Before I even start the article, I am sure most of you will have formed an opinion. For those who prefer the texture of the cards in their hands and the smell of the cigar-filled rooms, the answer is surely the real deal. But with Poker lounges becoming few and far between in the UK - and most of us forced to rely on online versions - many have turned their heads to the idea of an online alternative.
To better my research I tried a few of them myself and here are my conclusions. Firstly a big thanks to Ladylucksmobile.com who organised some free cash for me to try their Video Poker game - and to Richard at FullTilt Poker (have been asked not to credit) who did the same for a live dealer alternative ... trying is so much more fun when you aren’t risking your own capital to be fair. So both sites have a different selection of games and while their Poker sections are harder to stumble upon - there was a certain panache to them.
While Video Poker doesn’t have the same live feel to it that you would get in the Live lounges, it did offer a few advantages to those looking to bet top dollar. The idea of playing 100-hands at a time in person makes the mind spin, or convincing a casino/poker lounge to throw the Jokers in as wilds is slightly farfetched ... but both of these are available in the online format.
The same goes for the Live Poker tables at FullTilt, where you have the same person-to-person feel you do at the Poker Lounges (albeit minus the smoke), and to be honest - there really isn’t that much difference in it to the real thing. In fact, as casinos and poker sites begin to embrace the budding realisation of Virtual Reality - the prospect of sticking on some Holo-lenses and playing practically face-to-face with a live dealer is just as tantalising as going to one of the lounges ... and let’s face it ... there are very few lounges that let you walk in wearing just your underwear!
So drawing a conclusion - while there is definitely a difference playing online at Video Poker or Live Poker, the allurement gap is closing fast and we don’t see if being too long before a VR alternative ends up attracting just as many followers as the real thing!