Online vs Live Poker

Online Offline Poker players in the United States are always looking for great games to play in order to win the most money possible while also improving their game. The good news is that for over ten years, grinders have been able to turn to online poker games on the net to make a profit rather than rely solely on live casinos to satisfy their gambling passion.

Despite many, many US grinders loving the live rooms when online poker first emerged, the Internet versions of Americans' favorite card game continued to rise dramatically in popularity, from the first small-time rooms to the Chris Moneymaker boom of 2003, and beyond.

Despite net poker sites and players alike in the USA falling foul of the law over the years, the online game continues to grow in the US and worldwide. Let's take a look at both online and offline poker, and compare them to find out the advantages and disadvantages of playing on the web versus the live game.

Online Poker - What Are The Advantages?

Online Offline - Adv Online When asking this question, it's perhaps better to slightly rephrase it: What are the MANY, MANY advantages of online poker? Card game lovers logging on to play online enjoy so many distinct pluses over their brick 'n' mortar cousins, it's hard to know where to start.

Online players, first of all, have the luxury of playing online any time they want from the comfort of their homes. All poker sites are open 24/7, and even during the off-peak hours have a good amount of players sitting at tables. Better, there's no dress code - simply 'turn up' in your pyjamas and start playing!

Every Stake is Possible, No Matter How Small

Second, the smallest stakes in a live casino can still be many times more what they are online. For example, tournaments at typical Las Vegas casinos will often never have an entry below $50, while the smallest tournaments online will start at just a dollar, and even less if the site offers freerolls or games allowing you to buy in with Player Points.

Cash games also follow this dynamic, as the cheapest games in reputable casinos run with $1-$2 blinds for a No Limit Texas Hold'em game. What are the cheapest cash games at an online poker room? Try $0.01-$0.02! This dramatically lessens the risk involved with playing poker online and allows players to really stretch their bankrolls further than they would do in a brick n' mortar gaming establishment.

Online Poker - Home of the Best Comps

Another huge advantage to playing online are the perks. If you tried to walk into a live poker room and tell them you've never played there before and would like a few hundreds bucks as a bonus, they'd laugh at you. Casinos might offer you a coupon for a free buffet once a month, tickets to some in-house entertainment or a meal in the restaurant, perhaps, but never any cash.

Legal online poker sites, on the other hand, give every new customer lucrative bonuses that can easily be unlocked through play at their tables. Once that initial deposit bonus has been unlocked, the perks aren't over. Many legit sites have VIP programs that reward players with prizes and cash bonuses for play.

Raking the Rake

The rake at land casinos, as opposed to online tables, is dramatically higher. For example, at local casinos in the Los Angeles area, the rake at $1-$2 tables can reach as much as $7 per hand. At Commerce Casino, if you play at any of the mid-stakes or high stakes tables, they charge you an hourly fee for sitting and playing at their games! The typical maximum rake ever seen at an online table is $3, a fraction of what live casinos ever take off the tables.

Multitabling - Master It Or Be Gone

The last major advantage is the amount of games offered online and the number of simultaneous tables an online player can enjoy. Online, the average player can soon, with practice, play several games at the same time. For example, an average player could be playing in a low stakes tournament, grinding it out at a couple of small stakes cash games and learning to play Omaha at a micro-stakes table, all simultaneously.

Some US online grinders get in as many as a thousand hands an hour playing online, while live players cannot possibly play more than fifty to seventy. Playing more hands means more experience, and more experience means getting better at the tables. In the long run, it means more profit for you, and another step closer to unlocking that deposit bonus.

That's All Good - So What Are the Downsides of Online?

There are a couple of disadvantages to playing online when compared to playing in a live game at a casino. One of them is purely technical - the fact that while playing online you cannot read physical tells off your opponents. This is a huge advantage to a good player grinding live. That's not to say there aren't tells online, of course, as many online grinders will give away the strength of their hand through betting patterns and how long they take to make a bet. If you are making the transition from live to online, you will have to learn a new set of skills.

As Americans have taken up online poker gaming in their thousands, so the difficulty of the games has increased over time. At the mid to high stakes particularly, you will find the general standard of poker much tougher.

If you have ever played in a $2-$5 cash game in Las Vegas you might have found that other than a couple of solid regulars, many of the other players are tourists just out for a good time and prepared to lose money. Online, however, almost EVERY player at that level will be good. If you go looking for reckless drunks at the big games online, you will end up disappointed.

If you want an easy life online, consider sticking to the lower levels where many of the casual players and fish reside - your bank balance will thank you for it in the long run.

Which is Better - Online or Live?

Online Offline - Which Is Better From an objective perspective, it's clear that online poker is by far the better experience than playing live. Some players may not feel that way as they enjoy the social aspect of playing live or just can't come to grips with playing poker on a computer because they lack basic computer skills. Each to their own, but smart players will certainly be ones that play online and still mix it up at their local casinos.

We Find the Best US Legal Poker Sites

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