Avid poker players from all over would argue the point that there is no difference between playing live poker and playing online poker. They would go on to express that a royal flush still beats a straight flush, and four of a kind beats a flush in both games. For many players, the skills that were developed and perfected in one setting was easily translated to the other. Whether in a live poker room, or sitting in front of a computer, bets and bluffs are made, and bad beats are delivered and received. Despite the similarities, there are some differences between the two venues.
Some people would like to think that there are no differences in playing poker online, and playing live poker. The truth is that there are several differences. One key difference is bet sizing. In real live cash games, players will encounter bet sizing that does not happen online, basically the opening pre-flop raises. Online cash players may open with 2x-3x the big blind, whereas, in a live cash game, players will open with 5x, 6x, or more especially in lower stakes games. There is also the calling versus folding play. In online poker, it is easier to click the call button than it is to make the call in live poker.
Other differences between playing online poker and live poker include the frequency of receiving bad beats. Many players receive bad beats more often while playing online poker than they do playing live poker. This is partly due to the fact that they encounter more callers online. These bad beats may be enhanced by the pace of the game. Online poker plays much faster than a live game of poker. A game of live poker may appear tedious to the player who prefers online poker. The average number of hands for a hour of live poker could be around 30, but an hour of online poker play could deal as many as 60 hands.
Variance in poker is a word used to describe the swings the players endure in the game. A higher variance means bigger short term gains and losses when compared to the results over a longer period of time. Online, the higher variance could mean faster bank rool swings. One last major key difference between the online poker, and the live poker game is the relative stakes. There will be more skilled players at an online poker game than a live game played at the same limit. This is because a $1.00/$2.00 no limit cash game will not have as many players live as it would online as there are no lower stakes available live, but online there are plenty, even down to pennies. Neddless to say, there are many differences between the online and live poker. Which is most important is for the player to determine themselves.