There are two primary ways of playing poker; live and
online. While the fundamentals of the two games are mostly the same, the overall
experience is just not the same. Both games differ when it comes to default
assumptions, dynamics, and the available information. In this article, we’ll
walk you through a comprehensive comparison of live and online poker. Let’s
break it down issue by issue;


When playing live poker, you must be able to tell
when the player on the table is thinking. On the other hand, when playing
online, you need to understand the percentages, poker tracker statistics, and ranges.
Besides that, you must have the ability to manipulate bubbles and stack sizes. Online
players are not always fully attentive. They can do other things like watching
TV, cooking, answering the phone among other activities.

Multiple-table options

Multiple-table refers to playing at different tables
at the same time. This is something you can easily do in online poker but is
essentially impossible to do in a live casino. Many beginners concentrate on playing
one single game. This is because when you go to a casino, you are likely not to
find a profitable table. However, multiple-tables affect experienced players
who play poker full-time. To them, it’s a big advantage to play online. As long
as you have a computer and internet connection, you can open different windows
for multiple games.

Speed of play

This is the most tangible difference between live
and online poker. Everything happens fast when playing online, for the obvious
reasons. To begin with, you don’t have to manually shuffle the deck each round.
Any chip count is done instantly, and the cards are accessed in a split of a
second. When it comes to playing live poker, you can only see 30 hands in most
rooms. Not only that, it’s time-consuming to build a decent sample size when
playing a live game. This doubles when playing online. Playing live game can be
quite frustrating, especially when you are not getting good cards.


You cannot play live poker outside a casino. When
playing online, all you need is to turn on your computer and log in to your
favorite site. With the advancement of technology, most sites support mobile
devices. This leads to a more comfortable experience. Also, you don’t have to
go to the bank to get your money.

Game selection

Poker players want to play the game where they can
get the best advantage. Unlike live poker, there are varieties of games to
choose online including turbos, knockouts, Freeze-outs, satellites among
others. Even if you live in a poker area, the chances are that you can only
play limited games.

Reads and tells

To be a successful poker player, you must figure out
what your opponent is thinking. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to read your
opponent’s mind when playing online poker. He or she can only show the cards,
but not the face. Plus, it’s not possible to tell whether your opponent is
thinking or is just taking a break. This makes it quite hard to analyze a move
through gestures. When playing live poker, you can get a good read on your
opponent. The best way is to study them physically in terms of their body
language. Alternatively, you can observe the way they’re playing with their
cards to get an idea what they are just about to bet. Tells can be pivotal in
helping you improve your Gameplay decisions.

Earning power

You need a considerable amount of work to be profitable
when playing online. What’s more, you must be a good player to get a return on
your investment or make at least 50% of your ROI. In live poker, you can find a
true expectation over your lifetime. Just eliminate the old thinking that `the
house always wins’.

Range of stakes

There is a wide range of stakes that suits all
budgets when playing online. This is quite encouraging for someone who is
starting out with a small bankroll. In other words, you can generally start
with blinds of $0.01, $0.02, $0.03, etc. Furthermore, there are plenty of
stakes for those who like to wager a substantial amount. By playing at these
smaller stakes, you can minimize the chances of losing real money. If you are
lucky you can find a game without any rakes. In live play, the game starts with
blinds of $1, $2, $3, etc. Remember, small bets in live poker games do not insinuate


The good thing about playing online is you’ll
experience very low probability of someone spewing retardation directly to you.
This is a common issue in live poker. Someone will always tell you that you
misplayed your hand.

Availability of information

Online players get extra information via HUD when
multi-tabling. This not only improves your decision-making process but also
enables you to see the statistics of your opponent. A well-rounded online player
needs to needs to know how to gather information. HUD is not available when
playing live poker.

Game analysis

In a live environment, there is no automatic record
of your hands. When playing online, your hands are recorded at poker sites and
are available upon request. Your hand history can be a valuable tool when
developing your game. It allows you to study and analyze your past performance,
and then work towards improving your skills. Not all players have an incredible
memory. This should not be overlooked.

Social factor

The ability to laugh or joke with your opponents
makes the game more enjoyable, especially when there are many players. This is
a big advantage for live players. That said, the social factor misses when
playing online. To give an edge to the online players, most sites usually
include a chat forum on their tables.

Poker tournaments

Online poker tournaments run throughout the year. There
are literally thousands of them every day. Most casinos offer one or two poker tournaments
per day.

Final thoughts

In recent years, the poker game has changed due to
the emergence of online poker. It has not only altered the way the game is
played but has also given people an easier way to play. While some of these
differences are obvious, it’s crucial that you understand them before deciding
whether to play live or online. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages.
It’s just a matter of personal preference.