The rise of internet poker has seen an ever greater number of people playing the game at the different sites, like poker.betfair.com, offering this, but despite the increase in the people participating in the game many people still think that playing poker online at one of these sites and competing in a live tournament are completely different from each other. There certainly are differences involved, and the two different ways of playing place different demands on the participants, but the variations are more subtle than wholesale. So what are the important differences between the two?
The major areas that those playing poker online need to be able to excel at include calculation of the pot odds – grasping the patterns of the betting – and equity, which are regarded as being amongst the fundamental skills needed to play poker successfully. If you are playing poker online, you need to be able plan your decisions on the basis of mathematical calculations of the optimal calls. This is also required to some extent when it comes to playing in live tournaments, but is not a central to success in those because you can actually see the people you are playing – making it easier to make calls based on reading the body language ‘tells’ of your opponents.
This ability to face the players you are up against is the crucial difference between the two different ways of playing poker because it means that in live tournaments your success rate is likely to be determined much more by your ability to read the body language of your opponents and spot their physical ‘tells’. In addition to this live tournaments are also considered by many experienced players to a more passive playing experience than playing poker online, which makes it better for value betting but less effective for attempting to play bluffs.