Online poker and poker have quite a few things in common. They’re the same basic game, after all, and people who play one often enjoy playing the other. The two versions of the game do have some very real differences, though, some of which are better for players than others. Before you start playing online, it’s a good idea to stop and think about how those differences might benefit your style of play. These differences range from speed of play to how pay-outs work, with each carrying a series of pros and cons that should be considered by players of all skill levels.

Online Poker is Faster

Online poker is generally a faster and much more aggressive version of poker. Games go by quickly for a number of reasons, not the least of which is a greater degree of confidence on the part of the players. Because of the way the game is set up, most players spend less time thinking and more time playing.

For some, this can be a major drawback. If you are a player who needs to think – or cool down the table – you’ll be put off by the speed of online games. If you hate waiting around for others to play, though, you’ll love the faster play. This is really one aspect that is a matter of preference.

You Can Play More Than One Table at a Time

There’s no limit to how many games you can play at one time online. So long as you can keep up with the flow of each game, you’re able to play as many opponents as you like. This, coupled with the faster speed of play, can help you to compete more often.

This isn’t a strategy everyone likes, of course. It does slow down some games and it also causes others to play poorly. If you can pay attention to multiple games, though, it can keep you from ever having to slow down during play.

Tells are Different

When you play poker in person, you generally read tells by physical cues. The way people hold their cards, look at others, and conduct themselves will help you learn when someone is bluffing. This doesn’t, however, work in online poker. When you can’t see the other players, physical tells don’t matter.

This is great for those who have physical tells. It’s less great, though, for those who depend on reading people to play. There are other tells that you can pick up in online play, though, and learning them will help you to dominate the table.

Cash Out is Different

Cashing out in online poker is a little more complicated than cashing out in a live game. In a live game, cashing out really comes down to where you’re playing. If you are playing a friendly game, you’ll be able to get your money directly. If you’re playing in a casino, you can go get your money from the house. If you play online, though, you’re always going to get your money from the house – and cashing out might have certain limits.

Generally speaking, the real difference is in time. You’ll load of your account with a certain amount of money when playing online and have it transmitted back to your account. The speed of transfer can be anywhere from a few hours to a few days, so you won’t be able to get money as quickly. On the other hand, it’s also a little harder to turn around and put the money back on the table – a good way to make sure that you’ll actually walk away with the money that you have won.