15 Advantages of Online Poker vs. Live poker

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When online poker first came about in the late 90’s, it made a lot of players uneasy. Not because they thought it would hurt their live games, but because they believed it wasn’t real poker.

Since those early days of online poker, many of the anti-online players have switched to playing almost exclusively online poker. Today, most professional players don’t even see the need to play live. So what makes online poker so much better then live poker? Here are 15 good reasons.

1. Multi tabling

You’re not bound to playing just one table at a time. Most online players open up between two to four tables and then sit back and click away. It’s also not uncommon to see people playing 8-16 tables at a time using dual monitors.

The advantage of playing multiple poker tables is that you can put in more hands per hour. Open up four tables, and suddenly you’re able to play four hours worth of poker in an hour. Be careful though, because the more tables you open up, the less you can focus on each game.

2. Tools

Online poker opens up the opportunity to learn more about yourself and other players using tools. Upload your hand histories into a program like Poker Tracker (not available for Macs), and suddenly you’re able to know your hourly rate, which hands are winning you the most money, where you can improve, which opponents are donks, and a lot more.

3. Convenience

Unless you live in Las Vegas or Atlantic City, chances are it’s a long drive to the nearest live poker room. And still, who wants to sit next to a bunch of smelly poker players for 8 hours? I know I don’t!

4. Table selection

Normally in a live poker rooms you’ll only find 1 table running or even sometimes none at your preferred limit. Online poker rooms are so big that you’ll never have a problem finding a table.

The biggest advantage that comes from the large table selection is that it’s always easy to find a good game. You can see statistics of how a table’s playing and do a search for the players you have marked as sharks or donks.

5. Game selection

If the Sheer volume of tables available online doesn’t impress you, then the variety of games will. Online you can choose between Limit and no limit Holdem, Omaha hi/lo and pot limit Omaha, stud, razz, mixed games like HORSE, 5 card stud, and even badugi at some rooms!

6. Increased Hourly Rate

Without even counting multi-tabling, your hourly rate is going to go up just from being able to play more hands per hour online. The average hands per hour you’re going to get playing live poke ris 20-30. In online poker games you’ll be able to play 60-100 hands per hour.

7. Play Anonymously

Nobody really knows who you are online. You can be a 20 year old online poker pro with the screen name, “grandma101” and everyone will think you’re an old lady. This can come in handy when you’re trying to project a certain image.

8. Ongoing tournaments and sit and go’s

Before online poker, tournaments and sit and go were rare events that would take all day to finish. It was hard to get good at these, because of the limited opportunities you’d have to practice.

Now online there’s literally tournaments at all stakes and sizes running every 15 minutes. Sit and go tournaments just run non-stop. It’s hard not to find time to play them!

9. Less Rake

Rake is the small fee taken out of a winning pot. However, in live poker the rake isn’t so small. I’ve seen low limit games raked higher then $5! Some live poker games even charge the entire table per hour of play.

Standard Online poker games have a cap of $3. Lower limit games like 1/2 and under have an even smaller cap. And unless you’re involved in a huge pot, it’s usually a fraction of the maximum rake.

10. Perfect dealers

Anyone who plays live poker will often run into dealers who have no idea what they’re doing. Exposing cards, not knowing how to chop a pot, shuffling poorly, and so on.

Online dealers (the poker room software of course) are perfect. Cards are instantly shuffled, you’re notified when it’s your turn, you can clearly see how much is in the pot; every thing is automatic and done perfectly.

11. Micro and low limit poker games

Good luck trying to find a live poker game with stakes below 3/6. If you do, then the rake will probably eat your stack up.

Online brought in limits that casual players can play without having to worry about losing a weeks paycheck. I don’t recommend playing the play money games (because few players take them seriously), but you can deposit $20 and have more then enough to play nickel dime stakes.

12. Customizable software

Most online poker rooms have software that lets you customize to your liking. Choose between different backgrounds, animations, sound effects, table layout, avatars, and four-color decks.

13. Note taking

Note taking is made really easy online. Usually you can just click on the players name, write a short note about him, and he’ll be marked with a little note icon. Try putting a sticky note on someone during a live poker room, and you might get punched in the face!

14. Comfort

You can play poker online out of the comfort and privacy of your own home. Just turn on some music, sit back, and play. Without all of the noise during a typical live poker game, you’ll be able to focus on the game much better.

15. No need to tip the dealer

In a live poker game, you’re usually expected to tip the dealer a dollar or so when you win a pot. This is in addition to the rake! This can easily add up to thousands of dollars over the course of a year.

So in a nutshell, online poker is far better then live poker. Live poker has it’s place for major televised tournaments, a trip to Vegas, or the occasional game with friends, but online poker is far more convenient and profitable.

4 Responses to “15 Advantages of Online Poker vs. Live poker”

  1. droppingdueces

    Im sure some serious online multitabling could be arranged on the MasterPlex by CineMassive Displays ( http://www.cinemassivedisplays.com ) Has anyone tried this thing out? Insane. Might pay for itself in a few successful hours.

  2. Mike

    Heh. you’d have to be nuts to make full use of that monitor setup with poker. 4 on the bottom middle, pokertracker on the top middle, and 2 each on the other four monitors.

    I hope to one day own dual 30″ cinema displays

  3. Wes

    You failed to mention the extraordinary amount of bad beats that happen in online poker. And no, it’s not because hands are played faster online than in real life.

  4. $$

    I’ve done a thorough mathematical perspective analysis on live versus online play. You might find it interesting.


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