Online poker and live poker games in the United States both have disadvantages and advantages. I’m writing this article specifically for the players who are undecided which form of poker is best for them. With that said, it doesn’t have to be one or the other, you can play both if you so choose (assuming there is a casino somewhere close to you.)
When it comes to online poker you will see many more hands per hour. This is true whether you’re playing at one table or several tables. You will definitely see this if you are playing more than one cash game hand or if you are playing more than one online tournament at a time – made possible because of multi-tabling. You’ll be lucky to see 30 hands an hour playing live poker.
Playing online poker is a good way to learn how to play the game and how to play it effectively. Any successful poker player will tell you the best way to learn is simply by playing and gaining the much needed experience. Multi-tabling will help you to hone your skills quicker, since it exposes you to many different situations in a shorter period of time. This will get you thinking about how you could have played hands differently, and this is how you improve as a player. Not to mention the fact that you can play for much higher profits playing more tables if you know you have an edge in the game.
With live poker it is obvious that the advantage is that you can see your opponents. Many poker players get drawn into live poker games and prefer playing them because the face-to-face interaction makes it much easier to get accurate reads on the other players. If you have mastered the ability to read players it is like they are showing you their cards face up. Many of the best poker players in the world like Daniel Negreanu and Phil Ivey play the opponent 80% of the time and only rely on the cards 20% of the time.
You also have the ability to talk at the table and to your opponents to try and pick up information that wouldn’t be possible if you were playing the hand online. This personal interaction at the poker table is what the good players use to their advantage not just to try and get information but some players – like Tony G – are famous for using trash talk to get into their opponent’s heads to tilt them. Poker is as much a game of reading the other players as it is managing to control your emotions.
Live poker in the US in most cases can only be played one hand at a time. Although Aria’s casino floor has introduced Multi Action Poker, allowing a player to play two hands of poker at the same table, this is the exception and not the norm. When playing live poker at a local casino, given that you can typically only play one hand at a time, this means that game selection is going to be a lot more important. Sometimes it can be extremely hard to find a beginners game since most live players have been playing for sometime. But all too often you’ll see live players glued to the one table – the one they were first seated at – even if it is not a very good table.
Another thing to think about when playing poker at The Venetian or MGM Grand or any of the other casinos on the Strip is that it is custom to tip the dealer when you win a pot which can become costly over the course of a long session. Playing live it is also hard to find big multi-table tournaments but online there can be as many as 1000 to 5000+ players at any given time across the tournament section with a new tournament starting every few minutes.
Rake in live games is typically much higher than what you will pay at US-friendly online poker sites. The rake at most standard Las Vegas poker rooms is 10% capped at a maximum of $4 for the low limit games and it’s even higher at the California poker rooms. On the other hand, the rake charged by online poker rooms accepting American players is usually much more player-friendly with the industry standard rake of 5% up to $4. So when playing poker on the Internet, not only don’t you not have to worry about the cost of travel for live poker, you’ll get raked less and thus add more to your profits.
When making your decision on whether to play an online or live poker game to play, look at the advantages and disadvantages to see which best suits you the most. More than anything else just fun – that’s the main thing, right? If you’ve decided that you want to play at online poker sites for real money (of course, they offer free practice games, as well,) then it would be a good idea to do a comprehensive study about the background of sites at uspokersites.us where you can find more information about all the top online poker rooms that accept players from the United States.