June 25, 2024

Online poker has become the main way to play poker today. The problem is that most teaching content does not differentiate between online poker and live poker. This is very bad for those who want to study online poker specifically, as the dynamics are completely different and hence the strategies as well.

Main differences between playing online poker and playing live poker

The main difference is the most obvious and stark. In live poker, you can physically observe your opponents. This gives you the chance to notice your opponents’ habits, tics, and actions – the so-called tells. This extra information can make the difference between a call or a fold, and therefore worth thousands of dollars.

Online poker, on the other hand, is limited in this regard. This does not mean, however, that you cannot tell tells. After all, your opponent’s betting pattern and the time it takes to decide what to do on each move are considered tells. However, the psychological part of online poker is quite different, being more focused on managing your bankroll.

The second big difference has exactly to do with this topic. After all, in live poker players have a game volume limit where they can play. That is, if you go to a casino to play a poker tournament, your options expire as soon as you are eliminated from that event.

The situation is completely different in online poker. If a player falls out of a virtual tournament, just buy-in (the entry fee to enter a tournament – where most of the money goes to the prize pool) and enter another tournament. The game volume is virtually unlimited online.

It is even possible to play several tournaments simultaneously. This practice is called “multi-table” in the poker world. Some professional players even play more than 30 tournaments at once! This obviously requires a lot of experience and focus as well as a strategy based on numbers rather than specific players. After all, it is virtually impossible to track and observe the actions of all your opponents when facing 250 people.

For this reason, the number of tables you should play depends greatly on your playing style. The most common suggestion is to play as many tables as you feel comfortable playing. For me, that number is between eight and 10. At the beginning of your journey, though, playing at most two is ideal. Your goal as a beginner player should be to absorb as much as possible – observe opponents, focus on specific hands, and especially understand how different situations in a tournament work (start, bubble, end table, etc.). It is very difficult to learn and analyze your game and the game of your opponents when many tournaments are running.

The ease of signing up for many tournaments directly influences bankroll management. There are several cases of players who broke the bank and ended up losing everything for not having this control. In live poker, it is more difficult to do so, as the volume is smaller and the process of playing another tournament is longer. Online poker is so easy and fast that many people even lose count of how many tournaments they are playing. For this reason, be careful and only keep in your online account what you are willing to spend and lose. You can read further details at idn poker site.


Finally, the last big difference between live and online poker is the speed of the game. Live tournaments are extremely long and an average of 30 hands per hour. The major event of the Poker World Series, for example, lasts over a week! In online poker the number of hands per hour doubles, with some turbo tournaments (where blind levels increase every 5 minutes) for just two or three hours. This faster dynamics directly affects the way you play.