Online poker has helped to make the game more popular than ever, and it’s now how the majority of people play the game. That said, live tournaments are still incredibly popular, especially major events such as the WSOP, which are watched by people all over the world. If you’re looking to start playing poker, online is probably the easiest to get into in terms of accessibility. However, some would argue that it’s much harder than live poker.
For the most part, there’s a higher level of competition online. This is particularly true for lower-stakes tables, in which players grind to make money. Because it’s so easy to get into and people can play multiple tables at once, many use online poker to make money rather than just a hobby. This has led to more competition and harder games on average as a result.
Advantages of Online Poker
While online poker might be harder than live poker, it does offer its own advantages. The biggest advantage is the convenience. Playing poker online is incredibly easy, as you just need to find a suitable site, sign up and start playing. You don’t have to wait for specific opening times, as there are always games available to join.
Online poker is also faster than live poker, allowing you to play a far greater number of hands every hour. This means that if you’re good and winning consistently, you can earn a much higher hourly rate than you would if you were playing live games, even if the stakes are lower.
Advantages of Live Poker
Online poker might be faster and more convenient, but it’s more difficult than live poker too. When you play live games, you’re far more likely to play against hobby players. Provided you’re not at a major tournament playing for big prize money, live games are typically easier, which is a big advantage when it comes to making money.
The other main advantage of live poker is that you can actually see your opponents. When you play online, you’re playing against real people, but you can’t see them through the screen. With live games, you get to see each opponent and read their facial expressions and body language. This can be a major advantage if you’re good at reading people, although you have to be careful that they can’t read you too.
How to Master Poker
Online poker is generally considered the most difficult way to play, and it’s often quite challenging for new players to get into. That said, its convenience makes it an ideal starting point. If you want to get really good at poker, combining both is the way to go. You should commit a certain amount of time to poker each week and split that time between study, live games, and online play.
For online play, you can start out using poker tracking software to review your hands as you play. This will help you learn the correct strategy as well as let you learn from your mistakes. Avoid multi-tabling early on, as you’ll likely be losing money when you first start playing. As you gain more experience and have a good win rate, you can increase the number of tables you play at.
If you want to get better at live poker, the skills you’ve learned playing online will help. However, you’ll also need to learn more about reading your opponents. Practice focusing on what your opponents are doing, how they react to their cards, and how they look when they call or raise. By focusing on your opponents and working out the ranges of their possible hands, you’ll get much better at predicting their moves.
Combining both live and online play with studying poker resources and watching videos will massively improve your game. As online poker is harder, this is the best place to sharpen your skills, although it can be difficult if you’re brand new to poker. Take things slowly at first and stick to the small stakes tables and freeroll tournaments to get practice.