It’s sort of a funny or odd question, isn’t it – at least at first glance? But the more we think about it, the more we realize that maybe whoever is asking the question is trying to decide what to do – do they play live or online poker?
We know the answer. Online – all day long.
There are many advantages online poker players have that offline players don’t. And we’re going to share them with you now.
There are lots of reasons why online poker is better than live. Here are 13 of our best reasons why.
You have more game options
Walk into any poker room and count the number of games offered.
It’s probably only a few. Texas holdem and omaha. Maybe a ‘dealer’s choice’ option.
The reason why there aren’t many options is because the casinos only have so much room for their poker games. So they offer what’s popular. Right now that’s holdem.
It’s also for this reason that a lot of times they have to alternate what they offer each day. Not only between games, but formats – like cash or tourney – too.
Online, though, you’ll have most games available to you. Options like holdem, omaha, pineapple, mixed games, and more.
You have TONS of game variations online
Not only do you have FAR more variations than you’ll find offline, for the same reasons mentioned in #1, but you’ll have variations not played offline. Things like Spin and Go’s or Zoom poker. These variations aren’t offered or possible offline. And that doesn’t even scratch the surface of what’s offered online.
Choose from dozens of tournaments
Don’t get me wrong – there are LOTS of tournaments offline. Offhand you have the WSOP and WPT series’, which only seems to get bigger each year.
Then you have the smaller tournaments each casino runs (usually daily).
But they still don’t compare to online tournaments.
For starters, an offline 40-ish man tourney takes like 4 hours to complete. At that pace you could only play 6 in a single day, assuming you never slept.
Depending on the time of day, and the poker site, more than 6 tournaments (of various sizes, formats, games, variations, etc.) will start every few minutes online. You can also play 40+ tables at once online.
Another thing – many poker sites have what’s called the Sunday Majors. These are the huge 5-7 figure guaranteed tournaments that run EVERY weekend.
Offline poker rooms only offer events like that once every few months, or maybe once per year. They don’t even come close to offering these tournaments of this magnitude on a weekly – or even monthly – basis.
Online poker is budget friendly
You can make a deposit to most online poker sites for as little as $5 to $20.
From there you can sit down to .01/.02 cash games, .05 tourneys or SNGs. Many players have built their bankroll starting with $20 or $50. Sometimes even less.
Good luck buying into anything offline for $20. It’s possible, but you’ll spend your entire roll at 1/2 cash games, or a $10 or $20 tourney.
You can play from home
Las Vegas can be fun. Local poker rooms can be, too. But you know what we don’t like?
Smoke. Large crowds. Obnoxious people. Drunk people. Having to sit next to people that forgot to shower. The time it takes to travel or the cost (both in actual money and opportunity).
You avoid all that by playing online.
It’s far easier to go pro online
One reason why is you don’t have the expenses a live player would. You don’t have to pay for traveling, food, lodging, or any of those costs.
And you can multi-table online. This allows you to play the lower stakes, like the $6.50 18-man SNGs. If you can play 15 tables with an average of $1 profit/game, you can make more than you would in any entry level job.
None of that is possible offline.
Online poker rooms give out bonuses and other promotions
Online poker rooms offer far more in terms of bonuses, free cash and VIP perks than any offline poker room we’ve seen.
Take PokerStars, for example. When you sign up you can get $600 in bonus money, a free cash offer, and they have a multi-tiered VIP program that will get you as much as 30% cash back.
On top of that there are perks like free tourney entries and satellites.
You can become a better poker player with less time and money spent
It used to be that you’d have to spend lots of money and time to become a good player. That’s because you’d have to play games that start at 1/2 and only deal maybe 50-60 hands per hour.
At that rate it could take years to get any good. And lots of money.
Online, though – you can play 100 hands/table per hour. And that’s at nearly any limit. Since you can play several tables at once, you could play 500 to 1,000 hands – even more – per hour.
Between the number of hands, and all the tools and resources available online, you can become a great poker player with far less time and money invested/risked.
What’s more is you’ll be a competitive player at the live $100, $200 or even $500 SNGs or 1/2 to 3/6 cash games even as a low stakes online player. The games online (at lower stakes) are just much harder than the entry level games offline.
There’s no embarrassment online
If you’re a first-timer it can be a little unnerving playing holdem. You’re worried about playing out of turn, doing something people consider to be bad etiquette, or maybe you haven’t perfected your poker face yet.
That’s not a problem online. No one can see you. And nearly everything is run by software.
In many cases you can’t screw the game up even if you tried.
Play for free
Another good reason to play online – and a reason offline poker simply cannot compete with – is that you can play for free.
Why would you play for free? Simple.
Maybe you’re just learning and want to get the hang of things before laying down some cold, hard cash. Or, maybe you’re learning a new game, and want to get the hang of it first.
Maybe you don’t even know if you like this poker thing.
Or, maybe you don’t care about winning money. You just want to play cards, maybe chat a little, and have fun.
Offline poker rooms can’t do that because they’re limited by space and resources. Live venues need all open seats to have real money players in them.
There’s lower rake online
Offline the rake varies, but the average is around 10% of the pot or $4-$5. Online is around 5% with a $3 max. And it’s even lower for the smaller stakes.
The reason why online poker sites can do this goes back to the point we made in #10 – online there are fewer resources needed to run a site. And there’s no limit to how many people they can allow to play. So, instead of charging a lot, they can charge a little to a lot of players. And everyone wins.
Use tools and software
When you play offline, you usually have to remember things yourself – like tells, and what a player did with a particular hand, and so on.
But online you have tools, software and calculators to help you with all that stuff. You can take notes on your opponents instantly, tag them, and use calculators to figure out your odds.
This is changing somewhat with rooms trying to cater to recreational players. But the majority of rooms still let you do this. And it’s a big advantage over playing offline.
Don’t have to be social
We’ll be honest …We’re not a huge fan of crowds. We’re just not the super friendly, eccentric type. We just want to play, and not have to force a smile and chit-chat with everyone.
Online you simply don’t have to. You don’t even have to look at the chat box.
Online poker is great for the socially awkward and introverted types.
There are some downsides to online poker. But nothing that outweighs the pros we mentioned above. Don’t take our word for it, though. Play live and online and compare the two.
We think you’ll agree with us – that online poker beats live poker by a landslide.