Comparing online poker vs. live poker

Both poker players who play poker in the casino and on a computer play the same game. Both players bet, bluff, deliver and receive bad beats. In both, a flush beats a straight. If you develop skills playing online poker, you fare well-playing poker in a casino. However, arguments have been in existence to the effect they differ in one way or another. Comparing online poker vs. live poker is like comparing chess vs. checkers. Players argue that online poker is virtual while live poker comes with a real element.

Some time back, successful live poker players could get beaten in an online poker and they could claim that online pokers aren’t real. Additionally, online players could visit casinos and they have difficulties in handling cards as well as chips. However, as time goes, there is an overlap whereby online players also play poker in casinos and vice versa. Those who are can’t juggle between online and live need to know the differences in playing online and live. Therefore, what are the main differences between the two? Here are a few differences to consider.

1.Bet sizing

They differ in bet sizing especially when it comes to open preflop raises.  While in online game can feature openings of 2×, 2.5×, or 3×, live game players can open for 5 times or even more, majorly in the low-stakes live games. Tournaments are also not exactly the same in both cases because live players tend to overbet, especially the ones who have difficulties to keep track of pot sizes.


2. Heads-Up Pots vs. Multi-Way

Live game players often encounter looser player in the sense that they call more. Consequently, multi-way pots occur often in live games as compared to online where heads-up situations are often created by the preflop betting. Multi-way situations occur more frequently in live games than in online games.

3.Folding vs. calling

Postflop things go differently in both games. Online players tend to make bigger postflop calls with medium or weak strength hands as compared to live. Therefore, big river bluffs get through often live. This scenario can be explained by the ease of clicking a “call” button online as compared to making a tough call live.

4.Bad beats frequency

More players experience “bad debts” online than live because of the number of callers online. It often occurs at the “micros” as well as lower limits online.

5.Pace of the game

Online players like playing online because the pace of the game is faster as compared to live. They find live gaming too tedious to participate in. In online poker, you can find 60 hands per hour as compared to about 30 hands per hour in a live no-limit hold’em cash game. The impression that you will experience more bad beats online is exaggerated. Online poker enables players to experience everything.

6. Variance in online poker and live poker

Variance in poker describes swings players undergo when playing poker. For instance, high variance translates to bigger losses and wins in a short period of time compared to your long period results. There is a higher variance when playing online poker as compared to live poker. Another obvious aspect in this comparison is the physical element in live poker is eliminated in online poker.

7.Relative stakes

Another difference to feature is how stakes compare between the two ways of playing poker. If an online game which is played at the same limit as a live game, it will feature higher-skilled players for obvious reasons. A rule of thumb “10-to-1” has been used to depict differences in stakes between online games and live games.