How Does Online Poker Differ From Live Poker in Terms of Strategy?

How does Online Poker Differ From Live Poker in Terms of Strategy

3 minutes

Last Updated: May 27, 2024

If you want to play online poker or live poker, then it helps to know the difference between the two. By delving into each one, you will be able to better your understanding of the game so you can play with confidence when making strategic decisions.

Live Games Tend to be Easier

If you have ever played NL200 or higher online, then you will know that these games tend to be tough. You will be going up against experts who know their stuff, and they won’t make many mistakes.

If you want to beat your competition at this kind of stake, then you need to put in a lot of work at the table. Live games, even at a similar level, are easier. Most casinos don’t spread less than NL200 purely because it’s not financially viable.

That means everyone who wants to play poker has to agree to this stake or higher. The same concept can be applied to slots. When you visit a casino, you have to wager certain amounts. Online, however, you can wager much lower amounts.

The Wanted Dead or a Wild slot, for example, even offers free spins, something you won’t find in a traditional casino. Although the outcome is random, things like this can make it less risky, as you can bet lower amounts while taking advantage of bonuses.

In regards to poker, when you play online, you can enter games as low as NL5 if you want to have some fun, and recreational players often do this as a way to learn a strategy.

In NL200 games, you won’t find many people who are looking to practice but you will in a live setting. This is a great way for you to test different approaches.

Live Games are Slower

Live Games are Slower

Online players are on the rise, and they often play many different games at once, and they may even see hundreds of hands per hour. With live games, you have a single table, and the pace of this table is slower than any online game you might have played in the past.

At the most, you can expect up to 40 poker hands per hour. It takes a live dealer time to shuffle the cards and to deal properly. They also need to collect chips and distribute pots.

Live players tend to take their time, and they might not be focused on playing fast hands as they’re there to have fun, laugh, and talk. If you're an online player, this can be frustrating, and there’s not much you can do about it. Know things like this in advance so you can at least be prepared.

Lastly, one of the biggest differences between live poker and online poker is the presence of physical reads. Live reads might not be the most important part of having a strategy, but they are significant when dealing with large pots.

One tell that a lot of recreational players have is the immediate call. If a player with a strong hand decides to call, they will usually take a few seconds to come to that conclusion. Immediate calls usually indicate that someone has a weak hand.

Immediate calls tend to be useful on the preflop and flop, because this is when bets are small enough for a player to call quickly. Bigger bets, or bets on the turn, is when people tend to think longer about the decisions they are making, regardless of what they have.

When it comes to poker tells immediate calls rule out strong draws. If you are bluffing and someone calls you, then this may encourage you to follow up with a bluff. If you're betting on a strong hand, an immediate call from your opponent can indicate that they are going to fold.

This can encourage you to make the next bet smaller, or it may mean that you check. Although this is just one example, it shows how significant live reads can be.

Recreational players often give away a lot of information like this without realizing it, so it can be a good way for you to expand your knowledge of poker without having to go up against people who know how to read already.

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