Online poker is described as poker that is played over the Internet. It is a fairly new invention. Although the Internet has been with us for almost four decades now, its early life saw it confined to the ivory towers of academic and military institutions: so that the general public ‘only heard about it, and wondered what it was.’ That was to change somewhere between the mid and the late 90s, when someone came up with the idea of ‘taking the Internet to the masses.’ Starting as a shopping tool, the Internet was to soon change into a forum where pretty much everything could be done, so that we ended up with online shopping, online chatting, online dating…and now online poker.

Because of its mechanics, poker was among the first games to go online. Internet poker playing rooms first came into the public domain in the mid 90s, with many more coming up in later 90s, so that by the turn of the millennium, anyone looking for a poker playing room online was almost always bound to find themselves spoilt for choice: unless they entered the Internet with a specific destination in mind. Today, there are literary hundreds of online poker playing rooms, most being copycats of each other, but with a few being truly unique.

The advent of online poker has had a number of interesting cards and chips

One is that online poker is already threatening to render traditional (physical card -based) poker irrelevant. Already, online porker has usurped the dominant place previously occupied by traditional poker: so that we have more people playing online poker than we have playing the traditional physical card-based poker. Indeed, there are people who call themselves poker players, and who are indeed quite skilled in the game, but who have never actually handled a physical poker card! These are people who got introduced to poker online, learnt the game online, and who have now grown into experts; still online. This matter is not petty: conduct a survey among poker players today, and chances are that you will find a majority are fully internet-based, with no interests whatsoever in traditional physical-card based poker.

Another interesting effect that the rise of online poker has had is that of raking in more people into the ranks of poker players. Previously, while poker was played in those brick and mortar poker rooms and casinos, there are many people, who might have been interested in playing it, but who were put off by the venues. These people then, find the prospect of playing poker online, from the comfort of their houses on their desktops or laptops more ‘palatable’ than going into a casino. Repeat the scenario over and over again, and we have a whole horde of people who are now playing poker, but who would never have gotten into the game had it confined itself in brick and mortar casinos and poker rooms.

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