Online Poker vs Live Poker – Which is Better?

Online Poker vs Live Poker - Which is Better?

Since the 2000 poker boom, online poker has become a serious competitor to live poker. The evolution of computers to smart devices, alongside ever-increasing internet speeds, has made online poker more accessible than the live version of the game. Despite this boom in online players, live poker is still popular with over seven thousand poker tables in the US alone, and twenty-two thousand in Europe. Both versions of the game have advantages and disadvantages and in this post we will look at the key areas of difference.

Poker Types

Online poker also has the advantage of offering a much wider range of games. While Omaha poker is played at casinos, and at the WSOP, other versions of live poker can be hard to find. A single online casino platform can offer a wide range of choices, including video poker, Caribbean Stud Poker, and Pow Gow Poker. A lot of online platforms also allow players to play without real money, allowing them to try out different versions of poker to find one they like.

Winner: Online poker.

Where You Can Legally Play

One area where live poker has a clear advantage over online poker is the number of places you can legally play. While online poker is legal in countries such as India, in others it is either restricted or banned. For example, in Australia it is illegal to offer online poker or casino services. Poker players must either go to a physical casino or host a game at home. The limitations on online poker are also in force in the U.S. Only five states have legalized online poker (Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Connecticut, and West Virginia). In comparison, over half of the country’s states allow live poker, whether in card rooms, casinos, or on Indigenous land. While online poker may be much more accessible, players need to be careful about where they play in order to not break the law.

Winner: Live poker.

Winning Potential

When most people think of live poker, they likely picture massive wins at tournament tables. Live poker can be very lucrative, especially in high stakes tournaments or prestigious poker rooms where the buy-ins are in the thousands. While poker pros can make a living playing live poker, these tournaments are much harder for regular players to go far in or even travel to. Online poker on the other hand is much more accessible. While the stakes are usually a lot lower, players can augment their winnings by playing multi-tables, or even tournaments, at once. Rather than being limited to one pot while playing live poker, players can be in the running for multiple pots at the same time. This increases their chance of growing their winnings over a much shorter period of time.

Winner: Online poker.

Social Aspect of the Game

While online poker allows you to play multiple tables at the same time it is a much less social game compared to live poker. Online poker players find it much harder to read opponents compared to the physical tells found in live poker. For this reason, bluffing in online poker is much harder. Studies have shown how the social aspect of gaming can improve other areas of life. Live poker is not only a great social game to play at a casino, it is also very easy to host home games. A home poker game is a great social activity among friends. One note of importance, if playing for cash those who organize a home poker game should be aware of local laws (see above).

Winner: Live poker.

If you are deciding between trying live or online poker we hope the above article proves useful.