The explosion in popularity of internet poker over recent years has produced
many players who have adapted well to the live game. The most notable example
being Chris Moneymaker’s win in the world series of poker main event after
qualification on Poker Stars. This article looks at the significant differences
between live poker and the online game by assessing the advantages of each.
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Advantages of Live Poker
* Live poker allows you to get clues as to your opponent’s holdings from physical ‘tells’, observing and acting upon information inadvertently given by an opponent that betrays the strength of their hand can give an observant player a huge advantage.
* One table at a time can be played in live poker games. This restricts the expert players from taking a seat at a large number of tables as they may do online. The ratio of professional poker players to recreational players is thus likely to be more favorable in the live setting, particularly at the lower betting limits.
* Live poker is a social experience. Whether in a home-game or at your local casino you are playing against other people in a (mostly) friendly environment. Food and drinks may be ordered from the table and the exciting atmosphere of the casino can create a cordial yet competitive ambiance in which to play.
* Tilting may be less dangerous. Many players are prone to playing less than optimally after a bad beat. In a live poker game the slower speed of the game may protect those players who experience tilt from losing too much money. The time between deals give them a chance to ‘cool off’ and the temptation to load higher limit tables to ‘win it back’ is not there as it may be online.
2. Advantages of Online Poker
* When playing online your only restriction on the number of tables is the amount you can profitably handle. Whether you play 1, 2, 4 or even more tables the amount of poker hands you can play is far greater. This can make a winning poker player more profit over time. It can also reduce variance – playing 4 lower limit tables rather than a single high-limit game can reduce the potential swings in your bankroll.
* Online poker can be played at a time and place of your choosing. If you have a spare hour of leisure time then it is possible to play poker in the comfort of your own home. By the time you have traveled to a casino and waited for a suitable table that hour would already be gone.
* There are a greater choice of tables and tournaments at all betting levels online. It would not be possible to play a game for pennies in a live setting, and the high-stakes table might be full of sharks. Online you can look through a number of tables until you find one with weakest opposition. If the game suddenly becomes tough then you are only a couple of mouse clicks away from a new table.
* Online you have tools including hand history and note making functions that are not available in the live setting. Using this information can help you read your opponents betting patterns and make notes on these that can be used on later hands. The notes remain with the players and are available for future sessions too.
* There is not only a greater selection of tables available online but more poker variations too. If you feel like a change from your regular game then most online poker rooms offer a wide selection of game types at the click of a mouse.