Online Poker vs Live Poker

No-Limit Hold’em, as well as all other poker variants, is governed by the same regulations both live and online.

Although the same basic techniques apply to both, there are a few key distinctions that you should be aware of.

While I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s a completely different game, a live player attempting his or her luck online (and vice versa) may be in for quite a shock.

Online vs Live Poker

The goal of this article is to emphasize some of the biggest differences between live and online settings, which will potentially make the transition easier. It can help you adjust much faster and give your win rate a significant boost.

Key Differences Between Live and Online Poker

  1. Pace of play
  2. Level of play
  3. Size of rake
  4. Availability of games
  5. Freedom to choose your schedule
  6. Social atmosphere
  7. Ability to read opponents’ body language
  8. Softness of games
  9. Bankroll management

When comparing similar stakes, game outcomes are typically softer

You’re probably aware that these games are difficult if you’ve played NL200 or higher stakes online, or heard the stories about it.

There are also dedicated grinders who understand the approach and don’t make many errors. Playing at these stakes in online cash games is a lot of work.

However, games with a similar level are far simpler.

In most NL200 live games, a decent online grinder will be a favorite. Even if it appears to be inexplicable at first glance, there’s a reasonable explanation for it. Because most casinos don’t offer anything below NL200 due to financial constraints, everyone who wants to play poker must play these stakes or higher.

You may play as little as NL5 online if you only want to have some fun, and many recreational gamers take this path. Because of this, there are few people just looking to blow off steam in NL200 games online, but you can find plenty of them in a live setting.

Of course, it’s a two-way street.

A good winner in their local 1/2 game at the same stakes online may be in for a rough time.

Some of these games may need you to brush up on your strategy and learn some new abilities before you can make money playing them, and you’ll most certainly want to use tracking software so that you’re not at a disadvantage.

When changing contexts, pick the correct stake.

Games in progress move at a significantly slower rate

Online Poker vs Live Poker

Live games are limited to just one table, and the pace of that table will be much slower than any online game you’ve ever experienced. In live games, you’re only allowed to play one table at a time, and it’s going to be a lot more sluggish than any other online game you’ve ever had.

“At most live games, you can anticipate to see only 30-40 hands per hour.”

First and foremost, a live dealer must shuffle and deal cards, collect chips, distribute pots, and so on.

Furthermore, many live players prefer to take their time and are not necessarily just concerned with playing at lower stakes. Many of them are there for the purpose of having fun, laughing, and chatting.

If you come from an online background, this may be extremely vexing, but it is simply the nature of the game.

So, if you know what to expect, it’s better to come prepared.

In real games, a player who reads can have an important function.

One of the most significant distinctions between live and online poker is the presence of physical reads in the latter. While some individuals may feel that tells are unnecessary in poker, I disagree.

I’m not claiming that live reads are the most essential aspect of poker strategy, but they can be crucial in high-stakes situations. Many casual players reveal a lot of information regarding the strength of their hand, so if you pay attention to it, you’ll be able to figure them out.

“Some people are so oblivious to what they’re doing that they act differently with a firm grip and when bluffing.“

Some slam chips when bluffing, while others only chat when they have a good hand or perform some other action that conveys information. nOnce you’ve identified these distinct signals, you may pursue more pots with these players and enhance your advantage even further.

In live games, you’ll play more multiway pots.

In live games, expect to encounter more multiway situations. People will frequently fold their poor hands and move on to the next table online.

However, live players are compelled to sit at a single table and pick whether or not to participate in numerous speculative hands since they do not wish to be bored.

In lower-stakes games, it’s not uncommon to see 3-betting cold calls. While you won’t see these strategies online very often, individuals will frequently perform them in a live game, with many additional players following suit.

Because there’s no avoiding it, you’ll need to deal with these multiway pots and adapt your strategy.

“Even the most powerful preflop hands lose effectiveness when you’re up against three or four other players, and a bad one-pair hand has virtually no value postflop..“

So, you’ll have to be patient and sit for longer periods of time while waiting for ideal pockets to open up ahead of time and make some disciplined laydowns.

In live games, you can take more liberties with bet sizes

You can expect to be called only by the top of your opponent’s range if you try opening for 5x in any competent online game. In contrast, live players are less concerned with their hands than computer opponents.What I mean is that if they like their hand, they will call your 3x, 5x, and sometimes even 10x open.

So, to find out how much your opponents are ready to pay, try adjusting the preflop raises you use. Then take advantage of that information by changing your postflop bet sizes.

When you’re trying to control the pot or go for value, people frequently overlook sizing, and you can get away with low stakes when attempting to keep the pot or high stakes when aiming for value.

It’s great that you won’t have to worry about balancing everything in live games. nUnless you’re up against a particularly strong lineup, no one will notice what you’re doing. And, if you’re facing difficult opponents, get up and look for a simpler game; it shouldn’t be difficult at all.

You can quickly take advantage of your table image in live games

When you play online, you are simply one of many other players against your opponent. As a result, unless you’re making some major blunders or giving a tough time to a certain player, you’ll barely be noticed.

In live games, on the other hand, it is quite different. People spend many hours sitting next to each other, so they naturally try to figure out your approach — and sometimes even unconsciously.

As a result, establishing a reputation for yourself in one session or perhaps for the long term if you’re playing against the same people may be quite beneficial. For example, convincing them to change their mind might take some effort if they label you as a big bluffer.

Those few substantial bluffs you sped by during your journey will stay in people’s minds for a long time.

“While you should never expose your cards while playing online, showing a large bluff in live games may pay off handsomely in the long term.“

There are no hard and fast rules regarding what you should or should not do while developing your public image. The most essential thing to remember is that what people believe about you is more important than anything else.

You can have a higher $/hour playing live games, but you can also win more often in offline poker

While live games are softer, this does not imply that you will win more money playing live than online. While your BB/100 win rate is likely to improve considerably, you’ll play significantly fewer hands.

To win the same amount, you’ll need to win at least 12BB an hour in the live setting if you win at 2BB/100 online and play 600 hands a hour on various tables. This is certainly conceivable, and you can even make more money, but it’s also vital to remember that the best indication of your success is how much money you make per hour, not simply the actual big blind count.

The rake in live games is typically greater

In comparison to online players, live games are significantly more aggressive in this regard. It’s especially true for low stakes poker, where you’ll frequently have to accept the fact that a lot of every pot you win goes to the house.

Of course, some games are superior to others, but you may not have a lot of alternative in the first place. It’s worth noting that certain tables have an unlimted rake, meaning they will take a set percentage from each pot no matter how big it gets.

These are the games you should generally avoid unless you’re up against an extremely weak field. In addition, in live games, you won’t receive «standard» rake back.

Some rooms, on the other hand, run special offers and leaderboards where you can earn back some of your money. This isn’t a standard feature, and the amount refunded is likely to be minimal. However, we must consider the casino’s viewpoint as well. They have a set number of tables and are unable to replicate them in order to increase their profits like their online counterparts. In the end, they still need to earn enough money to cover their expenses, but it’s players who pay the price through rake.

Online gaming offers much more freedom than single-player games

If you play online poker, you may always fire up your client and discover some tables running. There are usually games available, especially in larger rooms, with a lot of activity at all hours of the day or night.

So, you have complete freedom when it comes to your schedule, especially if you’re playing cash games. This isn’t the case with live poker. Most live casinos and poker rooms will offer their clients games in the afternoon and late at night, with a lot of demand on weekends.

“If you’re searching for decent live games, you may often have to play late into the night, and Fridays and Saturdays will almost always be reserved for poker..”

So, if you value freedom and adaptability, online poker is probably the best alternative. If you like the atmosphere of live games, they may be a lot of fun; but you’ll need to change your routine around them rather than vice versa.

Live or Online Poker: It’s a Question or Personal Preference

Regardless of the method you use, it’s critical to understand and accept these distinctions before making a decision.

Live poker may not be for you if you don’t like being around other people or don’t feel comfortable playing through the night. However, if you have a solid basis and aren’t afraid of a slower game pace, you should be able to maintain good win rates in most live games while gradually increasing your bankroll. Live games are considerably softer.


How many hands per hour do you play online?

This number can vary depending on the stakes, game type, and number of players at the table. However, a good average is around 60 hands per hour.

What’s the standard rake for live games?

The rake is the percentage of each pot that goes to the house. In live games, the rake is typically greater than in online games. For example, a common rake for a $1/$2 no-limit Hold’em game might be $5 per pot + $1 per hand.

Is it better to play online or live?

This is a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer the convenience and freedom of online poker, while others enjoy the social atmosphere of live poker.

What’s the best way to transition from online to live poker?

If you’re used to playing online, you might be surprised by the pace of live poker. It’s important to remember that live games are generally much slower than online games. In addition, the level of play is usually lower in live games. As such, it’s important to adjust your strategy accordingly.

What are some of the key differences between live and online poker?

The biggest difference is the pace of the game. Live games are generally much slower than online games. In addition, the level of play is usually lower in live games. As such, it’s important to adjust your strategy accordingly. Other key differences include the size of the rake, the availability of games, and the freedom to choose your schedule.

What are some of the benefits of playing online poker?

Some of the benefits of playing online poker include the convenience and freedom to choose your schedule. In addition, online poker rooms typically have a larger selection of games and stakes than live poker rooms.

What are some of the benefits of playing live poker?

Some of the benefits of playing live poker include the social atmosphere and the ability to read your opponents’ body language. In addition, live games are generally much softer than online games.


In conclusion, the key differences between live and online poker are the pace of play, the level of play, the size of rake, the availability of games, the freedom to choose your schedule, the social atmosphere, the ability to read opponents’ body language, and the softness of games. Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal preference as to which type of poker you prefer. If you’re looking for convenience and freedom, online poker is probably the best option. If you’re looking for a more social atmosphere and softer games, live poker might be a better option for you. Thank you for reading! I hope this article was helpful.

Online Poker vs Live Poker
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