Online vs. Offline Poker - The Differences between Online vs. Offline Poker

Most poker players enjoy playing both online and offline poker - look at what the main differences between these two types of poker are.


Many modern players now learn poker by first playing some free online poker, and then taking part in live poker matches. This is a good way to learn some poker tricks and to gain confidence that you will need in real live poker games.

It’s important to note though that although online and offline poker is very much the same game, there are some differences. It is true that you can be really good online and then end up sucking at brick and mortar poker, if you don’t know the differences.

The Differences

The first big difference is that online poker has a much faster pace than live poker. Online, you don’t have to wait for the dealer to deal, shuffle, or count chips. This transition often leads to online players that get restless and impatient. Patience is the key to being good at offline poker.

If you think about online versus offline poker, you would probably be able to tell that offline poker is all about ‘poker tells’ whereas online poker is not so much. That is because these tells are much more prominent when you are playing face to face. Online poker is a good platform where beginners can play against professionals, and not necessarily lose.

The only real tells that you will find in online poker, will be about someone’s betting patterns and playing speed. With online poker, the other players can’t see when you are sweating, trembling or perhaps even hyperventilating. This means that they will not necessarily raise their bets or fold. The downside to this is that, by playing online poker, you will not be able to learn or the special tricks involved in hiding your poker tells or reading those of your opponents.

With offline players you will know who your opponents are, but online poker allows players to remain anonymous. You will not know whether you are playing against a pro or a beginner, unless they feel inclined to tell you, or if you know their user name. It’s easier to also ‘just know’ when you meet a cardsharp in person. The confidence can give it all away. A good tip when playing online is not to just trust someone’s user name. Just because someone calls himself ‘BettyBoop’ doesn’t mean he or she is female. Some cardsharps are sexist and think that a female alias will draw out more sympathy from their opponents, which will give them the advantage.


In summary, online poker is a good way to learn the game and to keep in practice. Always remember, however, that there are difference between online and offline poker, which means you won’t be a pro at the one just because you have mastered the other.