Poker is a card game where players bet on the outcome of hands. The game rewards actual skill unlike slot machines and the lottery, is easy to learn and can be played for low stakes or even for free from the comfort of your home.
Online poker takes this concept and cranks it up a few notches. Players can play for the smallest stakes imaginable (literally pennies) or compete for satellite entries into the biggest live tournaments in the world. The game is played on special software that can be downloaded or can run in a browser.
The software can include a variety of tools for the player including a hand database that saves, sorts and recalls all your online poker hands. It can also scan active tables for known players and display their previous statistics next to their name (a heads up display or HUD). There are even odds, EV, and variance calculators available that will help you analyze your past plays and identify mistakes.
Another advantage is the ability to play more tables simultaneously. This is not possible in a brick and mortar casino as each table limits the number of people who can play at one time. In fact, some players may even be able to play at multiple sites at the same time and view them each in a separate window on their computer screen. This allows players to maximize their potential profit. Of course, the faster pace of play can also artificially inflate your variance and make it seem like you’re getting more bad beats than you would if you played in a live casino for the same amount of time.