888 Poker has in recent years established itself as not only Australia’s top destination for online Texas hold’em, but also as one of the world’s most innovative real money poker sites. Nothing underlines this well-deserved reputation more than PokerCam, a revolutionary live gambling interface that allows us to play face-to-face with our opponents via Web camera – kind of like Internet poker meets Skype.
This exciting technology brings with it a wealth of game-play advantages that weren’t possible before, and is a much-needed breath of fresh air in the sometimes staid and cynical realm of the online poker room. We will show you how it works, the benefits and possible drawbacks, and why casual players should be all over the PokerCam format.
There are stacks of Face-to-face games and events on offer for Australians every day at 888 Poker. Texas hold’em rules the roost at present, but there are plans afoot to introduce popular games like Omaha and seven-card stud to the PokerCam collection. In the meantime, there are several ways to play real money hold’em via video cam:
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Any Aussie punter with a PC and a webcam can join PokerCam tables. All you have to do is download the poker software suite at www.888Poker.com.au, log in (or register and deposit some cash, if you don’t have an account yet), and, making sure your camera is enabled, choose one of the ‘Video’ tables available in the 888 lobby. Play no-limit hold’em tournaments, join a sit and go table, or even set up a casual game and invite your mates.
At the moment, PokerCam is only available on PC via the full download format. However, the 888 operators and developers are currently working on adapting the software for instant play poker rooms – which, once up and running, will allow the hordes of Mac users out there to join the party.
There are numerous benefits to the PokerCam software as compared to standard virtual poker games, both in terms of game-play and fairness. Above all, it combines the real life, real money poker experience with the convenience of Internet play – no crappy home kits, no crowded land-based casinos. Below are a few of our favourite aspects of 888’s face-to-face poker technology.
Regular online sit-n-go poker has become infested with ultra-tight grinders (nits) and automated poker programs (bots) folding hand after hand at dozens of tables at a time. This makes for very dull poker, especially for recreational players who just want to have fun. Fortunately, PokerCam does not allow multi-table play at all, which means fewer nits and bots playing for the rake and more lively action for the genuine gamblers among us.
Hand history (HH) and heads-up display (HUD) programs have taken much of the magic out of Web poker, with “serious” players relying more and more on technological assistance rather than natural instinct and mental agility. The nature of the live interface at 888Poker.com.au hinders the use of such software, which thus encourages traditional poker skills such as note taking, calculating hand odds on the fly, and reading an opponent’s tells (while trying to hide your own).
Internet gambling can be a lonely grind when you are playing against a bunch of faceless, voiceless usernames. But when you add live webcams to the equation, the whole thing springs to life all of a sudden. Whether it’s friendly banter or the looks of utter bewilderment when you reveal that mega hand, the human interaction you get with 888 PokerCam puts it in a league of its own.
For all the significant advantages Australian hold’em players get with 888 PokerCam, there are one or two things to keep in mind when using this software. As mentioned above, multi-table grinders should look somewhere else as this format only allows you to play a single game at a time; ditto if you are the kind of player whose game revolves around HUD programs or trading hand histories for chips.
Sometimes, you may join a table to find that one or more of your opponents has pointed their webcam at the wall or ceiling to avoid showing their face or interacting with other players. These may be seasoned Internet grinders trying to gain an edge or mask their actions, so less experienced players should be wary of this kind of scenario. Besides that, a table full of blank walls defeats the purpose of the PokerCam format.
There will always be people who abuse this software and take advantage of it, using it in uncooperative ways. You can report offensive players by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and providing as much detail as possible, including your username, the username of the player/s involved, and screenshots if possible.
Get started with PokerCam at www.888Poker.com.au – our #1 AUD poker site.