Live vs. Online Poker: Key Differences Explained

Master Live vs. Online Poker: Main Differences You Should Know! Adjust your strategy, boost your win-rate, and enhance your game with our tips.
Live vs. Online Poker: Main Differences You Should Know

Live vs. Online Poker: Main Differences You Should Know

Understanding the main differences between live and online poker can help you adjust your strategy and boost your win-rate. Although the rules and principles of poker variations remain the same, there are still significant distinctions between the two formats.

Softer games in live poker

One of the main differences between live and online poker is that live games tend to be much softer at comparable stakes. Most casinos don’t spread anything below NL200, so everyone who wants to play poker has to play these stakes or higher. Online, you can play as low as NL5 if you simply want to have some fun, and many recreational players choose this option.

Slower pace in live games

Live games move at a much slower pace compared to online games. Online players are used to playing several tables at once and seeing hundreds of hands per hour. With live games, you are limited to just one table, and the pace of that table will also be much slower than any online game you’ve ever played. You can expect to see only 30-40 hands an hour at most live games.

Physical reads in live poker

One of the biggest differences between live and online poker is the presence of physical reads in the former. While some people think poker tells are overrated, they can be quite significant in large pots. Many recreational players give away a lot of information about the strength of their hand, so if you put enough attention into it, you’ll be able to figure them out.

More multiway pots in live games

Whether it’s tournaments or cash games, be prepared for more multiway scenarios in live games. Online, people will often fold their bad hands and move on to the next table. However, live players are forced to sit at a single table and choose to get involved with a lot of speculative hands, just because they don’t want to be bored and keep folding.

Experimenting with bet sizes in live games

You can take more liberties with bet sizes in live games. Live players don’t care as much about the sizing as they do about their hands. If they like their hand, they will call your 3x, 5x, and sometimes even 10x open. So, you should experiment with your preflop raises to figure out how much your opponents are ready to pay and then take advantage of that information.

Table image in live games

You can easily take advantage of your table image in live games. People spend several hours sitting with the same players, so naturally, they see what you’re doing and try to figure out your strategy – sometimes even subconsciously. Therefore, building your image for a single session (or even for the long run if you’re playing against the same players) can be beneficial.

Win rate and earnings

You can have a bigger win rate in live games but make more money per hour online. Live games tend to be softer, so you can have a bigger win rate, but the pace is much slower, so you’ll make less money per hour. Online games are tougher, but you can play more tables at once and see more hands per hour, so you’ll make more money per hour.

In conclusion, while No-Limit Hold’em and all other poker variations have the same rules and strategy principles both live and online, there are still some major differences that you should know. By understanding these differences, you can adjust much faster and boost your win-rate.

When it comes to playing poker, there are two main options: live or online. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and it’s important to understand these differences before choosing which one to play.

Live poker games are typically much softer, meaning the competition is weaker and easier to beat. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll make more money playing live instead of online. While your win-rate may increase significantly in terms of big blinds per 100 hands, you’ll also play fewer hands overall. If you’re used to winning 2BB/100 online while playing multiple tables, you’ll need to win at least 12BB an hour in a live game to make the same amount of money.

Another disadvantage of live poker is that the rake is usually higher, especially at lower stakes. Some games even have an uncapped rake, meaning a fixed percentage is taken from every pot regardless of its size. While some rooms do offer promotions and leaderboards to get some rakeback, this isn’t a standard feature and the amount is usually small.

Online poker offers much more flexibility in terms of scheduling. You can find tables running pretty much whenever you feel like playing, day or night. Live poker games, on the other hand, are typically only available in the afternoon and during the night, with heavy traffic on weekends. If you value freedom and flexibility, online poker is probably the better option.

Ultimately, the choice between live and online poker comes down to personal preference. If you enjoy the atmosphere of live games and don’t mind adjusting your schedule around them, you may prefer playing live. But if you prefer the convenience and flexibility of online poker, that may be the better option for you. Just remember to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each before making your decision.