There was a time when the contrast between live and online poker players was stark. Those who played live poker were regarded as real pros while those who only played online were considered neophytes. Today, however, there is a lot more overlap between the two groups, with many top players and players at all levels playing both online and live. It is a good idea to play both formats, as each offers a different experience and provides different learning opportunities.
The biggest difference between live and online poker is the pace of the game. Live games are considerably slower than their online counterparts, as dealers must shuffle and deal cards, collect chips and distribute pots between players. This means that the average number of hands per hour is lower. It can be especially challenging for players who come from an online background, where they may be used to playing several tables at once and seeing 50 or more hands per hour.
Another difference between the two formats is that live poker is played in a public venue, which requires players to be social. While this can be a fun way to spend an evening, it can also be draining for players who are naturally introverted. This can also make it more difficult for players to focus on their game, since they will have to interact with other players as well as spectators. For these reasons, players who prefer to play in private will often choose online poker instead of live.
Players who play online poker are usually more familiar with the theory of the game and tend to play a tighter, more structured style. They are also more likely to understand the importance of reads on their opponents, which is a key element of success in both online and live poker. This is why some live players who switch to the online version of the game find it hard to adjust and struggle to beat their opponents.
One downside of playing live is that it is often more expensive than online poker, due to the fact that a portion of each pot goes to the casino. This can be a significant deterrent for players who are new to the game or have limited financial resources. However, players should remember that making it in poker is an ongoing process and that learning the game is never done.
Players who are new to the game should take the time to study and practice, even at low stakes, before moving up in stakes. They should also try to play live poker as much as possible, as it can help them improve their skills and learn more about the game. Players who have solid fundamentals should be able to build their bankroll gradually by playing in live games and will have no trouble progressing to higher stakes when they are ready. As long as they can adapt to the slower pace of the game, play online and live poker, and don’t mind the expense, they should be able to become a successful professional player.