What is Social Poker and why is it Important?

Today’s online poker world literally has billions of dollars floating around, as both amateurs and pros seek to work their way up the stakes and on to the big money. There’s certainly no shortage of big money either, with tournament prize pools occasionally reaching multi-million dollar figures. This being said, it’s no wonder why there’s such a heavy emphasis on real money poker games.

But what’s surprising to know is that real money play isn’t even the biggest sector of online poker. Instead, social poker has the vast majority of players. Assuming you’re in the dark about social poker, take a closer look at what exactly it is, as well as why it’s critical to the game’s growth.

Keeping the Fun involved

Whenever you play poker for money, it can be a pretty intense affair. This is where social poker differs somewhat because you’re not putting money on the line. Instead, the game is free to play, although there’s usually something at stake for the winner(s).

In the online realm, social poker sites usually offer non-monetary prizes to those who finish high in tournaments. This prize could be as small as a $5 gift certificate to iTunes, or as big as an all-inclusive vacation.

But no matter what the prizes are, social poker sites put an emphasis on players chatting with each other and having fun. Sure the prizes are a big motivator, but the whole idea behind social poker is to take risks, bluff a lot, and meet fellow recreational players.

It’s worth mentioning that social poker doesn’t just have to be played online. The truest form of poker is a bunch of buddies getting together and playing the game for small stakes or other prizes. For example, whoever wins the home tournament would get a large pizza on the other players’ dime.

How Social Poker will continue to drive the Game

If the first time you ever played poker was in a casino with a bunch of skilled veterans, chances are that you’re not going to have a good time. The same goes for if you play online poker and keep getting picked on by more experienced opponents. This is an awful way to be introduced to the game!

A much better and funner alternative is to play in a relaxed, social environment where everybody else is just there to have fun. Sure there’s no money up for grabs in these games; but at least you get to learn the fundamentals and enjoy yourself in the process.

And the more people who get into poker like this, the larger percentage there’ll be that graduate to real money games someday.