Whether you’re playing poker online or offline, the rules remain the same, but the experiences are very different. One allows you to learn by yourself while the other allows you to join in rooms with other players. The aim is still to take the chips from your opponents and a straight still beats a two pair, but they’re about the only similarities.
When you play online be sure to check where the game is hosted. For example, Irish poker rules are different to traditional Texas Hold’em. Don’t get caught out by not knowing the differences before you begin. Since otherwise you will have a very different outcome, knowledge of the game rules is a must.
Online and offline poker versions of the game have pros and cons and we’ll take a look at them now:
Pros of Online Poker
- No Travel – Playing in the comfort of your own home, workplace or wherever can save a significant amount of time. Just make sure your wi-fi is very efficient, the last thing you want is to loose your connectivity in the middle of a game. No need to put your smart clothes like in a regular casino or to drive into town when you can sit in front of the TV in your pyjamas and play. This is the best combo of leisure and game play.
- Tournaments – Unless you’re based in Las Vegas or another casino hotbed you’re going to struggle to get a good number of tournaments in each year, let alone each week or even once a month. This can be at times quite restrictive and not fun especially if you are a poker enthusiast. Thus, playing online means you can enter into tournaments more than once a day because there are many to choose from and you gain in experience and knowledge.
- Opponents – Many opponents help you to improve your game, so you should never run out of opponents to play with. Whether you’re playing at an online casino or on your games console, you’ll often find rooms are full of players to challenge, but you need to find a seat at the table. If real players room are full, you’ll probably find games to play versus bots if you wish to do so.
- Multi-Tables – Playing online allows you to play more than one game at a time. This offers the opportunity to win more money and there is less sitting around and waiting for the other players to make their move. You can have as many windows open as much you can handle.
- Free Bets & Bonuses – Nearly all online casinos offer sign-up bonuses and free bets for loyalty. You rarely get this at a land-based casino. This is the best perk of playing online, if you ask me.
Pros of Offline Poker
- Tells – One thing you can’t read about a player behind a computer screen many miles away is their poker face. In person you can get a physical tell of them which can help you with your strategy. The best poker players thrive on such small signs in real tournaments while playing behind a computer helps to concentrate on the game 100% with no tells distractions, which sometimes are just your opponent’s traps, best to avoid falling into any of them, especially at the beginning stage.
- Looser Games – With the inability to play more than one table and full focus on the game instead of being at home to play on their phone, you’ll find many players will raise with poor hands much more frequently.
- Social – Live poker games can be a good opportunity to meet new people and make new friends, aside from the tournaments where the socialising can be a lot quieter. You can to
e-meet people with your same passion and bonding over poker is always the best way to find new friends.
Cons of Online Poker
- Lack of Tells – An inability to see people’s behaviour takes away any edge you have in live games when you play online. This is very helpful once you are an experienced player, you need to differentiate a real tell from a trap tell.
- Change of Strategy – As you can’t read your opponents by their face online you need to try work out their strategy instead. This can be time-consuming with no guaranteed clear reads. But also it can help you create your own game strategy.
- Internet Connection – You can be penalised if you lose your internet connection, which is more frequent when you’re on wi-fi outside of your own home. Be careful loosing internet connection while playing is really not fun.
Cons of Offline Poker
- Slower Pace – You’ll find that players online tend to play hands much quicker online than in person. Perhaps the concentration is much high or the social aspect is not relevant and therefore there is only the game to play no other distractions.
- Limited Stakes – Playing online gives you a much greater choice of stakes. You will often find that there are only a limited number available when you’re playing at a land-based casino.
- Access – Unless you play regularly with your friends you’ll need to travel to a casino to play in person, which for some people can be both time-consuming and with a price of public transport or a taxi.
Most poker fans will enjoy both online and live games and play a combination of the two. There’s no doubt that the usage and popularity of online casinos is increase by the year and players certainly spend more time than they do in a land-based casino.
The rules remain the same as do the outcomes and the excitement so there’s no reason why players shouldn’t continue splitting their time between the two.