There is an ongoing discussion among gambler regarding whether it is better to play live or online poker. What is the best way to play the game and hopefully win? If you ask some professional poker players, you’ll get an answer that they tend to mix both, live and online poker, and are pretty successful at both. So, what’s the difference between live and online poker and why is there such a big discussion when the question of which one is better is raised? In this article, we’ll try to identify the main differences between the two versions and let you decide which one suits your needs best. Let’s start!
Live Poker vs Online Poker
Whether you are playing live or online poker, you’re playing the same game. The rules are the same and players in both games can bet and bluff, deliver and receive bad beats etc. In fact, many of the skills you develop in one version of the game, easily translate to the other.
Despite all this, many players have argued that both versions of the game couldn’t be more different. Some would even suggest that they are as different as checkers and chess. There are even such claims that online poker is a video game, while live poker is more of a sport. This claim probably arises from the fact that the former is “virtual”, while the latter is “real”.
In the past, the distinction between online poker players and live poker players was quite sharp with many professionals belonging to one group while totally ignoring the other. You could hear stories of live pros trying online poker and not doing well, as well as online pros playing live events and struggling to even follow the game.
Today, this difference is not that big. There is more of an overlap with most of the players playing both the live and online version of the game. However, those who decide to engage in both versions of the game, need to be aware of the differences ofbotversions and how to play respective games.
So, what’s the difference between live and online poker and which are the most important differences for players? You’ll find the answers to these questions and more in the text below.
Size Of The Bet
Like most things in life, size does matter when poker bet is in question. This is one of the main differences between live and onlinepoker,because the bet sizing in live poker is different than that in online poker. While in online poker players might open for 2x, 2.5x or 3x, in live poker games it is not that unusual to see players opening for 5x, 6x or even more. This is especially true for the lower-stake live games.
When tournaments are in question, you can find a completely different story with players occasionally over betting, especially inexperienced players.
Calling And Folding
This is another thing that makes online andlivepokerdifferent. If a live player is often looser with their preflop calls, theirpostflopthings most often go differently. It is more than certain that you’ll find online players more apt to make bigpostflopcalls with either weak or medium hands than when they play live. This means that players tend to make big bluffs more often when they play live poker compared to when they play online. However, this depends on both the player and the situation.
This could be explained with the fact that it is much easier to just press the “Call” button when playing online than to make a live tough call.
When it comes to multi-way pots, it is more common to find them when playing live poker than online poker. One player raises and makes a bunch of people call its raise and they get to see a flop with a low SPR with many players contending with it. This is not the case in online poker because there are fewer multi-way pots since fewer players are calling preflop raises. This is as well a function of open-limping which is yet another common element of live poker than in online games. In live poker, a player open-limps and everyone limps behind. There are three ways on which you can adjust your game:
- In live poker, you can limp behind without the fear of being constantly isolated
- If you call a preflop raise while playing online, you have better chances of facing a squeeze
- You should know how the SPR changes before you get involved in the live multi-way pot with a suited ace.
Speed of Play
Part of the answer to “what’s the difference between live and online poker” has to do with the speed of play or the dynamics of the game. This one is one of the more obvious differences between the two versions of the game. In general, online poker is played much faster than live poker. Whereas you can play around 30 hands per hour in a hold’em cash game with no limits, in online poker you’ll see 60 hands per hour or even more in some short-handed games. It is also worth mentioning that online you have the ability to multi-table which is equal to playing a lot more hands per hour than live poker.
Variance In Live Poker vs Variance In Online Poker
Variance is often used to describe the swings a player endures when playing poker. The higher variance equals bigger gains and losses in the short term when compared to the results over longer periods. The faster pace of the online game artificially affects what short term actually means. You can play a week online and log into your account 10 times the number of hands you would play if you played live poker for a week, giving an impression that your variance’s been accelerated greatly.