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10 Basic Differences Between Online and Live Poker: A Beginners Guide

What are the differences between online poker and live poker?

Even though the same strategies apply to both formats, there are some differences that you should be cognizant of.

1. Pace of the Game is Slow in Live Poker

Online poker players in India often play multiple tables at once and see hundreds of hands every hour. In live poker, you are confined to a single table and the game’s pace is much slower than in online games. This is because live dealers need to take time to shuffle cards, collect chips, and distribute pots. All of this is automated in online poker.

2. Live Reads Are Not Possible in Free Online Poker

By far the biggest difference between online and live poker is reading your opponent’s expressions. It can be an important part of the poker strategy. In live poker, players give away visual cues when they’re bluffing, for instance, they’ll slam their chips, while others will only talk when holding a strong hand. You can’t do this in online poker where everyone is playing behind a computer screen.

3. Live Poker Games Come With More Multiway Pots

Whether it is cash games or tournaments, you will deal with more multiway scenarios in live games. In free online poker in India, people move on to the next game after absorbing the shock of their loss.

However, players in live poker are forced to sit through a single table and often make more calls than they would if they were playing free online poker.

4. Money is More Valuable to Online Players

On the whole, online players are younger than live players and don’t have access to as much disposable income. They’re often just starting out with small bankrolls and it’s difficult for them to scrape together over $500 needed to sit in a live game. So a full bankroll is nearly impossible for them to manage. However, $500 can easily get you 20 buy-ins with online poker. More importantly, younger players have a greater risk appetite and are better at handling their losses. 

5. Live Players Aren’t Very Tech Savvy

Online players have access to impressive training regimes and have access to various resources. Live players are older and less tech-savvy. This is why they’re often not as well versed and often just play for fun.

6. Online Poker has More Variety

Even the best casinos in India with the fanciest poker rooms will struggle to offer you the range of variety offered by online poker sites. When playing online, you will easily find poker games with blinds of $0.1 or tournaments with buy-ins of just $1.

In live poker, you’ll need to pay at least $10 – $20 to play any type of tournament.

7. Online Poker Can be Lonely

Playing online poker can be a lonely venture. While most online poker sites offer chat option, this is rarely used to make small talk – a hallmark of live poker games. On the other hand, live poker rooms create an ideal social environment where you can easily talk to another person. So if you’re in the mood for some networking, online poker is probably not the best choice for you.

8. Playing Online is More Convenient

With live poker, you’ll have to drive all the way to the casino, and spend some time there. To play online poker, you can just load the online casino website whenever you feel like it. In this sense, playing free online poker games is just more convenient than live poker. 

9. Players Don’t Like to Bust Live Tournaments

While this doesn’t apply to all tournaments, in live events, people are very hesitant about putting their chips on the line. In online poker, it’s easy to bust one tournament and then load the next one. In live poker, once you’re bust, you’re done and have to look for some other form of entertainment. This makes the live poker setting more precious.

10. Variance in Online Poker is Different than in Live Poker

Live poker is slower and more prolonged than online poker. In online play, players can swing up or down 5 to 10 buy-ins in a single sitting. These swings are uncommon in live poker because the game is slower-paced. Depending on the type of game you play, variance in live poker can mean small swings every month or massive swings every week.

Keep in mind that it’s the same game and the underlying math never changes.

These were just some of the most significant differences between live and online poker. Do you agree with this list? Let us know in the comments below.

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