Online vs. live poker: What sets them apart

By Sarah Thomas
July 28, 2023

Poker has witnessed a shift in gameplay with the rise of online platforms. The trend towards online poker gained momentum during pandemic quarantines when players sought virtual alternatives. Now players can choose between regular online poker or live poker.

The pace of online poker is rapid, driven by mouse clicks and computers, while live poker moves more slowly. This distinction impacts various aspects of the game.

Online poker offers a faster pace, with approximately 75 hands per hour on a 6-max table and approximately 62 hands per hour on a 9-max table. Fast-fold games like Zoom, Zone, or Snap push the limits further, reaching 200 to 250 hands per table hour.

In contrast, live poker operates at a more leisurely pace, with only 30 hands per hour due to factors like inexperienced players and slower dealers. This creates a unique dynamic requiring players to adapt their focus and patience compared to online play.

Nevertheless, the demand for both formats remains strong. Hence, many of the best casinos for Australian players compete to please players with the two varieties, alongside a diverse selection of table games and pokies for further enjoyment.

live vs online poker

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Live games are less aggressive

The style of play varies between live games, but overall, live games tend to be looser and less aggressive before the flop. This might be because the slower pace of the game leads to players wanting to play more hands out of boredom.

Additionally, live poker players, mostly because the platform is newer, may not be as skilled as online players on average, many of whom tend to be enrolled in a poker training site.

When you play poker online, there are buttons that make it easy to choose bet sizes, like three times the big blind or half the pot. But in live games, these preset options aren’t available.

Many players in live games bet big when they have a good hand or want to bluff and bet small when they are weak or trying to trap their opponents.

This can give you information about their hands. You can take advantage of this by using different bet sizes to bluff or get more calls, which might not work as well online, where players react differently.

In live poker, you can get information about a player’s hand not only from their bet sizes but also from their overall betting patterns or physical gestures. Everything they do at the table gives away information, including their body language and what they say. You can even use your own body language and table talk to mislead your opponents or make them nervous.

Live poker costs more

Live poker has higher expenses with slower gameplay but offers softer games. On the other hand, online poker allows for multi-tabling and faster hands, resulting in more significant swings.

In live poker, the rake (the fee taken by the casino) is generally higher compared to online poker. While it can vary between venues and websites, live poker usually has a higher percentage and cap.

When choosing where to play, consider this rake and how it affects your winnings. If the games are easy and have other advantages, it might still be worth it despite the higher rake and slower pace.



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Sarah Thomas poker author
Written By.

Sarah Thomas

Sarah Thomas is a content writer for entertainment websites. In her free time she enjoys playing all sorts of games, both live and online.

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