Live poker VS online poker: explaining the differences

Nowadays, physical poker and virtual game rooms coexist in their respective spaces and offer players several alternatives to enjoy their favorite game: poker. Depending on which part of the world we look at, the rules will set one or the other. The United States is one of the hardest places to regulate online poker, given the enormous weight of the hotel and entertainment industry.

However, abandoning online gambling means losing a good percentage of annual revenue, and the expansion of live poker rooms is far from stopped. Online poker even has its own tournament, and many professional players have left online poker rooms. But is this how the game is played? Are there significant differences between play poker live and online poker ? We can tell you yes, and some very important ones that break poker tradition.

The basics of live poker

Live poker is widely played in casinos and game rooms around the world. It is a game with a very powerful strategic aspect, in which it is important to master body language in order to make choices to win and prevent other players from discovering your cards. This characteristic is lost in online games based more on time and probabilities than on body language.

Nevertheless, the ability of players to make their calculations while maintaining a stern facial expression means that only poker’s grand masters are eligible for the highest jackpots. Experience is a very distinctive trait here, allowing players to expand their knowledge and gradually master the most complex mathematical concepts in order to apply them to the table.

In addition, most purists insist that the experience of participating in live poker games in a casino or in a physical game room does not compare to the experience that can be gained from a computer screen or live poker app. While it is much more convenient, it loses certain qualities that most poker purists consider necessary to fully enjoy poker.

The basics of online poker

Online poker is based on immediacy, adaptability to the beats, and savvy. This is not to say that these processes are not present in live poker, but in online poker they are much more obvious. Some game modes have been adapted to guarantee fun and entertainment in online poker, and are a great asset to attract new users.

Another feature of online poker that distinguishes it from live poker is that it is more accessible. Traditional poker used to be used for character building, and the weakest players had to quickly learn to disguise themselves among the most experienced players if they didn’t want to become the small fish of the day that could be plucked. This component of online poker is disappearing, which many appreciate for removing a certain stigma, thereby guaranteeing a level playing field in all gaming rooms, putting skill and luck first and leaving the character of the participants aside.

This accessibility is the main culprit behind the huge boom that online poker rooms are experiencing. However, while math still matters in this modality, the cunning of reading the player is completely lost. That doesn’t mean you can’t intuitively sense your opponents’ moves, but you lose a fundamental aspect of poker tournaments: face-to-face and body language.

This, while an advantage in online poker, plays against those who have established themselves in virtual game rooms and then move on to live poker. And the fact is that habituation and experience in physical poker rooms is not gained overnight, and it takes getting used to the environment of live poker rooms for a player to really feel comfortable.

There is some consensus on the disapproval of the presence of strong online poker players with zero experience at the gaming tables during the highest level competitions. And the fact is that the dynamics of online poker are different in many ways from live online poker, and in that sense, gaining experience in lower level games is also important for a player to know how to act both in virtual play and in real life, face to face.

So what is the difference between live poker and online poker?

In general terms, we can say that the live poker game is a slower game, focused on reading and perspective play, where the ability to handle all the variables and control body language is just as important as the ability to read your opponents. Instead, online poker loses that component in favor of accessibility. It is a faster, more convenient game that can be accessed from anywhere with any poker live app.

However, the strategic and mathematical component is still present. Contrary to what many people believe, online poker requires an excellent understanding of mathematics, something in which live and online poker are very similar. As many veterans in America say, “poker is poker” and it doesn’t matter what variables you enter: the game has the same fundamentals, despite the many modalities that exist today.