It is not easy to compare poker tournaments with online poker against computers. It can be said to be similar in the endpoint, as in both cases, the flush beats the straight. Even though both of the formats require betting and bluffing, many people have suggested that there is a fundamental difference between the two. The most common point of segregation is that one game is played virtually, while the other requires real-life knowledge.
There is still a notable difference between the poker players who play online and those who attend live tournaments. Stars in one format have also known to struggle in the other, and so on. The gap is slowly decreasing though, and both live poker tournaments and online computer poker games show the gameplay of the highest level.
Main Differences between Live Poker Tournaments and Online Computer Poker
Before you choose what to play you need to know about the difference between the formats. The main differences between these two formats are given below.
- Bet Sizing
The bet sizing in both of the formats vary. The live game tournaments may see players opening with 5x or 6x the big blind, whereas online computer games can have players who can only go upto 3x, which is absolutely normal. The bet sizing of the players is generally huge in tournaments, and the inexperienced players have the tendency to overbet.
- Heads-Up vs. Multi-Way Pots
Live poker tournaments may see players with more calling and looser play. Hence, the multi-way pots occur more in live tournaments rather than online games, where heads-up is more common. Preflop raises are common with limpers, and this creates more multi-way pots.
- Folding vs. Calling
Postflop calls have a much different impact than preflop class, and post-flop calls are mostly seen in online computer players. Even though the calls mainly happen as per the situation and the player, it can be slightly predicted. This happens mainly as the call button is easier to click than making a tough call. Since online games are played virtually, players are less embarrassed to go for such moves.
- Bad Beats Frequency
In online computer poker, the frequency of bad beats is much more than any regular live poker tournament. This happens as the online gameplay supports lower limits, which supports subpar players to make calls which sometimes beats better calls as well. This directly leads us to the next big difference between online computer poker and live poker tournaments.
- The Game Pace
The pace of the gameplay is the obvious difference between online computer poker and live poker tournaments. The gameplay experienced online is significantly faster than any poker tournament. In poker tournaments, you can have around 30 hands per hour, while the online games can see about 60 hands in an hour on average. Online computer poker also supports multi-table, where the number of hands per hour increases.
- Variance in Poker Tournaments vs. Online Computer Poker
The swings that are seen in poker are mainly termed as variance, and the bigger losses or gains are mainly described as high variance. With respect to the results in long periods, the variance generates loss and gain at a much faster rate. With respect to live poker tournaments, the variance in online computer poker is much higher. As a result, the online gameplay has a completely different approach towards managing a bankroll.
- Live Poker Tournament Tells vs. Online Tells
In an online computer poker game, the opponents are not beside the layer. Hence, the physical tells as present in poker tournaments are absent online. The table talk gets affected, and it is an important factor in live poker tournaments. In poker tournaments, profiling opponents is much easier than playing online. For veterans, it provides a good opportunity to grab as much information from the inexperienced players to set up their profits. Online computer poker games also have ‘tells’, even though they have a much less impact.
- Relative Stakes
Another difference that can be mentioned in this list is that the relative stakes between online computer poker and live poker tournaments are much different. The online games generally feature much higher skilled players at present, even though poker tournaments also boast of some highly skilled players. However, the stakes are higher in online poker, even if the profit amount is higher in the live poker tournaments. With more tough opponents in online poker, the stakes become automatically higher. This rule is however exceptional, as one can never tell which format will host what type of players at any given game.
What Is More Popular In The Poker Players?
At present, poker players generally prefer online computer poker than live poker in usual days. However, with attractive profits, live poker tournaments are also highly popular. Just like any running digital marketing campaigns, online poker has attained much popularity, thanks to marketing. Since the online format is faster paces, the majority of poker players find regular live poker to be tedious.
Which One Is Better For You?
There can be never a clear conclusion as to state which particular format of poker is the best for you. Since the game is essentially, the skills in both formats are hand to hand. However, as a general rule, it is said that the players should start with live poker and master the basics and play few poker tournaments before moving to fast-paced online poker. This way, the skills will be enhanced.