Brick and Mortar – Sometimes abbreviated “B&M,” a physical card room or casino rather than a virtual one.
This term is widely used to differentiate businesses that operate in the physical world rather than the virtual one.
Since the introduction of internet poker in 1999, physical card rooms have been described as
“Brick and Mortar” establishments, while virtual card
rooms have been described as “internet poker portals.”
There are several major differences between brick and mortar card rooms and internet poker sites. The most obvious difference
is that there is a lack of physical contact with others when you play online. This makes it impossible to get physical
tells from the other players which result from
speech and body language. When you play online, you will have to rely exclusively on tells you receive from betting patterns. Since
online players gain information primarily through betting patterns, a lot of feeler bets are made, especially on the flop. It is a
standard play to counter a feeler bet by raising, so the placing of more feeler bets also leads to more raising. So players tend to
be more aggressive online than in brick and mortar establishments.
Another difference is that it is cheaper, per hand played, to play online. There are never any tokes (tips) for the
dealer, porter, floorman, etc. The rake is almost
always less online than it is in a brick and mortar card room. Additionally, internet sites frequently offer deposit bonuses, reload
bonuses, and other incentives you will not get in brick and mortar poker rooms.
The action is much, much faster online. An online game will typically deal two to three times as many hands as the same
brick and mortar game. You can also play numerous games at once online. An experienced online player can easily play six
to eight games at the same time, while a brick and mortar player can only play one. An online player running several
games can play 800 hands per hour or more, while a brick and mortar player may only play 40-50 hands per hour.
Many players refuse to play on the internet because they believe that it is not secure, and that they may be cheated. In
actuality, internet card rooms provide players with a similar level of security as Brick and Mortar card rooms. Both have
security departments staffed by experts whose job it is to spot cheaters. Virtual card rooms even run software that
analyzes players’ betting patterns looking for anomalies. When they catch cheaters, they close their accounts, confiscate
their funds, and issue reimbursements. Of course there is always the possibility cheating will occur, regardless of
whether you play in a brick and mortar establishment or online.
Usage: Online or Brick and Mortar, (B&M), Brick and Mortar Casino
Also see Online or Casino Poker article
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