Online vs Offline

Online vs Offline Poker

Ever since online poker experienced a surge in popularity during the early 2000s there has long been a debate about the pros and cons of playing online compared to playing live. Here, we take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of online poker and how it holds up against its offline counterpart.

Online Poker – The Advantages

Playing poker online has developed a niche for giving players the chance to play more poker in a shorter space of time. There is the opportunity online to not only play more variations of poker with hundreds of tables of different types of poker starting every hour but to play a number of games at the same time with many online poker sites offering a multi-table function. This is where players can play more than one table at the same time in separate windows. Quite a contrast compared to the one table commitment offline poker demands.
No Body Language Tells
A major part of playing poker is considered to be the skill of observing player tells. These are when a player displays certain habits in their body language that might give a clue as to how they make decisions at the table. This aspect of live poker is eliminated online. Tells come in other forms such as betting patterns and even behaviour in the chat function which can help players with less experience of analysing body language tells.
Less Distractions
The hustle and bustle of a casino can sometimes add to the live poker experience but a lot of players can find the distractions of noise and the behaviour of other players to be a negative side to the game. When playing online there is the option to turn off sound, ignore the chat function, and just make it all about you and the poker.
Where as if you play live poker you have to show your face and everybody knows who you are, playing online gives you the chance to play as an anonymous individual. Every time you play a table it is a fresh start. Nobody knows you. It gives you more freedom to play as you want with no worry of wondering how others may perceive you. This is a particular benefit to shy players that lack the confidence to play at live poker tables.
No Alcohol Temptation
The setting of a casino during live poker can sometimes bring with it the other temptations of a casino such as the bar with its drinks and food plus the live music and other games. The best kind of mind in poker is a clear mind. Intoxication via alcohol usually ends in reckless behaviour at the table and is not strongly advised. At home you can stay off the booze and remain focused.
The major benefit of online poker is the fact that you do not have to get dressed up and schedule in a trip to your local casino or poker club. You can just switch on your computer, find a table starting at your preferred time, and get involved. You don't even have to get dressed!

Online Poker – The Disadvantages

Potential Distractions
Yes, we did list this in the advantages section but those were distractions out of your control. At home, the distractions are more under your control. For example, listening to music, watching television, interacting with the family and friends. Provided you can remain disciplined with potential distractions at home then that's fine. However, they are a potential hazard of playing online.
No Body Language Tells
This can be deemed by some players to be a negative side to online poker. Judging tells can be a big part of a player's game in offline poker and if this aspect is removed then it can have a seriously detrimental impact on a player's game. Granted, tells can be found in other types of behaviour online such as a player's betting pattern but the poker purists insist that poker without body language tells is barely poker at all.
Bigger Losses
At a casino the fact you can play one table at a time also means your losses are limited. Online when multiple tables can be played at the same time that changes the budget side of the game. You can find yourself in danger of losing more than you initially anticipated.
Less Player Interaction
Ok, so there is the chat box but that is about the peak of social interaction you will get with online poker. Creating bonds at the table with the person next to you over a well-played hand or a mutually-experienced bad beat is a thing of the past when it comes to online poker.
One less obvious disadvantage of playing online is the pace at which the game is played. The cards are dealt automatically without the need for a human dealer that deals the cards manually. This can end up in games flying by and you will feel like you have barely started a game before you are in the final stages. Some players find poker is a game that should be experienced and enjoyed at a leisurely speed. The frenetic nature of online play compared to offline can put players off.
Online Poker

Why Online Poker Is Better

At the end of the day, online and offline poker both have their advantages and disadvantages but online poker is the next natural evolutionary step of the popular card game. The convenience, flexibility, choice, and easy-to-use poker sites means that the pros of online poker outweigh the cons. Online poker is a 21st century version of a very old game that caters for the needs of a 21st century society. There will always be elements of offline poker that online poker cannot recreate but with the introduction of live dealers and webcams the online platform is introducing changes to make the conversion from offline to online as realistic as possible. Check out our favourite Canadian poker sites and start playing today.