Currently, physical poker and virtual game rooms coexist in their respective spaces and offer players several alternatives to enjoy their favorite game: poker. Depending on where in the world we look, the regulations will establish some principles or others, being the United States one of the places where it is more difficult to regularize the situation of online poker, given the enormous weight that the hotel and gaming industry has had in the country.
However, giving up online gambling means losing a good percentage of annual income and the expansion of virtual poker rooms is far from stopping. Online poker even has its own tournament and many professional players have left the online poker rooms. But is the game played the same way, and are there any major differences between live poker and online poker? We can tell you that there are, and some very important ones that break with the traditionalism of poker. We will tell you about them!
The basics of live poker
Live poker is still very present in casinos and gambling halls around the world. It is a game with a very powerful strategic aspect, where the mastery of body language is essential to opt for victory and prevent other players from discovering your cards. This characteristic feature is lost in online games, based more on timing and probabilities than on body language.
However, the ability of players to make their calculations while maintaining a hieratic expression means that only the great masters of poker are able to qualify for the highest pots. The experience here is a very characteristic feature that allows players to expand their knowledge and gradually learn the most complex mathematical concepts to apply them on the table.
In addition, the purists insist that the experience of participating in a poker game in a casino or in a physical gaming room has no comparison with the experience that can be obtained through a computer screen or cell phone. Although it is much more comfortable, certain qualities that purists consider essential to enjoy poker to the fullest are lost.
The foundations of online poker
Online poker is based on immediacy, adaptation to the beats and mental agility. This is not to say that live poker is free of these processes, but in online poker they are much more evident. Some game modes have been adapted to ensure fun and entertainment in online poker and are a great asset to attract new users.
Another of the basics of online poker that differentiates it from live poker is that it is much more accessible. Traditional poker used to serve to forge characters and the weaker players had to learn early to camouflage themselves among the more experienced players if they did not want to become the little fish to be plucked. This component in online poker disappears, something that many are grateful for as it removes a certain stigmatization, thus guaranteeing equal opportunities in all game rooms, making skill and luck carry the most weight, and leaving aside the character of the participants.
This greater accessibility is to blame for the tremendous boom that online poker rooms are experiencing. However, although it is a modality in which mathematics still have a lot of weight, the player’s reading is completely lost. This does not mean that it is not possible to intuit the moves of the opponents, but a fundamental aspect of poker tournaments is lost: the face to face and body language.
This, although an advantage in online poker, plays against those who have been forged in the virtual game rooms and then make the leap to live poker. And the habituation and experience in physical poker rooms is something that is not gained overnight, and it is necessary to be accustomed to the environment of live poker rooms for the player to be really comfortable.
There is a certain consensus in disapproving the presence of strong players in online poker with no experience at the tables during higher level competitions. The dynamics of online poker differ profoundly in many ways from live poker, and in this sense acquiring experience in lower level games is also essential for the player to know how to manage both in a virtual game and in a face-to-face game.
So, what are the differences between live poker and online poker?
Broadly speaking, it could be said that live poker is a slower game, focused on the reading and perspective of the game, where knowing how to manage all the variables and control the body language is as important as knowing how to read the opponents’. On the other hand, online poker loses this component in favor of accessibility. It is a more immediate game, more comfortable and can be accessed from anywhere using any type of smart device.
However, the strategic and mathematical component is still there. Contrary to what many believe, online poker requires a great command of mathematics, something in which live and online poker are very similar. As many veterans in America say, “poker is poker” and it doesn’t matter what kind of variables you introduce: the game has the same basis, despite the numerous modalities that exist today.