What is the biggest difference between online and casino poker?
Whether you're a poker player on a PC or in a casino, you're always playing the same game. In both games; The color beats the final, players bet, bluff, deliver and acquire bad beats. No matter what skills you've earned in one of the two formats, you'll be able to use it in the other.
Nevertheless, many players say quite convincingly that the two formats are absolutely not identical. Some equate this comparison with that between ladies and chess. From then on, online poker is more perceived as a video game, while live poker is more likened to a sport. Live poker is real, live poker is virtual.
Not so long ago, there was a real contrast between online poker players and live poker players. Many professionals belonging to one group did not recognize the other. Stories of real pro venturing online and not doing very well circulated. Some claimed it wasn't real poker. At the same time, online pros ventured into live events and had difficulty manipulating tokens, cards, or following the rules of the game.
Now, more and more excellent players and a large part of them at all levels play both live and online. They engage in both game modes with full awareness that they both have distinct game modes.
What are the fundamental differences between live and online poker? Which are the most important ones for players who move from one mode to another? Here's what you need to know.
When you play the Cash Game live, you quickly realize that the amounts of bets differ from the amounts online, especially when you have to make raises before the flop. While in the online mode, players place for 2x, 2.5x, 3x the big blind, in live games, we often see players throwing for 5x, 6x or more, especially in live games with small limits (1$/2 NL for example).
Competitions are a different context, although you will often find players who outbid, especially the most inexperienced who hardly follow the size of the pots.
Pots Heads-Up vs. Pots Multi way
In live games, you will sometimes face ineffective players who usually make more calls. This trend has the effect of increasing the number of live multiway pots more than online, where pre-flop bets are likely to create Heads-Up situations in general.
It is also common in live cash game sessions to see limpers before flop or several players who raise before the flop, which leads to a pot-multiway situation.
Fold vs Call
Although live players with pre-flop calls have more hands than online ones, in both game modes, post-flop situations go differently. You'll notice that online players are more likely to make big postflop calls with weak hands or moderately strong hands than what usually happens live. This means that big bluff attempts at the river will have a better chance of succeeding live than online even if they depend mostly on the context and the player. This trend is mainly explained by the fact that it is less difficult for most players to press a "call" button rather than actually making a call. Since you are spared the embarrassment of guessing the mistakes of the shots in reality, you have easier to make them online.
Frequency of bad beats
As the chances of meeting callers online are increasing, many players claim to have received more bad beats online than live. This seems true insofar as "micros", small limits and small online stakes, favour much more calls with the wrong hands that in many situations prove more effective than the right hands. Another fundamental difference between the two game modes reinforces this impression as bad beats occur more often online.
The pace of play
The pace of play is one of the most glaring differences between online poker and live poker. Online poker has a higher rate of play than live poker and those who have a preference for online gaming tend to get bored when playing live. While in a hold'em no limit game, you are offered almost 30 hands per hour, in an online game, you will be offered 60 or more and you will be offered more during Short Handed games. The fact that you can play multiple at an online table, also means that you have the opportunity to play many more hands than you can live.
That's why there may be some exaggeration in getting a lot more bad beats online. Indeed, you may feel like you're living tons of things online for the simple reason that you're playing more hands.
Variance in online poker and live poker
The term "variance" is generally used to refer to poker moves. The highest Variance refers to the largest gains and losses in the short term, compared to the results you have achieved over longer periods. The rate of online gambling somehow distorts what the short term actually means. By playing online poker for a week, you can have ten times the number of hands you would have had if you had played live poker for a week. So you get the impression that your Variance has undergone a strong acceleration.
Even if the difference is only artificial one can explain the high variances during online games by faster variations of the balance on shorter game times than live. This means that you will have to manage your bankroll differently when you play online and you generally want to keep a higher bankroll (in terms of tournament entry fees, or cash game buy-ins) than during your live games.
Poker online vs poker live: tells
One of the differences is that during your online games, you are not able to see your opponents and neither do they, which means that "physical tell" is not used online. This also has an impact on the conversation at the table which can greatly impact live games and becomes a significant aspect in online games (apart from chat). Live game experts say it's easier to profile the opponent live. In particular, it is easier to get information from the less experienced live. This does not exclude the fact that there are tells to online poker.
Another difference to complete the comparative list of online poker and live poker: the comparison of the stakes between the two modes. For multiple reasons, an online game and a live game played at the same limit will put, relatively speaking and generally on stage, more skilled players. For example, in a live game of 1/2 NL games there will be fewer experienced opponents around the table than in typical 1/2 NL online games, because if there is some difficulty in finding low-stakes games live, there are many online, some even playing a few cents.
There was also a proposal for a "10-to-1" rule of thumb to compare online and live issues. An online game at $0.50/1 NL would have the same level of difficulty as a live game at $5/10 NL. Of course at all levels you will face good and bad players, so this is by no means a rule without exceptions.