Among countless cryptocurrency-related applications and inventions that have cropped up over the years, some of the most interesting are the blossoming gaming opportunities. Specifically, after years of speculation, we’ve started to see some crypto poker platforms emerging — the Wink gaming platform that’s been discussed here before chief among them.
The idea behind crypto poker is fairly simple, and has always made sense. Primarily, it’s meant to appeal to potential gamers who like the idea of using secure and anonymous digital currency — rather than PayPal or credit cards — to make deposits on poker sites. Additionally though, there are some perks for the platforms themselves. A few years ago, a Business News Daily piece on small businesses and what they should know about cryptocurrency did a nice job of outlining potential benefits. Those benefits — low transaction fees, merchant protection, catering to certain consumer preferences, etc. — certainly apply to some game providers as well.
Given all of this, it seems likely we’re only at the beginning of the crypto poker era. That’s exciting for cryptocurrency and poker fans alike, but it also calls for some caution. People shouldn’t simply start playing poker with real wealth on the line simply because it’s an opportunity to spend (and win) cryptocurrency. Instead, there are a few steps that should be taken in advance of depositing digital money and playing poker.
Practice on Apps
If you’re not familiar with digital poker, or even if you just haven’t played for real money in a while, do yourself a favor and practice with a free-to-play app first. Most of the good apps in this category do a great job of simulating the real thing, in that they give you chips with fake monetary values for you to play games with. You don’t need a rigorous training routine or extensive experience necessarily, but even a little bit of practice will remind you of how to play, familiarize you with the digital game, and prepare you to handle crypto-backed tokens with care.
Know the Terms
Another part of your practice should be brushing up on poker terms, which can be surprisingly tricky if you wait to let them trip you up once you’re playing. A list of popular poker terms on Poker.org does a nice job of illustrating that the everyday glossary goes beyond phrases like “all-in” or “check.” In any given poker gaming environment, you may need to instantly recognize terms like “big blind,” “small blind,” “ace-high,” “hole-cards,” “three-bet,” and more. It’s not that you can’t play poker without these terms being relevant. But you don’t want to run into a phrase you don’t understand when your cryptocurrency is on the line, so a bit of a refresh is in order.
Know the Betting Sequences
Even if you’re pretty sharp on the basic rules of your chosen variety of poker, you should also make absolutely sure you know the betting sequences. If you’re excited about a crypto poker platform, you’re presumably trying to grow your funds through gaming, and to do so you’ll need to know when you’re expected to bet, and how many more opportunities you’ll have each game. These are simple aspects of poker, but essential enough to study up on before you start playing.
Set a Budget — In Real Money
As was recapped by CNBC.com in 2017, TV host and financial analyst Jim Cramer once famously referred to bitcoin as “Monopoly money.” He’s not the only one, and for the most part he’s been proven wrong. But it’s still easy for crypto users to think of their digital wealth as something less than real. It can seem like play money, or like an online token with limited real-world relevance. But if you get into crypto poker, it’s important to avoid thinking of things this way. Take the time to set a budget for your gaming activity, and record its value in real money rather than cryptocurrency. As we explained in our article ‘The Top 5 Money-Saving Tips’, good budgeting is essential for any type of financial success, and online poker is no different. Good budgeting will keep the amounts you play with, lose, and/or win in perspective.
Research the Platform
Finally, also remember to research the crypto poker platform you choose to play with. There may be limited information available, but because these are by nature new platforms, it’s in your best interest to do what you can to ensure they’re legitimate, well run, and fair. That way, you can be confident that your deposits are safe and the games are on the level.
The advent of crypto poker is exciting, and it’s a virtual certainty that there will be more growth in this space moving forward. Before you deposit cryptocurrency and start playing though, follow these steps to protect yourself and get the most out of the activity.