There is a definite difference between playing online and playing poker in a casino setting. internet players have become accustomed to geting in a lot more hands every hour by eliminating the need to collect cards and shuffle them for every hand, as well as the need to move chips, make side pots, and resolve any dealer errors.
Casino players enjoy the opportunity to study the face of their opponent for tells.
Now, thanks to a company called PokerTek these qualities are coming together in one game. PokerTek works on creating electronic poker tables that casinos use.
Each of the machines has a set of video screens in front of each player, and the players play against each other using those screens. So, instead of waiting for cards to be dealt, and blinds to be posted, the play carries forward at the speed of internet poker.
But, the players come to the casino to play each other, so all of the amenities that the house can offer are still available.
These machines come in Holdem and Omaha versions so far, and can deal single or multi-table tournaments. Several casinos have bought into the idea, including Hollywood Park which has a room dedicated to electronic poker tables.
A new "heads up" version of the machine has just been released as well. While online rooms often have players decide to battle each other heads up, this wasn't an option at a live casino because the house would have a hard time justifying the use of a table and dealer for such a game. Well, unless you were Andy Beal and playing for millions.
The heads up electronic poker machine gives players a chance o play, without the need to take up the time of a human dealer, or the space of an entire table.
The tables are called PokerPro tables, and have been approved by several casino regulatory bodies already. The electronic shuffling mechanism was inspected by Gaming Laboratories International. The company's stock is traded ont he NASDAQ as ticker symbol PTEK.
This page was last updated December 11th, 2006