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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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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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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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Buying Poker Chips: Clay, Custom, And Casino Chip Sets

If you’re in the market for poker chips, it’s a good idea to get the chip which best suits your needs. Poker chips come in varying weights and are made from different types of materials. The intended use should be the primary factor taken into consideration while making your poker chip purchase.

Poker chips come in different sizes which are measured by weight in grams. The most popular chip used in casinos is the 11.5 gram chips which are 39mm in diameter. These poker chips are used for their pleasing weight and size, plus they are not the most expensive poker chips on the block. With the amount of handling and abuse poker chips suffer, casinos would rather not shell out the extra money for the most expensive poker chips.

Actually, who could blame the casinos for wanting to reduce the costs involved in keeping an item which can be put in the players pocket and taken from the casino? Collecting poker chips is growing in popularity, so logically the amount of poker chips leaving the casino premises would also be on the rise.

If you’re in the market for a regular game night with your friends type of chip, you may want to go with a less expensive poker chip yourself. If that is the case, then you have the option of going with the low budget ABS plastic poker chip. If you’re intent is to impress your friends, or have a local charity poker night gala, then you may opt for the next step up the ladder which is the mother-of-pearl chip. The mother-of-pearl chips are also referred to as ‘plaques’.

The clay chip is next in line, and most of them are made of ABS plastic with a metal insert to give it an extra bit of weight, which makes for a more pleasant feel to the hand. Some clay poker chips are made of a ‘clay composite’, and are what is currently considered to be the top of the line in poker chips.

A new poker chip to make it on the scene is called ‘Nexgen’, which is made up of a type of clay composite material with a metal insert added to give it a weight of either 13gm or 15gm. It is yet to be seen whether this new poker chip will become the next favorite among avid poker players, or become the new choice for casinos.

You can purchase poker chips at novelty stores, online auctions, casinos and online gaming and hobby stores. Of course the price you pay for your poker chips will depend on the type of chips you choose, and the vendor. Before buying any of the higher end poker chips you should always do your research, and also ask other poker players where they purchase their poker chips.