Land Based Poker Versus Online Poker

So you've mastered the live poker tables at land-based casinos and you now want to try your luck at online poker to take on the world. Here is what to expect from the online poker world.

Faster Games

When you are playing online poker there is no waiting around for the shuffling and the dealing of cards as it's all handled by the poker room’s software client. Counting chips? Forget about having to worry about it during the hand, it’s all done for you. Most online poker games also run with a timer bank so you have limited time to decide whether to play or fold. Expect to play 200 hands per hour online as opposed to the 30 or so you would pay at a real table.

No Tells

When you're playing at a brick-and-mortar poker room you know that when Jimmy twitches his left finger or Mary starts biting her lip that they have monster hands. You can forget all about that playing poker online, as you have no idea what anybody is thinking or doing. Don’t get me wrong, there are tells online, however, you’re looking for different bits of information, and it may not be as accurate. On the upside, they can’t see your body language and mannerisms either, so go ahead and do the happy dance when you're holding the nuts.


You're going to play online poker with all kinds of folk, from newbies to seasoned veterans and even once you're well into a game you may never know who you're playing against. This has been further amplified by the addition of anonymous tables at sites like Bovada. At these fully anonymous tables, players are not given a screen name or avatar to identify themselves at the table. Instead, each player is given a number.

Cheaper Games

While you may be able to play nickel and dime games at home you're certainly not going to find them at the local casino where typically the lowest game you will be able to play in is $1/$2 NLH. On the other hand, micro stakes online poker is a great way to learn the games without losing your shirt. At most online poker sites, the lowest stakes out there are $0.01/$0.02. So when you sit down at a ring game table with 100 big blinds as you normally would, you’d only be risking $2. And there are various levels within the micro stakes cash games that you can play, so you can move up in levels as you gain in confidence and increase your bankroll.

Play Multiple Tables

This is impossible to do at a real game but when playing online poker pretty much every online poker room allows you to multi-table. So what, you ask? Well, if you can manage to sustain the same win rate playing 4-6 tables instead of playing at just one table, then there is the potential to make a lot more money. Also, if you like playing both tournaments and cash games, it’s also possible to play both at the same time.

Fewer Expenses

One of the great things about playing online poker compared to live poker is that there are fewer associated costs in playing the game. There are no travel expenses and there are no tipping dealers. All this adds up and helps to preserve your poker bankroll.

Less Pressure

Playing at a land based poker room can be intimidating the first time you do it as well as for every subsequent time you play. However, the same is not true for online poker. You don’t have the same external pressure of opponents staring you down, which lends itself to a more aggressive game, as you can bluff without having to put on your poker face.

Loyalty Programs

Most of the top online poker rooms have excellent loyalty rewards programs to keep players returning to their site. As you play and earn player points, you will receive a portion of the sign up bonus you claimed when first creating an account with the poker room. Then it will be possible to use the points you’ve earned to convert points into cash or to receive other rewards, according to the rules and terms of the loyalty program.

Poker Room Traffic

At a land-based casino, there is typically a few tables running for any given game and limit. If the poker room is busy, then you will be required to put your name on a waiting list before you can sit down. Whilst there are waiting lists for online poker tables, they rarely get used due to the volume of players online, and there is so much choice when it comes to selecting what games to play. Online poker sites also boast healthy traffic numbers, meaning there is always decent traffic in ring games and the sit-n-go’s fill up relatively quickly.