Online Poker versus Live Poker

Online Poker versus Live Poker

Although the rules of the games are the same whether you play online or in a land-based casino, the actual play is so much different that some people claim that the two types of poker are actually two different games.

Online poker is much faster than live poker so you have less time to think. Most of the tells you learned for live poker don't apply to online poker and there are other tells that you have to learn.

Players move in and out more online and some players try to play more than one game at the same time. In addition to these differences are others that you should think about.

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Time to Play Poker

When you play in a land casino you must travel there. Travelling, staying overnight, and restaurants cost money but, more importantly, it costs time. Even if you live close to a casino you have to invest extra time getting there.

Once you get there you may have to wait for a table. Obviously, there is only so much room in a land casino for poker tables. Poker is not the best way for a casino to turn a profit so there are far more slots than poker tables.

Poker Game Availability

Online you can always find a table playing your preferred game at the stakes that suit you best. Online you can find the tournaments you want more readily than on land. When you play online you can leave one table and switch games whenever you want.

Practice and Gaining Poker Experience

If you want to practice by playing a lot of hands, then online poker is the best way. The experience you gain watching hands play out is invaluable because online poker is much faster than live poker. You can play at more than one table at the same time. Try doing that in a land casino!

Poker Rake and Rakeback

Online casinos generally take less rake per hand than land casinos because they have more players and less overhead. For the online casino it's truly a win-win situation and the lower rake percentage serves the needs of players as well.

Land casinos don't offer rakeback.


Let's give the live game credit where credit is due. The slower pace in live poker enhances your concentration. Playing only one table does the same. If you find that playing online inhibits your growth as a poker player, then you probably should invest the time and money to play live poker.

Taking Notes

This practice helps you review a poker session. Many experts claim that note-taking is a key way to improve your game. It is much easier to take notes online.

Reading Poker Opponents

Live poker presents the most pronounced tells. If you want to get very good at poker, you will have to play live poker to learn how to read your opponents.

Since you can't see your opponent online, the kinds of tells are different. There are very few poker players who never play live poker so you need experience at both to be competitive.

Poker Rookies

Rookies gravitate to online poker. Because they are rookies they make a lot of mistakes. This means that luck is a much bigger factor online than on land. Few rookies can tell a bluff from a simple call or raise. When several rookies at the same table all call with hands they should fold and one of them makes his hand it can drive you up the wall.

The anonymity of online poker also helps build confidence in rookies. No one likes to appear foolish in public.


Most poker players will play both live and online poker. You need to gain experience at both to advance to a stronger set of opponents. As you saw above, both venues have their advantages and disadvantages. Only you can decide where it is best for you to play.

Posted by CCJ Team