Are there any differences in strategy between live poker and online poker?

Playing poker has long remained a popular form of fun and entertainment for millions of people across the world who have taken to outwitting their opponents during leisurely or money-based games.

Television deals, sponsorship and live broadcasted tournaments reflect how far it has progressed from a card game that was exclusively played in land-based casinos to a multi-million dollar sport, with its transition to the virtual world via online sites and mobile apps creating a new wave of players who are attracted by special promotions to try their hand at poker. Certain tournaments provide the opportunity for amateurs, who may learn the ropes and become fascinated in the game through playing on their computer, mobile or tablet, to take on the professional who make a living from playing live and online poker. Both forms of the game obviously carry the same gameplay features and rules, but there are differences between the two that should be taken into consideration in order to be successful.


The prime difference between live poker and online poker is that people are able to see and sit next to each other at the table, while the latter is purely based on looking at a computer screen and watching the action unfold in an electronic format. Social interaction during a recreational game with friend or a professional tournament may add an element of fun and conversation to the event, but it also makes a fundamental difference to the type of strategy each player adopts.

Being able to see other players during a game of poker provides a considerable amount of information that could either work for or against each player; body language, blinking and hand movements can instantly give away what type of hand you are holding, or whether you are bluffing. It is therefore imperative for live poker players to remain passive and relaxed throughout a tournament and not let their emotions get the better of them. Playing online can allow you to be more emotional and not worry about body language whilst behind a computer screen, but as other players can gain information from a HUD display that shows bet sizes and other statistics, it is best to remain in control and make quick judgements that keeps everyone guessing to avoid becoming predictable or readable.

Speed of the game

Upon playing both forms of poker, it can become instantly apparent that there is a noticeable difference in the speed of the game. It therefore requires a different train of thought when playing live or online in order to stand a better chance of winning. Live poker is certainly the slower of the two, with no more than thirty hands played ever hour; it therefore requires strong concentration levels to ensure boredom does not set in, or to lose patience in being unable to build a decent pot size or chip advantage quickly.

Playing live also enables each player to take a more calculated approach to each hand, with more time given to make a decision or try and work out other opponents who are still aiming to win the pot. This time is significantly reduced when playing online poker; not only does the rate of play increase to around sixty hands per hour, but many sites also include a clock to limit the amount of time that each player is allowed to make a decision. The fast nature of online poker requires a more alert and quick-witted strategy, and although the HUB records every hand to gain an indication on the type of tactics other players are using, it often comes down to gut instinct and the ability to read other players to stand a better chance of winning.

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