Poker online is played live. But, it is not live poker. Find out the differences between online and live poker.

Not too long ago, there was only one way poker was played. It was at an actual setting, across a table and among real people. It did not have to be a casino but everything from the players to the chips, the dealer to the cards would be tangible. Then came the era of poker online and a distinction was made. Traditional poker, including all the variants, became the live version. Poker online was the virtual version. This distinction was stark. The differences have since blurred but these two versions are still quite dissimilar. Let us explore the major differences between online and live poker.


  • When you play poker online, you may be competing against real players or a machine. The program running the game can prop up competing players if real people are not available. Of course there are sites that can let you choose and will only host a game of poker online when there are real players at the other ends. This is not a guarantee for every site hosting poker online. In case of live poker, there is no system, program or machine in the fray. It is always actual people with a real human dealer playing in real time.


  • Live poker can be hosted online. It still does not become a cousin of traditional poker. An online game is primarily an interaction between a player and a system, which could be a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Players do not see each other. There is no bluffing as no one can physically express any pretention. Hence, there is no tell, if you are familiar with that term in the context of poker.


  • Poker online is faster than live versions. It is also a lot more stringent. Live poker has many loose actions as players tend to work their way through the game using tactics they have mastered over the years. Poker online limits such actions. Multi-way pots are more common in live poker. Heads-up pots are typical in poker online. The frequency of bad beats may feel or actually be enhanced. The sizes of bets also vary considerably.


  • Live poker does not have any feature. The players get the hole cards, they have their chips to bet, the community cards are dealt and play goes on like the old days. Poker online has features. These features add functionality to the game and may or may not be useful depending on your preference.