Leisure/Sport, Tech/Software

Knowhow: should you play poker online or offline?

play poker online

This guide outlines the pros and cons when you play poker online vs playing in real world games.

You could take up a martial art, learn a language or start a side hustle. There are so possible hobbies out there, making the world your oyster when you’re choosing one to pursue regularly. One you might have considered is playing poker. Congratulate yourself on a fantastic choice. Poker is a thrilling game full of strategy, not to mention the chance to walk away from the table with big money if, literally, you play your cards right. 

When you decide to play poker, you must choose whether you wish to play it in a specific location, such as in the poker room of a casino, or go down the cyberspace route and play poker online. Below, and to help you make that decision, is a look at the advantages and differences between playing in a physical venue and playing online.

Play poker online

Playing poker online has several useful advantages.


Whether you play poker online in North America like Canada, you will find it has recently relaxed gambling laws and consumers are only beginning to be more exposed to iGaming. The one thing no one can deny is the convenience online poker offers. You can log on anywhere as long as you have internet access and a mobile device, such as a mobile phone, tablet or even a laptop, and get playing. The days of playing from behind a desktop computer are over.

If you are based in Ontario Canada, there are many reasons why you should choose to visit the 888Poker site, one is that it contains a vast array of educational materials to help you get started on how to play Poker, from unique strategies to rules and how to play, furthermore they are regulated by iAGCO – the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario’s online service, ensuring they are safe and secure, all this can be found when playing at their slick online poker in Canada website.

Opponents can’t read your tells

Playing online affords you a great deal of privacy while you’re playing. More importantly, though, it prevents other players from studying your behaviour or body language at the table. Feeling anxious because the game isn’t going your way? The other players won’t be able to tell because they won’t be able to see you. 

Opportunity to practise

One of the best things about playing poker online is that it’s a superb way to learn how to play the game. You can build your skills and play poker online in practice games with virtual chips until you feel confident enough to start playing for cash. When you feel you’ve mastered poker strategisation, you might even head to a physical establishment and try your hand on the tables there.

Option to play on more than one table at once

Playing online creates the opportunity to play in more than one game at once. What you lose at one table you might be able to regain at another. Be aware, however, that just like in real life, playing more than one game at the same time could be quite stressful. Think carefully before doing this.

You choose how much you wish to spend

One of the other big advantages of online poker is that you have more flexibility in how you wish to gamble, so it’s much cheaper to play poker online, which is a key business strategy for those building their brands. In a casino, you may feel under pressure to gamble more money than you wish to.

Playing offline

Playing at an online casino might be fun, but you might also prefer the excitement of playing at a physical venue instead. Here are some of the benefits of playing poker in a casino or other venue.

You can see the other players tells

One of the biggest advantages of playing poker offline is that you can see another player’s tells. Perhaps one of the players talks trash when they’re bluffing. Maybe another twitches slightly despite the poker face they’re showing. Do they scratch their nose or adjust their glasses when they get a good hand? You can see all of these things at a venue.

You can unsettle other players

At a venue, you can unsettle other players and encourage their emotions to affect their behaviour at the table, throwing them off their game. Online, they can hide behind their screens and no player will know any better how they’re feeling; offline, it’s a different story and well-placed word or two can trigger their emotions, which then interfere with their game.

You might not be playing against the best players in the world

When you play at a venue, if you’re up against one of the best players in the world, you’re going to know it and can walk away before you mount up some serious losses. A lot of highly skilled poker players and experts play online and make a lot of their money from online games. You could come against them online and not even know it.

Playing in a social setting

Humans are social animals. Playing at a venue creates a sense of excitement as people interact with other people. Fair enough, players may be getting down to business at the tables and laying potentially large amounts of money on the line, but at the same time they’re also relaxing. Poker is a form of entertainment as much as it is an opportunity to win some money. You can also enjoy the venue’s warm hospitality while you do it.


Whether you play poker online or offline is a matter of preference. Clearly, each one has their benefits, with online poker offering privacy on your devices, convenience, affordability and the ability to hide one’s thoughts and feelings on how the games are going, whereas at venues other players can tell a player’s thoughts and take advantage of it to throw them off their game. Which one would you choose?