Online Poker vs Live Poker – The Main Differences

Online Poker vs Live Poker

The rules of poker do not change based on where you are, but there are many differences between online poker and live poker. If you are only used to one and considering playing the other, this article will inform you of the biggest differences and prepare you better. By staying informed, you will also learn whether it’s more profitable to play one or the other.  

More Multiway Pots Live

Online poker is generally tighter than poker at the casino. Online players are often multi-tabling and don’t have a problem with patience. Live poker at casinos has more players at the flop due to the impatience of players. In a live game, players have a desire to be involved and play pots. They don’t want to drive to the casino and sit folding for hours. This results in a looser game, often with 3 to 5 players at the flop.

The Difference in Stakes (Ability)

If you’re used to playing online at $1/$2 no limit Texas Hold’em, don’t sit at the same game in a casino and expect it to be the same calibre. There’s a rule many poker players apply called the ten to one rule. In short, whatever stakes you usually play and win at online, multiply it by 10 to get the same standard in a casino. Why is this? Casino’s don’t have penny stakes, so the lowest stakes games are the more beginner players.

Game Speed

One of the most obvious differences between online poker vs live poker is the pace which the game flows. Online poker is very quick, with the ability to play hundreds of hands an hour. It was made even faster when games like Snap poker were introduced. Live poker is much slower paced. Think about, the dealer has to shuffle and deal (online this is automated). Live poker players tend to take longer over their decisions too. Interestingly, online poker players who play super-fast with 10 tables come to a casino and take ages too!

Live Poker Tells

As great as online poker is, the inability to look at your opponent means you have to rely on everything else to read them. In live poker, your opponent is there in front of you. There is more information available, including poker tells. Without going into the specifics of different poker tells, suffice to say, there are many ways a poker player will unwittingly reveal their hand strength. This important part of live poker is largely absent from online poker. Instead, you must trust your instinct, watch for betting patterns and notice change any changes in speed of decision making to make a read. Check out our article on online poker tells for more detail.

Live Poker is More Social

We are naturally social and this is heightened when we play games together. Visit any poker room and you will hear the riffling of chips, men telling bad beat stories and even political debates. If you love the solace of online poker and prefer to keep yourself to yourself, perhaps live poker isn’t for you. When you sit at a cash game, you are engaged in a social activity. Your neighbours at the table will be doing the same, chatting and making friends. You could be forgiven you’re not playing for money but some people play poker just to play with the boys and get out of the house.

Bet Sizing

Live poker tends to involve bigger bets. Perhaps the concept of lower variance or small ball didn’t reach the casinos yet, but that is one thing you can expect. A typical live poker game will see raises of 5 big blinds or more. Online poker usually has opens of 2.2 to 3 big blinds. If you don’t think this is a big difference, think again. Consider your stack size when you buy in. If you are buying in for anything less than 100 big blinds, you better bring several bullets. Remember, pots are often multi-way too so it doesn’t take long for a pot to reach a significant size. Before you know it, you might be all in.

Poker Straddle

The poker straddle is an unforced bet that the person under the gun will post. It’s something that increases the pot and entices more action. I love the poker straddle and would love to see it introduced online. Why wouldn’t you want someone to put money in unnecessarily? This is something a lot of live players opt to do. Rules differ between casinos on the straddle so make sure you know what they are before playing in a game with the straddle. If you want to see more about the straddle. Check out our poker straddle article.

Weekend Games

Live poker booms at the weekend. People are off work and ready to game. Whilst this is true online. It is not to the same extent. Go online any day of the week and it will be busy. This is probably due to timing differences around the globe. This is not the same at the casino. People have jobs and better things to do than play poker on Monday night. What does this mean? It means weekends are the best times to play poker at the casino. You can take the egotistical businessmen to school if you are willing to stay late.

5 Video Poker Tips for Beginners

Video Poker Tips

Whether you’re a Texas Hold’em player looking to have some fun at video poker or already very familiar with the video poker strategy, this article will provide you with some food and practical video poker tips on how to play this fun casino game. It has stayed popular for decades due to the rare combination of luck and some skill. It’s one of the few games that players actually have a reasonable chance of beating the house, if played correctly.

1) Learn the Rules

You would be surprised the amount of people that rock up to a video poker machine and think its regular slots. So, first things first, please learn the rules. Video poker is based on the poker hand values from one pair to royal flush. It’s based on the old 5 card draw poker game. You know the one you may have played with Grandad? A word of caution though, there are different variants of video poker including; Jacks or Better, Tens or Better, Deuces Wild and Bonus Poker. They are all a little different and it’s important to understand any differences to help your chances.

video poker tips

2) Use a Guide

Some video poker strategy is obvious and some isn’t. It’s a good idea to do a little research into some fundamental video poker strategy. There are plenty of sites that offer an online video poker guides, try Absorb all the knowledge you can, it will increase your chances of winning and make your time playing a lot more fun. Nobody wants to lose their money fast when they play any casino game. If you don’t know the basics or any strategy at all, you can lose a lot of money very quickly. It’s well worth time doing a little reading first.

3) Pick the Best Games

Like regular poker, game selection is important to increasing your chances of success at video poker. The rules don’t change from one online casino to another, but the pay-outs do. The average pay-out percentage at video poker is around 96%. This means you can expect to get 96c for every dollar you wager. The different video poker games have different pay-outs that can sometimes be tricky to calculate which is better to play. Full pay jacks or better aka 9/6 Jacks or better is typically the most lucrative with a payback percentage of 99.54%.

Jacks or Better 9/6 Pay Table

Hand1 Coin2 Coins3 Coins4 Coins5 Coins
Royal Flush2505007501,0004,000
Straight Flush50100150200250
4 of a kind255075100125
Full House918273645
3 of a kind3691215
2 pairs246810
Jacks or better12345

4) Take Your Time

All the casino games have a house edge and the long term bears out and makes the casino a lot of money. Logic dictates you want to minimise their edge as much as possible. This can be done by slowing your game down and not rushing your decisions. The more you play and wager and the quicker you do it, the greater chance the casino has against you. This is the polar opposite of what I always tell readers and players I mentor for Texas Hold’em. We want to maximise our edge and put in volume as the edge will bear fruit in the long run. I a game where you are at a disadvantage, albeit less than the other games, you don’t want the long run to happen, otherwise you will lose.

5) Play Maximum Coins

Anyone who spends time looking at a pay-out table will quickly realise that it is a lot better to bet the maximum coins. If money is an issue, play lower stakes. It’s better for you to play at lower stakes and wager the maximum coins than higher stakes and wager less. You need to wager the max coins to have a chance at the jackpot. You need to be in it to win it and playing less than maximum coins makes it impossible to hit the bonus.

We hope you enjoyed our 5 video poker tips. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or article requests.

Real Money Video Poker

Real Money Video Poker

To the random stranger new to gambling, the game of video poker and regular poker are probably the same thing. To a beginner at either, they may be similar, but they are very different in many ways. This article will explore the basic rules of video poker for those of you are interested in learning more.

Rules of Video Poker

Real money video poker is a combination of 5 card poker and slots. The oldest variant of this game is the traditional “Jacks or better” version which means you need to have a hand of a pair of jacks or stronger to beat the house.  Our poker cheat sheet has a hand ranking chart which shows hand values. Feel free to download as PDF.

  1. You decide the amount you want to wager at the start of the hand.
  2. The computer deals five cards and you choose which wants to discard, to draw replacement of, just like 5 card draw
  3. You are dealt your replacement cards and your hand is revealed showing whether you won or lost and by how much

The stronger your hand, the more you can win.

Real Money Video Poker

Video Poker Strategy

Unlike most casino games, video poker has some skill element and is second only to blackjack in terms of house edge. This means, if you are a casino game enthusiast, you should be looking closely at video poker and learning the best strategies. There are strategy tips available at recommended video poker casino sites which help you make better decisions when picking how many cards to throw away. This is the only element of the game which involves strategy; thus, it is important you make the best possible decisions to reduce the houses’ edge. Some basic tips are below:

  • Keep all your high cards and draw the rest if you have no pair
  • Draw three cards if you have one pair
  • Draw two cards if you have three of a kind, 3 to a flush or straight

Final Thoughts

Video poker has the simplicity of slots combined with some strategy from 5 card poker. Whilst it’s no way comparable to regular poker in terms of complexity, this suits many people who just want to gamble but want some input too. Let’s face it, drawing the cards is far more appealing than the normal slots game isn’t it? The other advantage to video poker is the restriction on how much you can lose. It’s fixed at the start whereas regular poker involves several rounds of betting. A beginner can lose more money quicker in a poker game than on video poker.

Online Slots

We’ve had several requests to discuss online slots recently . Online slots are not for the faint of heart. You can win and lose money quickly. For this reason, many poker players keep separate bankrolls, one for poker and one for their other online gambling. It’s important to distinguish the two as the luck and skill element in the long run is widely different. Whilst none of our poker coaches are big on online slots we do have 3 key things for you to consider if you choose to gamble online slots.

Progressive Jackpots
These are one of the most popular games to play. The pay-outs on some sites are crazy and it shows the level of interest they generate for it to build up to tens of thousands of dollars. It can be quite confusing to a new player which jackpot is which and how to win so be sure to read before you gamble.

Random Number Generator
The biggest mistake gamblers make is failing to realize or accept that the RNG has no memory. Its completely random and doesn’t care what has happened in the past. The software is always tested before being implemented to ensure systems are robust and fair and safe to use.

The best thing about online gambling is the bonuses available. If you look around, there are sites with huge welcome bonuses and free spins available. You can visit website here to see a list of online casinos with great offers. If you are going to gamble on slots then you have to take advantage of the best offers. Make sure you read the wagering requirements so you know how much needs to be gambled before cashing out.

Online slots are a fun form of gambling and there are great offers and bonuses out there if you look around. The software used is rigidly tested and fair so you can gamble safely.
Please remember to gamble responsibly and only with money you can afford to lose. We coach our poker players to play for the long run and embrace skill but there is no harm in playing online slots for fun as long as you are responsible and not playing above your means.

Texas Holdem Questions

Please remember to gamble responsibly.
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