– Online games have a lower rake and no tipping (and usually no jackpot rakes either).
The standard maximum rake for a full 10-player ring game online is $3 ‘no flop, no drop’, whereas in many brick and mortar cardrooms it is $4 (or more) with an additional $1 often being added for the jackpot and a $1 (minimum) tip almost automatically paid to the dealer. For low-limit players in particular, a significantly smaller sum of money comes off the table in every hand online than would be the case in a live-action game.
– You can play for smaller stakes online than in brick and mortar cardrooms.
It is hardly economic for brick and mortar cardrooms to offer games as low as $1/$2 (let alone $0.50/$1.00 or below), but such limits are an attractive training ground for new players seeking to learn the game without having to spend a fortune on their education. For this very reason, the $1/$2 and below ‘micro-limit’ online games are popular at all online sites. Indeed, even experienced players sometimes opt to play at a lower limits when they wish to work on a particular area of their game. For example, a $5/$10 brick and mortar player might choose to play online at a $2/$4 limit five-handed table in order to hone his short-handed skills. Furthermore, all online sites also offer play money games, which do not require any cash investment at all.
– You can’t accidentally muck a winner or lose a pot due to a dealer error online.
Again this feature is particularly attractive for novice players who might accidentally misread their hand or allow a dealer to muck their cards when they are holding a winner.
– There are no travel expenses incurred in playing online. For regular players who do not live in immediate proximity to a brick and mortar cardroom, travel expenses can amount to a significant sum over the course of a year.
– Many online cardrooms offer attractive sign-up and other deposit bonuses.
Although many US cardrooms do reward regular players with ‘comps’, this is by no means standard, whereas many online sites offer 15%-25% bonuses on initial deposits, and often these bonuses are even extended to include existing clients in the form of ‘reload’ bonuses.
– Online cardroom restrictions on deposits prevent players from using their credit cards to deposit and lose thousands of dollars in a single day.
Whereas most casinos will allow players to purchase chips up to their pre-agreed credit limit, and individuals may also be able to obtain additional funds from ATM machines or fellow players, online cardrooms prevent players from making substantial credit card deposits in a single day. Indirectly, this thereby enforces a ‘cooling-off period before they can return to the game.
– Some online cardrooms allow ratholing of profits.
Some pot-limit and no-limit players like to remove their profits from the table if they are on a small bankroll, buying straight back in for the minimum and ‘ratholing’ the rest to protect it. This practice of removing chips from the table is considered poor etiquette and is rarely allowed in brick and mortar games, but online cardrooms do permit it, although some do place a time limit of 30 minutes or more before allowing players to return to the game with anything less than the sum with which they departed. (Naturally, ratholing might be considered an unattractive feature if someone is removing your money from the table!)