How is Online Poker Different From Live poker

Whether you are playing poker live at a casino table or online on a computer, both games are primarily the same. In both cases, a flush trumps a straight. Online and live poker games have players who wager and bluff, as well as deliver and receive terrible beats. The skills that a player develops while playing poker in one format can easily be transferred to the other.

However, many poker players have pointed out that the online and live poker games couldn’t be more different. Some players have also associated it with the comparison between chess and checkers. Live poker is more akin to a sport than online poker, which majorly resembles a video game. Online poker is undoubtedly virtual, while live poker is the actual one.

Today, the majority of pro and seasoned poker players, as well as many others at all levels, play both online and live poker games. Those players that participate in both must be aware of the distinctions in how the two games are played.

While you contemplate the significant differences between online and live poker, we have compiled a list of differences between the two to help you better understand them and figure out which one would you prefer to play.

Top 7 differences between online and live poker

  1. Sizing of the bet: Different bet sizing is common in live poker games than it is online, especially when it comes to beginning preflop raises. While poker players in an online poker game could open for 2x, 2.5x, or 3x the big blind, it’s very uncommon to see players open for 5x, 6x, or even more in live poker games, especially at lower stakes. Poker tournaments are an entirely different issue, though you’ll occasionally find live poker players overbetting there as well, particularly amateur and inexperienced ones who have trouble keeping track of pot sizes.
  2. Multi-way vs. heads-up pots: Poker players in live games will typically find looser play in terms of players doing a lot more calling. As a result of this trending aspect, more multi-way pots are played in live poker rather than online, where pre-flop betting is more likely to result in heads-up scenarios. It’s not uncommon to see numerous limpers preflop and/or several callers of a preflop raise in a live poker game session, resulting in a multi-way situation.
  3. Calling vs folding: Players can find it difficult choosing between calling and folding. Meanwhile, while poker players in a live game are frequently flexible with their preflop calls than online players, things happen differently after the flop. Online players are more likely than live poker players to make large post-flop calls with weak or medium-strength hands. As a result, large river bluffs tend to get through more frequently in real life than they do on the internet. However, all these aspects depend on the player and situation. One explanation for this trend is that many players find it easier to simply press the ‘call’ button rather than make a difficult call live. Players online will find it easier to make such calls online since they don’t have to deal with the shame of making a mistake in person.
  4. The pace of the gameplay: The pace of the poker gameplay is one of the more evident and significant distinctions between live and online poker. Online poker is far faster than live poker, and some players who prefer to play online find the live game to be too boring to bear. In a no-limit hold ‘em poker game, you might get dealt around 30 hands every hour, but online, you’ll see 60 hands per hour (or more) at a given table, and even more in short-handed games. The ability to multi-table online also allows players to play a lot more hands per hour than they could if they were playing live. As a result, the idea that they may get more awful beats online is exaggerated. The truth is that they can appear to have more of everything online since they are playing more hands, which definitely has an impact.
  5. Relative stakes: One more significant distinction to add to the list is the difference in stakes between live and online poker. For a variety of reasons, an online poker game played at the same level as a live poker game would typically have more talented and skilled players. When comparing live and online stakes, some poker players have also suggested using a ‘10-to-1’ rule of thumb. Apparently, poker players will find both good and bad players at all levels, both in-person and online.
  6. Online vs live poker players: The inability to see your opponents or for them to see you is also an evident distinction while playing online poker. This aspect implies that the role of ‘physical tells’ is completely absent from the online game, making it difficult for online poker players to decipher hesitant or defensive movements. This obviously has an impact on table conversation, which is vital in live games but is irrelevant while playing online poker. It is significantly easier to ‘profile’ opponents when playing live, according to seasoned and pro live players, particularly less experienced ones who tend to give out a lot of information very fast at the table.

Multi-way pots: Players can play more multi-way pots in a live poker game as compared to online poker. Players should prepare for more multiway scenarios in live games, whether it’s in tournaments or cash games. Players will frequently fold terrible hands online and move on to the next table. Live players, on the other hand, are obliged to sit at a single table and choose to play a large number of speculative hands in order to avoid getting bored and continue folding. In lower-stakes games, cold-calling 3-bets is prevalent. While these movements are rarely seen in an online poker game, they are frequently seen in live poker games, with several other players joining in on the fun. Players have to deal with these multiway pots and make required alterations to their poker strategy because there’s no other way around it.

Updated: February 14, 2022 — 6:43 pm