Switching From Live Poker to Online Poker

Switching from live poker to online poker

Live poker is a no-go for the majority of people around the world because the COVID-19 virus is rife. The virus is showing no signs of slowing down and countries are taking drastic steps to help prevent its spread.

Las Vegas’s casinos are currently on full lockdown and remain so for at least 30-days. Australian casino closed their doors last week, they could remain shut for six-months. Cancellations of live poker tournaments happened before these closures. Cash games soon followed suit. This has led to live poker players around the world heading online to continue playing poker.

Both live poker and online poker are the same game but there are several differences to be aware of. You’ll know about the main differences and be able to switch from live poker by the time you’ve finished reading this article.

Live Poker Is Far Slower Than Online Poker

The speed of how the games progress is the first difference you’ll notice as a live poker player. Good live dealers manage to deal an average of 25 hands per hour at a nine-handed. You’ll see upwards of 75 hands per hour in an online poker setting. Six-handed tables are dealt at 100+ hands per hour online.

This means you see far more hands online than you do at a live poker table. This is great when Lady Luck is on your side because your hourly win rate soars. Conversely, hit a losing patch and you can burn through your bankroll.

Online Poker Is Tougher Compared to Live Poker

Online poker players tend to be technically better than their live poker counterparts. The extra hands per hour result on them becoming more experienced faster than live grinders. Throw into the mix online players have the ability to play a dozen or more tables simultaneously and you can see why online poker players have an edge when it comes to experience.

A live poker player grinding for 40-hours per week will see approximately 1,000 hands in that time. The equivalent online player grinding a single table will see 3,000 per table during the same period.

This results in online poker being harder to beat than live poker.

Online poker has far more stakes to choose from compared to live poker. Head to Las Vegas and the smallest stakes you will find are $1/$2. Blinds of $0.01/$0.02 are available online. Players get to test their skills and gain experience cheaply online. Furthermore, many professionals play $1/$2 online because they can play many tables at once and earn $100-$200 per hour.

I played $1/$2 a lot at Planet Hollywood when I was last in Vegas. The games I was in were super soft. I’d say they were the equivalent of $0.05/$0.10 in the online poker world if I had to put my neck on the line.

There Tends To Be More Bluffing and Hero Calling Online

Everyone loves the excitement created when you run a bluff against an opponent. Likewise, the same feeling happens when you hero call and discover your opponent’s bluff. Both bluffing and hero calling is more common online compared to live poker.

Not having to look your opponent in the eye is a major reason for this. Live poker players have to maintain a poker face when bluffing, or be left with egg on their face when they call incorrectly. Live players also know they’re only seeing 25-hands per hour at most. A loss at these game speeds can take forever to claw back.

Online poker players don’t have any of these issues. They simply click their mouse and bluff or hero call without having to stare at their opponent. It doesn’t matter if they’re incorrect because they’re playing many more hands per hour. Any losses can be quickly won back.

Online Poker’s Loyalty Rewards and Bonuses Are Far Greater

Bonuses and loyalty programs are commonplace in online poker. Live players also receive comps, but they’re not on the same scale as the virtual felt.

First, online poker sites offer welcome bonuses for new customers. Check out our list of partners to see how large some of these are.

Second, you’re rewarded more for playing online. You log more hands so earn more loyalty points. These are exchanged for tournament tickets, more bonuses, and even cash. Some online poker sites even offer cashback or rakeback, meaning you receive a percentage of your rake back.

Live players still earn rewards, just not at the rate of their online poker cousins.

Matthew Pitt

If it’s something you can play online for real money, chances are Matthew knows a bit about it. He’s been writing about slots, craps and poker for the better part of the last decade. He’s written for PokerNews, PartyPoker and many other respected online gambling websites during the last nine years.


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