Online poker is now the preferred game for many players. However, there are still some who prefer the more personal and sociable experience of playing live poker in a bricks and mortar casino or at a private home game.
Although both types of poker work on the same basic principles (players are dealt cards, there is betting, and people win/lose) there are a number of differences in the way that the two games function. These differences can affect the game in different ways and have a significant impact on your win rate.
Differences between live and online poker include the speed of the game, readability, table dynamics, and more. While some of these factors can be overcome, others are more difficult to adjust for. This article will discuss 6 key differences between live and online poker and how you can improve your winrate by adjusting to them.
In live poker, the physical presence of your opponents allows you to pick up a lot more information about their playstyle and tendencies. This is particularly true for the smaller stakes where players can often be seen and heard making their decisions. These tells can be subtle but important and can make a significant difference in your decision making. For example, the way a player places their chips when they’re bluffing or their body language can say a lot. These factors can be hard to pick up in online poker where only timing and bet sizing are available.
Another important difference between online and live poker is that the internet has made it very easy to access a wide range of tips, tricks, and suggestions for improving your game. This information is invaluable for any serious player and can make the difference between winning and losing. In contrast, the live poker community is relatively small and many players do not have the benefit of this vast pool of knowledge at their disposal.
Lastly, while online players are used to playing multiple tables at once and seeing hundreds of hands per hour, the pace of live poker is much slower. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see only 30 hands per hour at a live table. This can be frustrating for players who are used to playing online, especially if they don’t have good cards.
This slower pace also means that players are more eager to play hands live, both in cash games and in tournaments. This can result in more multiway pots, especially on the flop. This can make it a bit harder to extract value from shoving AK preflop, but it’s something that you need to be prepared for if you want to be successful at live poker. Thankfully, you can adapt by playing loose-passive and seeing more flops in these situations. Then you can raise with your strong hands and trap weaker players who like to limp or flat with their marginal holdings.