Poker Table Tops – An Affordable Way to Play Poker During an Economic Recession?

The above question asks whether Poker Table Tops are an affordable alternative for Poker Players in today’s economic climate? And whether or not Poker Table Tops make the playing of Poker more accessible to general members of the public, the ordinary Poker player?

This question is not posed merely to promote the product of Poker Table Tops. It ponders if the affects of the recent / present Recession, which has resulted in growing unemployment, reductions in take home pay and subsequently disposable income and the limiting of individuals earning potential, has led to the playing of Poker in casinos to become an unaffordable luxury for many Poker Players.

In attempting to put forward some kind of rational and logical argument to the question that is posed by the title, one must first ask ‘Who is the ordinary poker Player?’

According to eCOGRA (e Commerce On-line Gaming Regulation and Assurance) the typical on-line poker player was:

  • Male 73.8%
  • Age 26-35 (26.9%)
  • Play two to three times per week (26.8%)
  • Have played for two to three years (23.6%)
  • Play between one to two hours per session (33.3%)
  • Play one table (24.1%) or two tables (24%) at a time
  • Play both cash games and tournaments (34%)
  • Play at big blind levels of $0.50 to $2.00(US) (61.2%)
  • Play with 6-10% of their bankroll on the table at any one time (23%)
  • Claim that they are average in terms of skill
  • Feel that there is slightly more skill involved in poker than luck (31.9%)
  • Travel over 100 miles to play poker at least 2 times per year (38%)
  • 52% Internet Poker players have a bachelors degree or higher
  • 75% of those who did not and would not try internet gambling where married while 56% of internet gamblers were married
  • 37% of casino goers gamble online as compared to 5% of the general population

The above statistics not only show the general make up of the ordinary Poker Player but also their playing habits. Granted the above statistics are applicable to the on-line Poker Player, however eCOGRA went on to state, “Most studies suggest that demographics of online gambling are broadly similar to those of the offline gambling population, with a spread of income, gender and education.”

Given the ravages of the world wide Recession money has become a scare commodity and people are retreating from the high streets. With less money in people’s pockets there is less money for people to spend to help boost the economy.

With any recession people are left to re-evaluate their finances. Usually their little luxuries in life are the first to be sacrificed in their home budget. These luxuries include those trips to the casino to play the great game of Poker. It isn’t a free and desirable choice, it’s a choice dictated by the effects of a failing economy.

Granted on-line Poker offers the ordinary Poker Players the opportunity to play the game but that, in my opinion is impersonal. For me there is nothing like the feel of playing Poker in a room, face to face with your opponents, yet being part of the camaraderie that exist between players.

One could purchase a Poker Table for his / her home. This provides one with the opportunity to reproduce that Casino feel without having to travel. However it does also provide some difficulties. Furthermore, the cost of a Poker Table could be anywhere in the region of $2000 but in these recessionary times the luxury of having $2000 spare is not one luxury many people have.

Another option is to avail oneself of the many manuals on-line that illustrate how to build a Poker Table for between $200 & $300. Unfortunately not everyone has the skills or the desire to build one.

Further to the above, not everyone has the room to store a full size Poker Table in their house. As a result of the Recession, many people have had to downsize on their homes. Be it through choice, enforced sale or by eviction, people have had to seriously curtail their living habits and lifestyles. This includes reducing the living area / space in which most of us live. A full size Poker Table may not be a practical option.

Here is why I believe Poker Table Tops allow the ordinary Poker Player to play Poker during the Recession: Poker Table Tops allow all players to enjoy the game with like minded people in the comfort of their own home without the burden of high cost and with an added bonus of convenience. The cost of Poker Table Tops is relatively cheap compared to other products. Some affordable options start at around just $29. At this low cost, one can still enjoy the face to face intensity of playing Poker, Octagonal or Rectangular shaped Poker Table Tops can fit up to 8 to 10 Poker players at any one time.

Unlike Poker Tables, Poker Table Tops are not bulky items, lay them anywhere on any surface and quickly prepare them for playing on, they are just as easy to store away. This allows one to recreate that casino feel without having to sacrifice much needed space in their home.

I do not profess to be an Academic on this topic. This piece is based on my opinion, an opinion formed by witnessing more people looking for cheaper and more sustainable ways of maintaining a lifestyle they had prior to the world wide Recession. In that I believe Poker Table Tops allow the ordinary Poker Player an opportunity to keep playing Poker in a truly competitive and fun atmosphere, while not having the added expenses that were incumbent when travelling to the casino during the good times.

Therefore, in answering the question posed by the title, ‘Poker Table Tops – An easy way to play Poker during an economic recession?’ I would answer ‘Yes, in my opinion Poker Table Tops do indeed offer an easy way to play Poker during a recession.’

How to Play Poker For Free

Do you want to play poker? Do you know that poker can be quite an expensive diversion? You are surely quite apprehensive of getting into the poker gaming habit because you know that it can get too expensive. How if you can find a way to enjoy this card game without spending a dime?

It may help to know that you can definitely play poker for free. While you play for free, you get to develop the expertise in playing this exciting card game. Once you are familiar with the game play and that you are comfortable you can win a lot of money from playing poker online. Then, in the future, you may opt to play with real money and probably play the game profitably.

Of course, if you know how to play the game well because it is a card game enjoyed by your family and friends. You surely can play poker profitably when you want.

It may help to know that playing poker for free online is not so different from playing with real money. Playing this game for money may be quite a challenge especially when you have meager wagering budget.

If you just want to play poker as a diversion and for entertainment purposes, then playing without spending a dime is good.

Here are some tips playing online poker for free

There are several options you can choose from but in this article, we will discuss only two of them.

The first is to download poker software from the internet. Some card rooms offer their software for free and when you download it, you can play poker offline and enjoy the game against virtual players. The same poker software if what you will use when you play for real money, thus, downloading it will be both a practice and familiarization of the game play as well.

The second option is to play at social networking sites like the application you can find in face book. If you play in social networking sites, you can enjoy playing against friends or other players in the site.

How to play poker are social networking sites?

The first step is to set up an account and login. You can complete your profile and other details at a later date if you opt to.

The second step is to login using your username.

When you are in the site already, you can find the poker application.

Once you are in the application, you will automatically receive 10,000 worth of poker chips. There is no condition in getting the free chips, it will be given to you once you register and play in the application.

In the application, you have the option to create a table or to find a seat among the poker tables already in play.

If you want to create a table because you have friends who are likewise registered on the site, all you need is to invite them in your table.

When they get to seat in the poker table that you have set up, you will then be poker and may even chat with other players in the field when you want to.

If you however opt to seat in an existing table, you have to click on the find me a seat button. You will have to choose the table you will be playing at from a list that is going to be provided by the site.

Of course, you do not try to play poker without any idea of how to play poker. Thus, you have to know the game play, the rules, and some strategies and when you do, you will be able to play the game well.

When you know how to play and you have a place to play poker for free, you will definitely be able to enjoy the game without risk of being a problem gambler. Remember that you are not wagering for money but merely playing in the platform for some entertainment and friendly chats.

Go on, register and play poker for free.

Is It Better to Play Poker With Automatic Shuffler or Hand Shuffle?

I can tell you that if given the choice of playing at a casino with an automatic shuffler or one that does not is a no brainer for me. I am going to choose the one with the automatic shuffler every time. The one major exception would be the WSOP in Las Vegas. During the WSOP they have hundreds of tables going at the same time at the Rio and I’m sure it’s just not cost effective to put a shuffler in everyone of those tables. You really see the difference in the speed of the game when the dealer is doing the shuffling as opposed to the automatic shuffler.

Cash Games vs. Tournies

Most casinos on the strip in Las Vegas all have the automatic shuffler for cash games. It is in the casino’s best interest to invest in the machine because it pays for itself in the long run. The bottom line is the more hands that are dealt the more rake that is going to be dropped and this is how the house makes it’s money. A lot of times I’ve noticed that when certain casinos have tournaments they don’t use the machine. At Caesar’s Palace for example, the dealers do all the shuffling even though they use the machine for the cash games. The Venetian on the other hand, uses the automatic shuffler for their tournaments. A lot of players will choose the Venetian tournaments over Caesars for this reason alone. The automatic shuffler is faster, cleaner, and just leaves no doubt that the cards are being shuffled correctly.

Hands per hour with Automatic Shuffler vs Live Dealer

Asking around most people will tell you that live dealers average somewhere between 20-25 hands per hour. Of course the faster ones may deal 30 hands an hour on average. The automatic shuffler increases that number to about 35 hands per hour. That may not sound like a lot but if you play an 8-10 session that can really add up especially over the course of a week or even a month.

Integrity of the Game

I don’t think you have to worry about this so much on the strip in Vegas, but in some smaller casinos across the country I’m not so sure. Any time you introduce the human element there are going to be mistakes and dishonesty when money is involved. Today’s computerized, automatic shufflers are programmed to shuffle the cards as random as possible. They don’t have friends at the table or certain regulars that they know will tip them better if they win a big pot. Live dealers on the other hand have these temptations everyday. It would be easy for a live dealer to manipulate the shuffle to help out certain players if they wanted to do that. Believe me it happens in certain places. Also, the machine doesn’t get distracted. It always shuffles the cards the same way. I do admit that if a dealer did have the motivation to cheat then the automatic shuffler is not going to stop them. It just makes it more difficult.

Home Games

It used to be that you were out of luck if you wanted to put in one of these high dollar machines in your own table. Reason being is because the technology is so valuable the maker wouldn’t sell you one. He would only lease them to the casinos. He knew he could make more money that way. In 2008 one entrepreneur set to build his own and he came up with a version that cost less than $500. You can read about it on CardPlayer.com here Shuffler for Home Games

In Summary

There are two main advantages for the player while playing poker with the automatic shuffler. One being that the game moves along much faster so you get to see more hands and ideally win more money. The other reason is that the automatic shuffler does a better job of shuffling the cards than a live dealer making the cards more random. If you are a dealer the more hands you deal then theoretically the more money you will make in tips since that is your primary income.