Why Poker is Such a Popular Game
Why play poker over any other pastime? There are many reasons for playing poker, and some equally good reasons why some best avoid it. It very much comes down to our individual motivations and preferences. Poker sure isn't going to be for everyone.
Let's get the obvious out of the way - gambling is fun, as is the chance to win money in any game. I can play squash and tennis, I have been running in the past and am pretty good with a snooker cue. Am i good a squash? Not really, if i am being honest. A sucker for punishment? Well maybe. It's good exercise and i want to get better at the game. It's no more complicated than that. You need to find similar motivations when considering poker as a hobby. Are your motivations simply financial? These are all important questions. If you are genuinely interested in the game and enjoy it, you don't need more reasoning than this. Much like any game, the players who really take the game seriously, study it and spend time improving are the ones who are the most successful. Over time, these players will be better skilled than the casual player and will be winning money over the distance.
Poker has great appeal in part to the wide variety of emotions that players experience when playing. The adrenaline rush of winning a big pot or making a final table is awesome. In contrast, the anguish of losing a monster pot to some plonker who catches his miracle card on the river and knocks you out after six hours of play - well it can be nothing short of soul destroying.
It's fair to say that there will be times when you will feel like chucking your laptop out the window. This probably isn't going to make things any better. As long as there is an element of luck, your aim is get your money in with the best cards and hope your cards hold up.
Learning to battle through the lows to get to the highs is what you need to do to succeed. Sometimes your cards will pay and other times they won't, it's that simple. Not everyone has enough control or understanding of the game to manage this. Some people have a better control on these emotions than others. Playing anything other than your A-game is counter-productive.
You'll see the best and worst of people when playing. On the positive side, you get to see how the good players behave and operate regardless of the result. You will also see players that you would be glad were of no relation. In reality, a couple of hours of poker will give you more highs and lows than you see in any standard day. You might be sad, happy, angry and ecstatic all in the space of a single hand. This gives poker real appeal.
In terms of making money, if you are good at poker, it's profitable. If you have the patience and motivation to keep learning, there's no reason why you won't make money. Some people say money can't buy you happiness. I agree in principle, however it does help plot the journey.
Why the Social Aspect is such a draw
Playing cards is a very social game. I enjoy the diverse crowds that you get at card rooms. It's a relaxing and exciting night or day out. This broad interaction is a big plus for me and i'm sure many others, as I genuinely enjoy meeting and getting to know different people. I am also a bit of an adrenaline junkie so it's a win-win.
The game is as challenging as you make it. There is no limit on how much time you spend playing and no limit on how much studying you do of the game. However take note that poker is like everything else you will do in life. Play golf and in time you will get better and better. Start swimming and in time you will be better swimmer than when you started. The time that won Gold in the Olympic 100 Meters ten years ago would not even get an athlete qualification today? Fact.
There are better facilities, better disciplines and more intense training undertaken today than there was back then. As such, there's probably better skilled players today than there was 30 years ago, although i know a few old timers that would probably disagree.
One of my all time favorite quotes is by poker legend David Sklansky who stated - "If I know something more about the game than my opponent, then I will eventually win all his money".
The Competitive Attraction
This is another big reason as to why people enjoy the game so much. The game is incredibly competitive - and this makes it exciting. It is player against player; a psychological duel; a battle of skills. At the same time, there's a lot of good players out there so we need to play within your means. The mere fact that it's so competitive makes it more difficult to make money in poker. A competitive streak without the skill and you could land yourself in hot water. Much like in a casino, losing money is far easier and quicker.
Reasons Poker Might not be for You
Do not play if you have a gambling problem. Whilst many argue that poker is not gambling, there's plenty of risk to your money and the element of luck means there's an element of gamble. Do not play for real money if you can't afford to. Poker is not a method to get rich quick, nor should losses be seen as a green light to play bigger stakes to win back what you've lost (this seldom works without the necessary skill). Play within your means at all times and take losses on the chin. Accept that sometimes you can play a perfect game and come out a loser. Yes it's exciting - but it's not much fun when you blow your mortgage payment for the month.
You should also avoid the game if you are impatient or have anger management issues. It's a highly emotionally rich game and the lows are often very hard to take. I have seen on so many occasions, players lose a big hand they played perfectly and then proceed to tilt away their entire stack. Being good at the poker involves discipline and there's a very fine margin between winning and losing.
Whilst we promote poker, we are 100% against reckless gambling. If you think you have a problem or need some advice, please seek professional support. There are many options available online.
I Want to Give Poker a Try!
If you are still listening and haven't had a u-turn on your thinking, we're here to give you the tools to get you started. We have listings of all the poker games played online which allows you to see where to find your game of choice. If you haven't yet looked into which game you want to play, we list all the different poker rules and variants.
Important Beginners Guides..
Read this no nonsense guide on how to play poker - covering the basics and game play. Perfect for those starting out.
A no nonsense guide on how to play the game. Ideal for beginners looking to take the first steps on learning the game.
Check out this set of rules. It's as close to universal as you will get! Most card rooms use a variation of these.
We have a range of new player bonuses that will get you a bigger bonus that if you visited the site direct!