No wonder – the chips have a cash value, and they can be exchanged into real money at the casino’s cashier. The chips have several security features added to them – RFID chips or audible tags that make a Beep! when read with a specific device, high resolution graphics and unique color combinations on the inlays, not to mention UV printings and hard to reproduce manufacturer marks. Casino chips are very hard to counterfeit, but this doesn’t stop crooks from trying – in 2005 two men were caught to attempt to alter the value of a series of $1 chips to turn them into higher denominations.

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What happens to retired casino chips?

All around the world, there are different people collecting a whole selection of weird and wonderful items. For example, there are certain collectors out there who have a passion for collecting expired chips that have spent years being placed on different gaming tables for different people placing different bets. Some have been the result of massive wins, others have been colossal losses.

But all things have a shelf-life, and when batches of casino chips are taken out of circulation, they have to be disposed of. In the old days, there was no official policy on how to do this, and that’s how so many expired casino chips ended up in weird places. In order for them not to be used again, casino management used to get batches dumped in deep lakes, or mixed into the foundations of new buildings that were being constructed.

A romantic notion was that the chips in the foundations would bring the new building good luck. Others viewed it as a practical way to ensure that the chips didn’t fall into the wrong hands.

All chips only have a certain shelf-life. Photo by slgckgc
All chips only have a certain shelf-life. Photo by slgckgc

In Las Vegas, Spinetti’s Gaming Supplies is acknowledged to have one of the biggest collections of casino chips in the world. Whenever caches of expired chips turn up somewhere, Spinetti gets a call. Back in the 1990s when the Dunes Casino was demolished, construction workers discovered chips in the foundations, for example. And the same thing happened in 2007, when the New Frontier was demolished.

Spinetti’s collection is valued at around $15 million and his favourite casino chip is a Flaming chip, dating back from 1947.

Today, there are millions of people who choose to play games, such as poker, roulette, baccarat and blackjack at casinos online. There are plenty of reasons why. It’s convenient, you don’t have to leave home to play, so you have the option to play for just a few minutes and then carry on with work or whatever else you need to do, rather than devote a whole evening, weekend, or vacation to travelling and visiting land-based casinos. You can also play for free in practice mode, or get extra playing credit when you join a new casino site. But there are still plenty of land-based casinos in operation, of course, and nowadays, there’s an official disposal method for expired chips.

New legislation on the subject was introduced in 1987 and as a consequence, expired chips discoveries as outlined above will become even rarer in the future. Regulation 12 was introduced in order to reduce the risks of counterfeit chips being used in the casinos. Now, if a casino is ready to change its chips supply, it has to submit plans to the Gaming Control Board. This outlines what security ID will be used on the new chips and the method for disposing of the old chips. Generally, expired chips from casinos all go the same way these days – through a truck that has a tumbler fitted onto it. The chips are funnelled into the tumbler and are ground into dust.

In a way, this legislation is good news for chips collectors such as Spinetti – their collections will become ever more valuable!

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The difference between free chips and free cash

The world of online poker is an incredibly competitive place. It’s competitive for those of us who like to pit our wits against each other and it is even more competitive when it comes down to the casino sites and poker specialists who want us to play with them.

In many respects this is good news for grinders at all levels. Everyone is falling over themselves to offer us more and better games at levels that are especially tailored to how and when we want to play, and what sort of level we want to play at. You could say it’s a grinders’ market.

Image by mr.l

For those who are prepared to shop around, there are some obvious additional benefits to be scooped up in the form of introductory offers. So, for example, some providers offer up free bonus chips to anyone in the UK who signs up with them. On the face of it, that represents free money and you would be crazy not to take them up on the offer.

But, inevitably, there is a catch. Businesses that go around handing out free cash tend not to be in business very long. And providers and their rivals are not about to go out of business any time soon. So what is going on?

Firstly, we have to say no-one is doing anything that is not above board, straightforward and ethical. There is no sleight of hand taking place here. That is not how such reputable sites operate and nor is it in any way how they can be seen to operate.

Instead, we are entering the complex world of marketing inducements, which may not always be quite what an eager punter might imagine them to be. Remember, these guys are not in the business of simply handing over free cash.

What they are doing is boosting your bank roll whilst you are within their domain. The only catch is that the money they give you is likely to have to stay in your account. As long as ‘free’ bonus cash is tied up with your winnings, you may find it difficult to withdraw it as cash. Different sets of terms and conditions apply but unless you are going to read the Ts and Cs it is worth working on the basis that you have to earn your bonus, and your bonus has to stay within the game.

Once you have got that clear in your head, everything else is green for go. It may not be free money, but it is free chips – and that is always a useful competitive boost.

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One to Watch: Get Lucky Aiming for More than Good Fortune

Following a change to the UK’s gaming policies back in December 2014, the landscape of the industry has begun to change dramatically.

A Little Luck by JD Hancock
                A Little Luck by JD Hancock
Because of alterations in the taxation system and the way companies need to obtain a licence, a number of platforms have closed their virtual doors in recent months.

However, where there’s change there’s opportunity. There’s one operator who is ready to take full advantage of this shift and carve out a niche in the new landscape, that is Get Lucky. Despite what its name may suggest, this new slots platform is hoping to get by on a lot more than luck in the coming months.

Bringing together some of the finest jackpot slots in the industry, Get Lucky believes a three-pronged strategy will give it the edge over the competition when it comes to attracting spin fanatics.

Protection through Legislation:

The change of law in the UK may have prompted some online operators to up sticks and leave, but tougher regulations mean more protection for players. Each new operator is now required to hold a valid UK licence which means the way in which they advertise, serve and protect players is tightly regulated by the UK government. Get Lucky has been granted one of these exclusive licences and that means its random number generator, banking policies and overall interface are the safest in the industry.

Serious Earning Potential:

In addition to providing a safe gaming platform, Get Lucky has also created a profitable one. By carefully selecting the best jackpot slots in the industry, Get Lucky is able to offer more than £1 million in prize money each week. In fact, some of the site’s biggest titles, including Mega Moolah, Hall of Gods and Mega Fortune, each have jackpots in excess of £1 million with one. The former even boasts a top prize worth in excess of £5 million. Winning this sort of money isn’t possible in any other part of the casino industry and it’s the reason Get Lucky’s games are causing a stir within the gaming community.

Rewarding Loyalty:

Completing Get Lucky’s trident of value is its reward programme. Similar to systems offered in the online poker world but somewhat unique in the casino industry, this programme essentially allows users to turn points into cash. Each penny wagered contributes to a point earned and the more points a player earns the more free cash they can get access to. By visiting the Get Lucky VIP store, active users can convert their points to cash bonuses which can, in turn, be withdrawn or used to play more slots.

photo by ckaroli 
                        photo by ckaroli
Three Reasons but only One to Watch

The UK’s new gaming regime may have turned off some operators, but it’s done the opposite for Get Lucky. Through a three-step process, this online slots platform believes it can give UK users the safest, most profitable experience possible in the new gaming landscape. Every smart gambler knows that luck will ebb and flow, but if you’re skilled enough then things are more likely to go your way in the long run. This is something Get Lucky knows explicitly and the reason why it is banking on its three keys to success and why it is one to watch in 2015.

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Plastic Chips Instead of Money, or the Brief History of Poker Chips

If you have ever been to a poker club (or a land based casino for that matter) you have surely noticed that people don’t usually play with real money, but they use plastic or metallic chips instead. This is good for their business – the chips are much easier to handle than real money, there is no risk of tearing them, and they have a much longer life. But did you know that chips are a relatively new phenomenon? They have been around for barely more than a century, whereas the games they are used at are usually much older. Let’s take a look at how these pieces of plastic replaced money at the game table.

Poker chips were introduced in the 19th century – supposedly during the infamous Gold Rush – when players insisted to play not just for money, but for raw nuggets of gold and gold dust. This led to many problems when it came to paying out winnings, so saloons and gambling houses have decided to substitute money and gold with something else, easier to calculate with. Initially they used pieces of bone or ivory (whichever they could afford), and later pieces of clay with unique symbols of them, representing their monetary value.

By using chips made of materials easy to come by, there was a new problem to handle – forgery. Some kind of standardization was desperately needed, and one that would prevent crooks from using counterfeit chips to take their opponents’ (or the house’s) money. This is why companies have started to create clay composition poker chips in the late 19th century, giving birth to a whole new industry and changing the way poker and casino games are played.

Poker chips were made using a mix of materials – that included clay – between the 1880s and the 1930s. There were over one thousand designs to choose from, and different value poker chips had different colors (like they have today). Their usual shape was round, but it was also customary for the use of rectangular plaques with high values at high stakes tables. The chips currently used by casinos and poker clubs have several different materials in their composition, but a certain percentage of them is earthen material like sand, clay or chalk. The exact manufacturing process of the poker chips is a trade secret the manufacturers don’t feel comfortable divulging due to the possibility of fraud.

Chips are still used in all land-based poker rooms and casinos, but they found their way to online outlets as well – although only virtually. Today’s online casinos like to use the poker chip or casino chip as an universally recognized symbol, that looks much better than just showing a few numbers on a green background.

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Do you have what it takes to be a good poker player?

Poker, as all other sports (because poker is considered a sport nowadays, along with chess) is not for everyone. Although many consider it to be a game of chance, it is not – actually it is much more a game of skill and strategy, much like the above-mentioned chess, where making the right decision can change the outcome of any game. Good poker players need a certain set of skills to be able to perform best at the poker table – or at an online poker room, for that matter. Here are the traits that are necessary for a player to become a poker pro – if you don’t have them, you’d better stick to playing the table games at an online casino.

1. Perseverance

There are so many people today that live by the rule that “if at first you don’t succeed, it’s not for you”. This is wrong on so many levels. If players let themselves be intimidated by the inevitable losses at the beginning of their poker career there is no way for them to become professional players. I think the better way of saying this would be “If at first you don’t succeed, learn from your experience and try again”.

2. Experience

The longer one plays, the better player one becomes, or “repetitio est mater studiorum”, as the Latin proverb says. The more hands a player plays, the more he or she can rely on experience rather than thinking ahead and the faster one can adapt to the situation at hand. Experience is important in every aspect of our lives, and in poker it is one of the things that make a great player.

3. Bravery

Taking risks is important in poker. Any player reaches a point when staying in his or her comfort zone is not an option any more. Breaking out of the box, risking higher stakes and sometimes losing is the only way for players to improve after a certain point. They say it’s good to be beaten by the best, as you can learn a great deal about the game in the process.

4. Adaptability

Every game of poker is a battle fought by generals with cards in hands, each one of them using different strategies to take over their opponents and grab the prize – the money in the pot. Players with a flexible mind adapt better to the situation at hand and learn faster about the strategy used by their opponents, grabbing opportunity by its hand and winning as often as possible.

5. People reading skills

If you think poker is all about the cards, you are wrong. Reading an opponent fast and finding out how they are going to react to a situation is crucial in any poker game. Bluffing can win a game that seems lost from the beginning. Reading people’s reactions when they see their cards and the “small signs” is among the most important things at a poker table. When playing poker online, one can’t read the opponents’ faces, of course. Still, there are things to watch online as well – betting habits, that can give away the value of the player’s cards.

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Are You Looking For a Custom Poker Table Felt? – Read This

Maybe you will think that choosing a custom poker table felt is mostly done in accordance to your taste, but given the fact that you are not the only one to play at this table, you still have to consider the following aspects:

  • The location of the table. Are you going to place the table inside your home to have your guests entertained over a poker game? At this point you can stick to the color of the felt that goes with the room interior decor. If the table is for a public place, you should stick to a more standard color.
  • The type of poker that is played at the table. This is another feature to consider when choosing your custom poker table felt, because there could be different designs for each type of poker style.