Does Playing Real Money Online Poker Replace Physical Poker?

Online poker can complement physical poker and encourage participation rather than compete

This is a question which many people consider, and will cause concern amongst staunch believers in one form or the other. The fact is though that online poker does not need to replace playing physical poker.

In many cases online poker will actually cause an increase in the number of people playing physical poker as the internet will have allowed huge numbers to try out and fall in love with the game who otherwise would have been too afraid to walk into a casino poker room and start out as a beginner poker player. Many who have played online poker for real money will often then introduce the game to friends and relatives, thus further increasing its reach.

Online Poker Increases Awareness of Physical Poker

So rather than replacing the physical game, online poker more often than not increases the numbers of people playing poker. Those who play poker online for real money or just for fun will usually do so to complement their games of poker either with friends or family members, or when visiting a land-based casino or specific poker establishment. Playing online also allows players to practice their poker skills and sharpen up their game, for example by gaining a greater understanding of which hands to fold at the start of a Texas Hold' Em game, which they can then put to good use when playing physical poker, or indeed when playing online for real money and perhaps for larger amounts.

Come Players Will Always Prefer Physical Poker

Whilst internet poker is enjoyed by millions around the world, no matter whether they are gambling for high limits or low amounts, or indeed just playing for fun/demo money, for some there will simply be no alternative to physically holding the cards in their hand, seeing an actual stack of chips in front of them rather than a digital counter, and, most significantly of all, being able to actually see their opponent's face in front of them across the table in order to try and bluff a pot. Whilst it is possible to read an opponent's playing style and bluff successfully in online poker, it is far easier and a much more significant factor of the game when you can actually see them and detect their subconscious mannerisms or "tells" that give away the strength of their hand or their likely course of action. For many poker players, not having this element of the game makes it almost unrecognisable and removes a large percentage of their enjoyment, so much so that for some online poker is simply not enjoyable for them.


Wherever you sit on the debate between the differences of online poker and physical poker, there is no doubt that for many the ability to play poker on the internet has been a tremendous advancement and reason for them taking up such an enjoyable pasttime in the first place, and that it is a healthy and booming industry with little sign of slowing down.