What is the difference between online Poker and live poker?

Online poker has made tremendous strides in the past few years. While the rules of poker and the general game remain the same, there was a time when there was a stark difference in online players and live players. Poker online game was considered more of a video game, while live poker tournament was compared more to a sport. But things have changed now. There is more of an overlap between the two versions of the game. You will find players of all calibre playing both online and live. Still, there are a few differences in the experience of both versions. So, what are some of the biggest differences between the two formats that still prevail?

Speed of the Game

Playing live poker means having human dealers deal with the cards, the chips, and the bets. No matter how smooth the dealer is with dealing the cards, they can’t match the speed of a computer. Live games tend to be relatively slow compared to online games as the players, too, take longer to see their cards, count chips to bet, and generally try to read their opponent. Meanwhile, all these actions are automated in online poker. There is also a time limit to make your decisions so the game moves swiftly. You can play more poker games online in a single day than you can play live games in a month.

Reading Your Opponent

Though reading physical tells is highly overrated, it is a traditional part of live poker tournament. Of course, you cannot see your opponents in an online game. Online players focus more on hand ranges, math, and game theory. Online players see betting patterns, time taken to make the bet, what position the bet was made from, etc. Online poker pushes you to become a more technically efficient player.

Ease of Play

Playing live poker requires more time and effort on your part. Getting ready to go to a casino or a game, travelling to the place, finding a table, etc. It is a whole ordeal. You may do it every now and then, but doing it regularly is not practical. Online poker offers an ease of playing as you can play any time during the day or night and from whatever place you choose. You don’t have to dress-up as no one can see you (except a few platforms that allow webcam feed).

The Variety

Even if you are playing poker in the biggest casino, you will not find as many game modes and varieties of poker as you would in online poker. There are plenty of platforms to choose from and plenty of game modes within where you can find a game and gameplay that best suits you.

The Social Circle

Online poker’s biggest strength is also its Achilles heel. While it does offer you a chance to play whenever and wherever, it also isolates you as you do not get to interact with other players. The environment in a live game is more active and you get to connect with a lot more people and have more real conversations than you can in a chat room.

Access to Resources

When you play online, you have the whole internet to research and update your skills in real time. This helps you in improving your game faster than you would in a live game.

The Aggression

If you see the strategies of online and live players, it will be clear to you that live players tend to be looser during lower buy-ins. Online players, however, play tighter and more aggressive plays.


One of the features of online poker that attracts a lot of players is multi-tabling. You can play on more than one table simultaneously. Now, this may increase your chances of winning big or losing big, but having this option is a plus. In live games, you can mostly play on one table at a time and your winnings and losses all depend on that one table.


As you can see, there are plenty of differences between online and live poker. Even if the general rules remain the same, your experience, winnings, and strategy can vary substantially depending on where you choose to play. Think of all the ways each form of game can affect you, and then choose which variant of poker you want to play.

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