Why Online Poker is Better than Live Poker

This was published 24-08-2009

Some people play poker exclusively online, without going anywhere near a live game. Others like to mix it up and play poker live and on the internet. Despite the huge popularity of online poker, there are still some poker players who avoid online poker and instead prefer the green felt to the click of the mouse. These people are missing out on the huge opportunities offered by online poker. Here are some of the reasons why online poker is better than live poker:

Action 24/7

full-tilt-tableThe number one reason why online poker is better live poker is because there’s always a game to be found. Sure, some times of day are busier than others- such as evenings and weekends. But it doesn’t matter what time of day, there’s people playing poker online 24/7. Possibly the most annoying aspect of live poker is waiting around for a game to start. Of course this is assuming they even have enough people wanting to play poker. While with online poker, you might not be able to always jump straight into the game of your choice, there’s never much waiting around.

Comfort of Home

Not only are there an abundance of poker games waiting for you, you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your own home. There are no travel costs, no worries about how you’re going to get home, or getting stuck in traffic. There’s no need to bother getting dressed up either. Heck, you can even play poker naked if you like. Doing this at a live poker game would get you locked up. Let’s not forget, you also save money on food and drink, as the fridge is never far away when you’re playing online poker.

Online Poker is Cheaper

Online poker doesn’t just save you money on travel, food and drink. The poker itself is also much cheaper, which is particularly beneficial if you’re just starting out learning how to play poker, and don’t want to spend too much. If you go to a casino or card room you might find many cash games below $1/$2. The rake at live poker venues is also much higher than at online poker sites. Plus if you win a hand playing poker online there’s no obligation to tip the dealer – you can’t anyway!

Play More Poker Hands

The most noticeable difference between online poker and live poker is the hands per hour ratio. When you play poker online there’s no waiting around for the dealer to shuffle the cards, potential miss-deals, working out the pot, and the players are generally much quicker to act – to name just a few things. You get to see so many more hands per hour playing online poker, which means more opportunities, more decisions, and less boredom.


Many online poker players like to play on multiple tables at the same time. Just playing one table at a time means you get to see more hands per hour than in live poker, but if you’re playing on multiple tables then obviously this becomes an even bigger factor. Playing multiple tables also reduces the variance, and you can play at much lower limits – thereby spreading the risk. If you are playing poker in a live venue, let’s say a $1/$2 NL game, you’d probably want to sit down with about $200 – which is at risk on any given hand. You could spread this same $200 across multiple tables, at lower stakes, when you play online.

Tracking Your Game

It’s always nice to know if you’re winning, losing, or breaking even at poker. Sure, you can keep notes on how much you’re spending when you play live poker. I used to keep a spreadsheet to track my income and expenses from live poker games. But sometimes it’s easy to forget how much was spent, particularly with re-buy events. Of course, this is just basic tracking. When you play poker online you can get instant hand histories, and access to a huge wealth of data. It goes far beyond just saying if you’re a profitable player or not. You can find leaks in your game and plug the holes. By analysing your play you can improve your skills as a poker player.

Bonuses and Promotions

Online poker is a fiercely competitive industry, and with so many poker sites looking to attract customers, there are a multitude of bonuses and promotions on offer. Casinos like to offer promotions to their patrons, but when it comes to poker they care much less. Poker rooms don’t make much money for casinos, so they don’t really bother trying too hard. However online poker sites are only too eager to offer bonuses and promotions, be it 100% signup bonuses for new poker players, or re-load bonuses for existing players. They really want you to play poker at their site, which is something you can and should take advantage of.


I think the advantages of online poker that have been outlined so far, are fairly comprehensive. Of course playing poker in a live environment has its advantages too – such as the social interaction, and being able to see players’ reactions. The purpose of this article is not to knock live poker, but to give valid reasons for why online poker is superior in so many ways. It’s fair to say this has been achieved. Good luck at the tables!

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