As you may well have noticed if you have an interest in online gaming, Bitcoin- and crypto-based gambling has been on the rise. A list written by Bitpub articulates why this trend has come about, pointing to advantages like privacy, the potential for crypto bonuses, security, and even the ability of gamblers to avoid geolocation-based restrictions. All of these factors have contributed to what is by now a fairly active online ecosystem of crypto casinos.
Many of these casinos focus primarily on slot arcades, which are the predominant force in online gaming in general. These arcades are very simple: You upload cryptocurrency, use fractions of it to pay for spins, and try your luck. However, among the expanding network of crypto casinos, we’re also beginning to see a greater prevalence of table games, including online poker. This is a slightly more involved activity, and requires a little bit more preparation on behalf of any gamer curious about crypto platforms.
Refine Your Poker Knowledge
Slot arcades require no skill, and are thus easy to dive into as just-for-fun activities. Approaching poker in the same way though, even on a convenient crypto-gaming site, is risky. Instead, it’s essential to make sure you refine your poker knowledge before you start betting real money on games.
Provided you understand the core rules of the game, the process of sharpening your poker skill starts with making sure you’re absolutely clear on the value and rarity of each possible hand. A so-called “cheat sheet” by Poker.org makes this information clear and easy to study, and can serve as a nice reference point as you set about studying the game. Once you have all of that information down, it’s wise to refresh your understanding of how and when to bet during a game (which can vary somewhat depending on the style of poker at hand). And then — we can’t stress enough — you should practice for free. Find a free-play app or online site and engage in some competitive poker so that you can test out your knowledge and skill before putting money on the line.
All of this is important before engaging in any kind of online poker with money on the line. But it’s easy to enter a crypto casino with the feeling that you’re gambling with tokens, or fake money. This is of course not the case, but it makes it all the more important to approach the game with care.
Ensure the Casino Is Reputable
One potential issue with Bitcoin and crypto casinos is that they are far less regulated than ordinary online gaming platforms. With a typical poker site or online casino, players are able to check for various certifications, security measures, and other indications of fair and regulated play. Crypto casinos tend to offer their own assurances, but there is less in the way of government policy establishing and enforcing standards. This doesn’t mean the sites are inherently unsafe. But it does mean that before you ante up in a Bitcoin poker tournament, you should look into the platform you’re using and ensure that it’s trusted and reliable.
Monitor Crypto Values
As stated previously, playing at a crypto casino can give you the sensation that you’re gambling with tokens, or fake money. Some cryptocurrencies are even described this way — as digital “tokens” for online spending. You’ll be aware, of course, that you used real money to buy whatever cryptocurrency it is you’re gambling with. But it’s still surprisingly easy to slip into that mindset that you’re merely playing a game (just as people do with physical poker chips in brick-and-mortar casinos).
The best way to avoid succumbing to this issue is to monitor the actual values of the cryptocurrencies you’re playing with. With Bitcoin in particular, this can keep things in sharp perspective. Per CNBC, a recent spike above USD 48,000 represented another record high for the leading cryptocurrency, which is a clear signal of just how valuable it has become. So, not only are you playing poker with fractions of digital currency with lucrative real-world value — but that value has shown the potential to grow significantly. You should always keep this in mind when making deposits and playing games at a crypto casino.
Set Up a Limit System
As with general online poker play, it is also a good idea to set up a way of monitoring your deposits and imposing a limit on yourself. Even with the above precautions taken, it can be easier to accept the loss of cryptocurrency online than it is to accept the loss of ordinary money. Most of us are simply more programmed to value conventional currency. By self-imposing a limit, however — say, a monthly gaming allowance, or a weekly deposit cap — you can keep track of your wins and losses and ensure that you don’t accidentally give away too much. This will make you a more responsible player, and possibly even a better one.
Ultimately, the rise of crypto casinos and poker rooms is an exciting development for gamers all over the world. As these platforms grow and gain respect, they’re likely to represent some of the most active gaming environments on the internet. Particularly while they’re still so new though, it’s best to prepare and take precautions before pushing your chips in.