Many players are continually debating is it better to play poker live or online, and both parts have solid arguments to back their claims.
While there are a lot of advantages to playing poker online, live games do offer addition thrill and often much weaker competition.
I just want to go over the pros for each of these options, and then you can pick what works best in your case.
Benefits of playing poker online
Contrary to live games, you can quickly launch a poker room and join the action in an online setting, which is a significant advantage on its own. But what else are you getting?
Massive choice of games and formats
First of all, you will be able to find more games in one place. From Texas Holdem to PLO, from various stakes tournaments to cash games, you have it all just a button click away.
Contrary to live setting, where you are severally limited, not only by stakes the casino is offering but also by the games they decide to run.
If you are not lucky enough to live in Las Vegas or one of the other couple places that offer robust action year-round, you will be limited to occasional games when your casino decides to organize some kind of poker series. Of course, that could never happen as well.
Freedom to play when you want
On top of finding all games in one place, you have the freedom to choose when you want to play.
With brick and mortar casinos, you will mostly have to play during the nights since most games are running during that time. Contrary to this, you can find action around the clock and choose what works for you in an online setting.
This way, you can control your schedule and build it around your life, not the other way around, which is often the case for live poker players.
Not limited by location
If that is not enough, you are also not limited by location and can run your games on your phone or laptop wherever you are.
No need to dress up and spend time driving to the casino, so online setting offers the ultimate freedom.
Even if you decided to play a couple of hands on your way home while taking the train or want to relax after lying on a beach for the whole day, it is easily accessible to you. No matter if you are a professional or recreational player, you can surely take advantage of this.
Much faster action
I also like that online poker offers much faster action. Of course, it depends on what you like more, but sitting at the table and folding for hours is not my cup of tea since it quickly gets boring.
While you can play a very limited amount of hands in a live setting, you can play a few times more hands online in the same time frame.
The previous points of playing more hands per hour lead to much faster progress. There is just no way around it.
When you play more hands, you gain more experience, can notice your mistakes much faster, and improve as a result.
On top of that, there are plenty of poker training sites dedicated to online poker that can help you boost the progress even further, so it looks like a great proposition in the long run.
Last but not least, you can get much better bonuses online. Live casinos do not offer many incentives to players since they do not have many options to choose from when they are already sitting at the table. This is just common sense.
However, online poker sites do all they can to attract new players, which gives you many opportunities to capitalize on their offers.
From first deposit bonuses to reward programs and special promotions, online poker can offer much more for your buck.
So if you are like me, you will be convinced by these benefits of playing poker online and likely choose this path.
Benefits of playing poker live
Just like with everything in life, it is not just black and white, and live games also have a lot to offer. Otherwise, you would not see as many live tournaments and events happening around the globe. So what are those benefits?
One of the most significant pros of live poker is weaker competition, and that is true in both tournaments and cash games.
If you compare similar stakes in a live and online setting, you will find much weaker players in live games.
One of the reasons is that live poker does not offer micro stakes, and while you can play MTT online for $1 or join a cash game table with $0.01/$0.02 blinds, that is not going to happen in a live setting.
So anyone who decides to play has to join more reasonable stakes even if they barely know how to play, which leads to more cash in your pockets.
Tells comes into play
If you are good at reading people, then you can gain a massive edge in live games. While you barely have additional information in an online setting, you can observe all you want when playing live.
From behavior tells and verbal signals to even unconscious ticks, live players give up a lot of information in live games.
Observing and reading other players is one of the most interesting things to me when playing live, and it surely adds more excitement to the game compared to playing online.
Last on in this section is the social aspect.
While online players often isolate themselves next to computers, playing live gives you much more room to communicate with other players.
You are forced to go out of your house when visiting a casino, and you are likely to meet many interesting people at the tables, so it is only up to you if you make the most out of it.
Summary: choosing between the live and online poker
As you see, both of these formats have something to offer, so there is no concrete answer which one is better for everyone.
You can easily identify which format you would like more by going over this list, so I hope this article helped you make a decision.
Next time you visit a brick and mortar casino, try to chat with the players and find the best games, and if you decide to play online, make sure to learn how to find the best poker rooms.