For many gambling veterans used to casinos, gambling online can present a different and surprising environment to test their skills. Online gambling presents myriad challenges and advantages that aren’t found in a traditional casino environment.

For some poker players, a casino is an enjoyable and inextricable part of the gambling experience. Others prefer the anonymity, convenience, and accessibility of gambling online. For most high rollers, however, online and casino gambling work hand-in-hand to complement each other in useful ways.

Online gambling has evolved at a rapid pace. In its early years, skilled poker players would become proficient in making quick calculations in their heads to put the odds in their favor and maximize their winnings.

These online poker players would often play several games or hands at one time and switch between games in rapid succession. That’s not an easy feat considering that for many formats of online poker, time limits are imposed to limit the time spent between bets.

These early online poker superstars would often reprise two or more monitors at once, playing a different hand at each one. Doing so required considerable mental dexterity, as gamblers would calculate odds for the different hands in rapid succession.

As computer programming and software became more accessible, many professional online poker players resorted to complex algorithms to compute the odds of a winning hand more rapidly.

Obviously, none of this is to say that you will necessarily be encountering this caliber of wizardry when playing online poker. Nonetheless, it’s interesting to consider how far online gamblers have come in terms of their level of sophistication.

One rather pleasant perk you can expect when gambling online instead of at a casino is that you don’t have to honor any dress code. No matter how high the stakes, you can play in your underwear, and that’s surely a plus for most gamblers.

When playing games like poker, the interpersonal skills that give many gamblers an edge at the casinos are less emphasized. You can’t learn and read tells of other players online in the same way that you would at a casino.

In this sense, online poker tends to highlight the cerebral and analytical side of the game, rather than the interpersonal and intuitive side. It’s for this reason that many online poker players struggle to make the transition to playing in a casino and vice versa.

As evidenced by this year’s World Series of Poker, playing a poker tournament in person lends itself to a more proactive and aggressive style of play that puts learning the tells of other players at the forefront. Look no further than the success of Hossein Ensan to be sure of that.

Depending on the political situation and regulations of your country of residence, you might, unfortunately, have to expect some legal ramifications to play online poker.

Since laws on the books are often more difficult to enforce virtually than physically, many countries are playing catchup to regulate the growing market for online gambling.

China, for example, recently asked the Phillippine government to shut down offshore gambling companies catering to the Chinese market. Chinese gamblers could, therefore, face some repercussions, and may well be unable to use their current online casino of choice to gamble.

Time will tell what will come of this and other international interventions that aim to make online gamblers’ lives more difficult. In the meantime, many online gamblers have taken to using VPNs or other anonymity tools when gambling online to conceal their identity. Due to this complicated regulatory environment, implementing a VPN, proxy server, or similar tool might be another thing to expect when gambling online, depending on your country.

Another thing to expect when playing an online poker tournament is that you can play it on your own schedule (for a discussion on the rise in popularity of online casinos, check this article). The nice thing about playing poker online is that you can find a tournament that’s taking place at the right time for you. For that reason, many casino gamblers are turning to the internet to find the flexibility that’s hard to match.

If you’re already a serious poker player at casinos, one thing you can expect from your first online tournament is that you can play it from anywhere! In contrast to players that concentrate on in-person tournaments, like this team out of Michigan, online players can live and play remotely.

That means that you could be raking in the winnings from the tournament on a beach in Bali. That’s not a bad proposition for poker players that wish to remain location independent.

If you’ve been playing poker for a while, you probably know to expect some trash talk at the table. However, when you enroll in your first online poker tournament, that trash talk might come in a different form.

Online poker players talk via chat with their opponents. Communicating with your opponents through writing is a distinctly different experience than by doing so through word-of-mouth. Adapting to this change, especially in a tournament setting, can be difficult for some.

However, once you do adapt to this change, it’s possible you’ll find the chatroom to be an opportunity to mislead opponents. While chat is sparse in many tournaments, for some players it is sometimes used as a strategic tool to throw their opponents off-balance.

According to Adrian Sireca at OnlineCasinoGems, “one thing to anticipate when playing your first online tournament is that it can be difficult or impossible to know who you’re playing. You’ll be going up against opponents who use the internet as a veil of anonymity. As a result, you won’t be able to garner any background or useful data points on who they are, or what their particular patterns of play might consist of”.

Given the time many players spend researching other players that play at the table, both during the game and before play starts, this can be a tricky transition. You won’t be able to engage in the same person-to-person banter to give yourself a feel about other players’ moods or temperament. That means that many online players need to rely on the numbers and precise calculations.

In conclusion, playing your first online poker tournament will likely mean adjusting to the medium if you’re a seasoned player, or simply enjoying the game if you’re just getting started. It’s a truly remarkable experience for a player of any level as long as you know what you’re getting yourself into.

If you do decide to take the plunge, be on the lookout for a place where you can find great bonuses to enroll in online games so that you’ll be getting the most bang for your buck when entering the tournament. Know what to expect so that if you do go all-in on online poker tournaments, you’re unlikely to ever look back.