So many online poker players migrate to the poker tables of land based casinos and local card rooms after getting their start in online poker at PartyPoker, so it makes sense to dedicate an article on the main differences between online and live poker, since maybe somewhat surprisingly the two games actually play quite a bit differently. This is not to suggest that successful winning online poker players won’t be able to beat the games played at land based poker rooms, they just need to make the necessary adjustments to their play.
Of course, when you’re playing real money poker games, due to the face to face interaction you get to see the players who are at your table, allowing you to pick up on the mannerisms and traits being demonstrated by the players. You don’t get this same benefit if you are playing Online Poker, so have to rely on other “tells” in order to try and get a read on your opponents.
Probably one of the most notable differences an online poker player who has transitioned to live poker games will quickly discover is the difference in bet sizing used by the majority of live players. It is common to see pre-flop raises which are 5-10x the big blind, and as a result, pots can escalate quickly in no limit hold’em games. This is in big contrast to the typical bet sizing used by most online poker players, where it’s common to see pre-flop raises which are 2-3x the big blind. Usually, what happens is that once a player sets a preflop raise bet amount, the rest of the table sticks with it.
Another very obvious difference in how the online and land based poker games play is the lack of preflop aggression in live games. Whilst it’s common to see lots of three bets to take place before the flop on the virtual felt, this happens rarely in live poker games, and when it does happen, it’s typically only done with super premium holdings (KK, AA). A lot of live cash games players are even reluctant to 3bet hands like AK and AQ preferring to call with them instead because they have the fishy mentality that because it’s a drawing hand it’s better to see a cheap flop and hope to hit.
Speaking of fish, this is one of the big draw cards of playing poker at land based casinos and card rooms. These live poker games tend to be full of fishy players making them a lot easier to beat.This is what makes live poker such an attractive option for online players. Although you will play fewer hands, which can be slightly frustrating especially when you’re used to multi tabling at least 3 tables, the softness of the games makes up for it, assuming you can make the necessary adjustments for live poker games.
But when it comes to online poker, one of the huge differences between playing poker online and a live poker game is the vast number of stakes available to online poker players, and also the bonuses given by online poker rooms like our world famous Party Poker Bonus Code. At a land based poker room, the lowest limit ring game you can typically find is $1/$2, so if you sit down with a 100bb stack, you’ll have $200 worth of chips at risk. This is a significantly bigger poker game than you can find in the games lobby at online poker sites with a much wider range of cash game stakes which start from as little as $0.01/$0.02 at most sites.
It is possible for a new player to buy in to a cash game for as small as $2 online, so even if you drop a buy in or two it’s not going to mean much. Likewise, tournament and sit-and-go lovers can buy in to tourneys for as little as a $1 or even less at some sites, allowing players with limited bankrolls to manage their bankroll a lot easier. More than that, it allows recreational players to get experience playing real money poker games without risking a lot of money. Although there are free to play poker games available, anyone with much experience playing real money online poker games will know that nothing replaces the actual experience of playing for real money!
If you have decided that online poker is for you, well then you will probably want to know if online poker sites are trustworthy when it comes to the fairness of the games and depositing and withdrawing? Most online poker rooms are licensed by respected governing bodies. Make sure the poker site you plan on playing at has a gaming license for poker. This will help ensure you get a fair game and that the poker room complies with legal and security requirements.
Before registering and making a first deposit, it couldn’t hurt to test out their customer service to see how quickly they’ll will respond to player issues. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the online poker room’s bonuses and withdrawal procedures before you start playing so as to avoid any potential issues when it comes time to make a cash out. When all is said and done, if you’re not comfortable with a poker sites rules relating to their games and bonus terms and conditions, then look for another site. Players are spoiled for choice when it comes to the variety of quality online poker rooms on offer.