Online Poker vs. Poker in Brick and Mortar Casinos

By Marcus Harmon
September 04, 2022

The increasing popularity of online poker has brought comparisons to playing the game in land-based ‘brick and mortar casinos. Many players wonder whether playing the game online generates as authentic an experience as playing live in person – and which is actually more beneficial for players.

Las Vegas

The actual game itself is the same whether you play online or in person. The same skills in bluffing, folding at the right time and of course placing the right bets lend themselves to both formats and you are still playing with a house dealer and other opponents whether online or not.

Both formats have developed over the years as online and offline technology has improved gameplay whilst players themselves have also developed their skills in how to play the game too. There is no doubt that poker is a much more competitive game these days – enhanced by its popularity.

So what are the key differences between online poker and brick and mortar casinos? We have put together just some of the key comparisons between the two to guide your decision in choosing which type of poker you wish to play the most.

Online Poker

The majority of people carry out almost their entire lives online on smartphones, tablets and laptops these days and they are looking to platforms to take part in gambling like poker in much the same way. So, what are the benefits in choosing an online casino over attending a brick-and-mortar establishment? Let’s take a look at some of them…

online poker


Probably the most obvious advantage to online poker is being able to play at any time from anywhere, or without having to leave your home. You have unlimited access to thousands of variations of gambling games including many online poker rooms, games and tournaments, and with various bet sizes and RTP ratios returning real winnings there is virtually no need to head out and visit a land-based casino.


The next difference is the huge variety in games provided online thanks to the games designers and developers that work on producing new and varied themed poker games that keep the play fresh and enticing for new customers. With so many options of, not just poker but various slot games to supplement the poker experience, it is no wonder that online platforms are continuing to receive thousands of unique visitors on a monthly basis.


Finally, with the amount of online gambling sites and apps available out there it falls on those providers to offer as much incentive as possible to attract new customers and retain existing players. New sign-up offers and loyalty bonuses can include free chips to use at almost any poker site for US players such as as they battle the competition to attract people to their platforms. The ability to use E-wallets and various online methods of payment is also a bonus for those players who take up such offers.

Poker in Brick & Mortar Casinos

Despite all of the above It is still important not to be quick to disregard the timeless classic of the land-based establishments that still operate to some success, certainly with older generations who have gambled for decades. These casinos still hold some sway as they provide fun for groups of friends who may wish to use the poker play as part of a wider social day or evening and enjoy the vibe provided by the real-life experience.

Caesars Palace Poker Room


As mentioned above, the thrill of enjoying a social experience with friends or just any other like-minded players and playing around a physical table is one that many people who prefer this option to online play enjoy. The opportunity to learn the game from more experienced players in games or tournaments is something that many feel cannot be matched.


Although playing online does not restrict players to CGI dealers it still does not provide that interaction with a real-life person standing in front of you as you play the game. That interaction forms a key part of the experience mentioned earlier that provides brick and mortar casino visitors with the enjoyment they get.

Money management

Knowing the chips you are purchasing at a land-based casino are being done so with real money in your hands – or even on a card or E-wallet on your smartphone – allows a player to perhaps be more careful with their spending. This extends to the poker table as dealing with larger sums of cash than they may bet online means a player is more likely to take extra care in the bets they place, especially when it comes to reducing the number of bad beats.

Playing at Pace

Now we have taken a look at each option individually, what is the largest difference we believe to be between online poker and brick and mortar casinos that you should consider? This would have to be how fast the game is played, and the difference between the two formats.

Quite simply, online poker is played at a fast pace that takes some getting used to thanks to the technology involved behind the scenes in a poker room. With no real-live dealer or big breaks in play for any reason, online poker allows for quick play which naturally includes instantly split pots and instantaneous payouts. The general smooth running of the game thanks to this technology also puts players at ease.

But that’s not to say you won’t get a benefit from visiting a land-based casino – as we have touched on above. It purely depends on what you are looking for in your poker experience. Why not try both!



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Marcus Harmon poker author
Written By.

Marcus Harmon

Marcus Harmon is a poker writer and editor of Sunshine Poker Rooms, a poker news and information source. With a decade of experience in the online gaming industry, Marcus has been lucky enough to have met and indeed been beaten by some of the great players. His other passions are soccer and travel.

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