A lot of poker players have a game that they play every week at their buddy’s house or in an online poker room. However, it is not uncommon for some of those people to expand their horizons and play some live poker. It can be quite a shift going from online to live and it’s important that players understand the differences before they make the jump.
The first major difference between the two types of poker is that the games in a live setting are generally much slower than online. In a live environment, you can expect to see about 30 hands an hour, which is pretty slow when you’re used to playing online where it’s common to see 60+ hands per hour at a normal table. The good news is that this isn’t something you can’t adjust for and if you can get your strategy right, you should be fine.
Another huge difference is that the rake in a live game is much higher than it is online. This is because a portion of each pot goes to the house and the amount of rake can be a big factor in deciding where you play. In addition, the games in a live setting often have recreational opponents who don’t have the proper strategy and you should be prepared to play tight against them.
Lastly, players in a live setting can’t utilize tracking software like they do when playing online. This makes it much more difficult to monitor your win rates and variance. Additionally, it is not possible to multi-table while playing live and that makes it extremely difficult to collect a large sample size.
In short, the best way to improve at poker is to play a lot of hands and learn from your mistakes. If you have the nerves and Lady Luck on your side, playing live poker can be an exciting experience that will help you become a better player. For most, however, online poker is where it’s at and that will likely remain the case for years to come. As COVID-19 continues to impact many of the world’s top poker venues, it’s not hard to understand why so many people are shifting their attention to the virtual tables. Good luck and have fun!