Online poker has grown in popularity since the COVID-19 outbreak brought live games to a standstill, but many players still enjoy the thrill of playing in person. In fact, some players prefer the challenge of live poker over online play because it requires a different skill set than its digital counterpart. However, the concepts of bluffing, value betting, pot odds and hand ranges are still valid in both formats. But, it’s important to adjust for certain differences between the two that can lead to avoidable mistakes and losses.
First of all, live poker is slower compared to online play. This is because it takes the dealer some time to shuffle cards, deal them, collect chips and distribute the pot. As a result, you’ll likely only play around 30 hands per hour at live tables, whereas online poker can easily reach 100 hands per hour. This makes it essential to keep your focus and concentration high to avoid losing your edge.
When you play online, you can usually find a table to play at at any time of day or night. In contrast, you’ll most likely only be able to find a game at your local casino or card room in the afternoons and evenings, with higher traffic on Fridays and Saturdays. This lack of flexibility can be frustrating if you have a busy schedule and only have limited time to play poker each week.
Another difference between live and online poker is that in a live game, the players are expected to tip the dealers and waitstaff. This is not a requirement, but it’s considered standard practice to give a tip of $1 for every drink served and pot that you win. This may seem insignificant, but it can add up and impact your bankroll.
Moreover, it’s also easier to detect tells in a live game. If a player takes their time during a decision, you can see whether they’re just savoring their Mountain Dew or if they have a genuine problem with their hands. In addition, you can use body language and table talk to mislead or rattling your opponents.
Lastly, when you’re playing live poker online, you have to factor in the rake that the card rooms and casinos charge. This is an essential part of the equation and it’s something that you need to know before you decide on a live game or a virtual one. Ultimately, this should be the primary consideration in your choice of where to play poker, as it will ultimately determine how much money you can make. With that being said, you should always play the game in a environment that you’re comfortable with and can afford to lose if it doesn’t work out. If you do this, you’ll be a happy and profitable player in the long run. Good luck!