Is Online Poker Preferable To Live Poker?

While the traditional form of so-called bricks & mortar poker has been around for a long time, the game experienced a global boom during the early/mid 2000s when the internet was being firmly established as a part of everyday life and online poker exploded on to our screens. In a perfect example of a sign of the times, the modern era of the game spawned a generation of players who prefer online poker to live poker.

Here are six reasons why so many people believe that online poker is superior to the arguably old-fashioned option of playing in a conventional casino or poker room

  • Speed of the game
  • More players and a greater variety of games
  • Lower stakes
  • Ease of use
  • Hand histories
  • Rakeback

The speed of the game

A typical live full ring poker game might provide players with approximately 25 to 30 hands per hour due to the multi-tasking dealers having to shuffle, deal, sort out the chips as each new bet is placed (thrown…), keep tabs as the pot increases, distribute the chips at the end of each hand and, of course, police the table. It takes much longer to overcome the short-term variance playing live in comparison to the online version.

Indeed, Cash game players have to spend more hours at a live poker table than their online counterparts to achieve their win rate. In terms of tournaments, live players may never be able to play enough tournaments to keep pace with the wide variety of multi-table tournaments (MTTs) available on the internet.

Quite simply, online poker is significantly faster. A typical online poker game with a maximum of 6 players will usually average more than 90 hands per hour; with the Fast Forward (Zoom) variants there are even more hands raced through.

Furthermore, these numbers refer only to one table. Online poker makes it easy to play several tables simultaneously (multi-table), affording experienced players the chance to rack up literally hundreds of hands an hour, thousands in a day. Such a contrasting statistical gulf in itself is arguably sufficient reason to choose online poker.

More players, more variety of games

In a live poker room you are limited to the cash game variants that casinos offer, while their tournaments are part of a fixed schedule. Online poker offers everything, from a much larger number of cash games of numerous formats, to a wide variety of tournaments that also run 24/7. Note, also, that online poker rooms never close, running all day, every day of the year.

Online poker operators offer Cash game options that include Full Ring, 6-max, Fast-Fold, and all variants. Meanwhile, tournament fans are provided with a permanent smorgasbord in terms of choice online, from traditional Freezeouts and Rebuys to Bounty tournaments, satellites to big money events and, importantly, structures and formats that are simply impossible to manage without the lightning fast, multi-tasking software that the online poker set-up provides. Indeed, from a purely practical standpoint, live poker can’t even begin to compete with the online version because there are so many tournament types that are out of the question (such as large – or even small – fields, for example), while Cash games are limited to single, table by table arrangements, formats requiring multi-table, large player pool set-ups being impossible. Meanwhile, online poker is all-embracing, with bankrolls of any size, from microstakes to high-rollers, always catered for.

Additionally, online poker allows us to play games like Spin & Go tournaments which have their unique thrill factor and which, due to the sheer volume of the numbers who play them, give players a chance to win life-changing sums.

Lower stakes

As we mentioned above, online poker is accessible to all, and a lot of effort goes into accommodating new and recreational players, who can find plenty of action at stakes that literally start at a few cents. This is never the case in a bricks & mortar poker room, where even the lowest stakes require a much, much larger bankroll than the vast majority of fun players and beginners have.

Online cash games start at NL2 with blinds at 0.01/0.02, while the small stakes tournaments (buy-ins $5 and below) litter the schedules of online rooms. In comparison, the smallest stakes of cash games in a live poker room are typically $1/$2 or $1/$3, and tournaments with buy-ins under $50 are rare. Those many players who start their poker adventure online simply wouldn’t find any games in a bricks & mortar casino/poker room. In fact, as well as this fundamental bankroll issue, the fact that players can easily manage a high level of volume online means that bankroll management is easier to handle, too, as it would take years of playing live to put together a large enough sample from which a player could get an anywhere near accurate enough indication regarding ability and progression/improvement.

Ease of use

Online poker is far more flexible and much simpler than its live counterpart. All you need to start enjoying poker is a computer, laptop, or mobile phone.

Online Cash games or Sit & Go games are particularly practical, as well as being suitable for short sessions. Also, if you would like to play for an hour, take a two-hour break and then come back to play for another hour, this is quite normal with online poker.

Meanwhile, although it’s true that tournaments online can take up time, at least the flexibility afforded us by online poker rooms means we can pick and choose which tournaments we can play according to whatever schedule we can fit in with, because there will always be something on, round the clock.

Hand Histories (HH)

Many poker sites have banned the use of heads-up displays (HUDs), such as those found at PokerTracker and Hold’em Manager. However, HUDs are still allowed on some websites and provide a powerful tool for tracking an opponent’s tendencies (and your own).

Even if no HUDs are allowed, almost all online poker sites record all hands played. You can access these hand histories and analyze, download and upload your hands to Poker Tracker or Holdem Manager to improve your own game.


In live poker, as with online poker, you pay a rake/fee while playing at a cash table or in a tournament. However, if you play live that’s the last you see of your money because all of the rake goes to the dealer or the house. This is in stark contrast, on the other hand, to playing at an online poker room, where part of the incentive to retain your custom comes in the form of Rakeback. Knowing that you’ll have a certain percentage (often quite substantial) of your rake/fees returned makes such a difference, and herein lies another crucial and decisive point in support of online poker. And this is where we at YourPokerDream come in, because we offer the highest Rakeback deals on the market, this making playing on virtual tables even more profitable.

Would you like to receive one of our exclusive Rakeback offers, or ask us how it works and how it coud apply to you? Email us at or chat with us on Skype at vip-yourpokerdream.

last updated 02.02.2021