Online vs. Live Poker: 5 Main Differences


Online poker has revolutionized in the last few years. With the explosion of mobile app support and many sites available for play, it’s never been easier to play from home. However, playing from the comfort of your living room can be a little different than playing from the casino. The ease of games at home now attracts many more players, as it’s easier to find opponents that suit you. 

Whether you’re an intermediate player looking for some friendly competition or a complete newbie who wants to take their first steps into poker, here are some main differences between playing online versus live poker.

Live Games are Much Softer at Comparable Stakes

Online games generally rely on a low buy-in and regular Rakeback to boost the average prize pool. For this reason, they are often not as focused on generating a profit for the house. This means that the competition is often less tight, and the players are more willing to take some risks. 

This is a massive difference, especially if you’re just starting. While the chance of winning in live poker rooms is always present, it’s much less likely to be the primary source of your winnings. This is where playing online can be a great way to learn how to play poker from your luxury home.

@Jacob & Co

Live Games Move at a Much Slower Pace

It’s much easier to jump between tables while playing online than in a live environment.  Certain sites offer a chatbot. With a chatbot, you can quickly jump between tables without having to find an opponent, but leave the table and then reenter. 

It’s also much easier to take breaks while playing online. You can set up an automatic timer that will let you take breaks, pause the game and even resume it at a later time. In live poker, you don’t have a timer to let you pause, so you’re often in the game for several hours, especially when you’re playing at lower stakes.

You Can have More Liberties With Bet Sizes in Live Games

In many live poker games, the blinds, antes, and the rake are set at a preset rate that you can’t adjust. It’s usually marked on the table to know what you’re playing for. In many online games, you can adjust the size of all of these, often taking more risks or playing slightly more aggressively. It’s important to note that you have much more control over the size of pots in online games.

Reads Can Play an Important Role in Live Games

One of the main differences between online and live poker is how reads are taken into account. In live poker, reads are a significant part of the game. Reads include the cards a player holds and their facial expressions during the hand. With reads being less important in online poker, poker players have a bigger chance to make mistakes. This means online players could make a mistake that costs them money, like playing a bad hand or calling a bad bet. 

@Mobiweb Technologies

You Can Take Advantage of Your Table Image in Online Games

In live poker, you’re constantly in a new, unfamiliar environment. You have to deal with new faces, dealers, and possibly new rules. Even if you’re experienced, things can feel a bit disorienting. In real life, it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings and to put on your best poker face. This is not so much a problem online, where you can always use screen sharing or audio to accompany your play. You can also use a webcam and microphone to add a veneer of authenticity.

Poker is growing rapidly, and there’s no sign of it slowing down. If you want to get into the action but don’t want to take away time from work or school, online poker is the way to go. You can sit in your computer chair and play from the comfort of your own home. You can also play from anywhere that has an internet connection. To top it off, online poker is available 24/7, so there’s no need to miss a beat.

@Geoffrey Parker Luxury Poker Chip Set at @Harrods