Online Poker Vs Live Poker Games: What Are the Major Differences?

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Jeffrey | Poker Strategy

Poker is one of the most popular card games in the world, and its popularity has grown enormously in recent years thanks tobig tournaments such as the World Series of Poker and the Poker World Tour. These televised tournaments offer millions of dollars in prize money and have helped Poker become a mainstream game. As well as big Poker tournaments, the rise of online Poker has helped more people get into the game. US states are starting to legalize and regulate online Poker sites, making it safer to play. Michigan just recently legalized online Poker, allowing players in the state to sign up and play at online Poker sites.

Now Michigan residents and visitors to the state have the option of playing live, in-person Poker, or playing Poker at online Poker sites and online casinos in Michigan. A lot of people who are unfamiliar with Poker might not be aware of the differences and how to play. We’ve written up this guide to help you get into the game and to decide whether you want to play live Poker or Poker online.

1. Live Games tend to be slower than online games
When you play live Poker, you’ll need to wait for the dealer to shuffle and the cards, collect chips, distribute wins, and so on. When you play online Poker, all of this is handled by the computer and can be done instantly, meaning that games are completed much faster. Online Poker can involve hundreds of hands an hour, and players can even play at multiple tables. When you play live Poker, however, you’re restricted to just one table and will have to wait for the dealer and other players. 30-40 hands per hour is usually the fastest you’re likely to see when playing live.

2. Reads and paying attention to expressions are much more important in live games
One of the most exciting aspects of Poker is the psychological side of the game. The best live players are experts at reading facial expressions and body language of other players at the table, working out when they’re bluffing or concealing a great hand. With online Poker, there’s no way to see your opponents at the table, so of course, you can’t pay attention to their expressions, and reading them is much more difficult.

3. Focusing on your table image is more important in live games
Your table image is how other players at the table perceive you. You can affect your table image by using certain strategies or revealing your cards. When playing live, you’ll often be playing against the same players for a long time, so it makes sense to portray a particular strategy. When playing online, though, players leave and join tables regularly, so there’s less of an advantage to be gained by using table image. Although table image isn’t everything, it can give players a sizeable strategic advantage.

4. The earning potential is higher in online games
Live games tend to be slightly easier or softer in general,although it depends on where you’re playing. Despite this, it’s possible to win at a much higher rate when playing online. This is partly because of the fast-paced nature of online play but also because you’ll generally have greater control over your stake. Most online Poker sites also offer lots of different tournaments, which provide plenty of opportunities to win big prizes. As an example of the difference, if you win just 2 BB/100 (Big Blind per 100 hands) while playing 600 hands in an hour online, you’d need to reach 12 BB/100 in order to reach the same win rate while playing live Poker.

5. The rake of live games tends to be higher than online
The rake is the percentage of the pot that the Poker site or tournament takes. Each tournament or game you play will have rake, which is usually measured as a percentage of the total pot. Online and live Poker games both have to pay a percentage for rake, but the percentage tends to be much higher for live games. While a lot of online games have a maximum amount for the rake, a lot of live games will simply have a fixed percentage with no cap.

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Author: Matthew Fisher