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Tadas Peckaitis

Tadas Peckaitis has been a professional poker player, coach and author for almost a decade. He is a manager and head coach at where he shares his experience, and poker strategy tips. Tadas plays poker, mostly online, but also manages to play live events while travelling through Europe and the U.S. He is a big fan of personal effectiveness and always trying to do more. Tadas regularly shares his knowledge about both of these topics with his students, and deeply enjoys it. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, or visit

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Top 10 reasons to choose live poker over online poker

4 May 2020

By Tadas Peckaitis
There is always a discussion going on about if it is better to play live or online poker, and what advantages each of these options offers.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic we do not have many options to play live poker.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic we do not have many options to play live poker. (photo by Flickr)

Of course, today, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we don’t have many options to play live poker.

Either way, I firmly believe that there is no right or wrong answer here, and it all depends on your preferences, needs, and desires. I have worked with various students on, and some players are frustrated with a live setting, while others simply can’t stand the online grind, so it is all on you.

To have a better understanding of the full picture, I am happy to share what I think are the top 10 reasons to play in live games, as a follow up to my recent article about the advantages of online poker, and then you can make the decision yourself.

10. You will be forced to go outside
Many poker players are lazy. It’s not an insult, it is just the reality of the game, and I am one of those players. If there is a way not to do something, I will happily skip it and concentrate on what I like.

While it can be a significant benefit and help avoid many unnecessary tasks, it can also stand in the way of doing what needs to be done.

Choosing to play in live games will force you to leave the house and walk for a bit, instead of sitting in front of a screen for 12 hours per day. Who knows, maybe you will enjoy getting fresh air and even as light exercise? Walking is beneficial for your health and could increase your results in the game.

9. You can have different experiences
While playing online, you will not have many opportunities to experience a thrill of changing your environment. No matter which poker room you choose, you will find almost identical situations inside it with a couple of tweaks on the graphical part.

However, you can find live poker games with an entirely different atmosphere. Not only the interior of casinos will defer, but also their playing chips, cards, and all of the surroundings.

While not a major factor on its own, it still gives an added benefit of a different experience, and that actually can help you keep the fun of the game and enjoy your time at the tables.

8. More fun
I am not sure I have ever seen a player who said that playing online is more fun than games in a live setting, and I agree.

Competing against players that you actually see creates an entirely different atmosphere and ultimately leads to a better experience most of the time.

You can exchange jokes between the hands, have a friendly chat, or enough laugh after a big cooler, that would only set you on tilt when playing online. It is just more fun.

7. You have more time to think
If you are new to poker, having more time can be a massive advantage because you can consider different options before making the final decision. More experienced players have been in these situations hundreds of times so they can make the decisions much quicker, while new players might struggle to consider all of their options just in a couple of seconds online.

However, when you are playing in a live setting, you can take all the time you need. So even if you are not entirely new to this game, it lets you make higher quality decisions, which leads to more money at the end.

Playing too fast is a deadly sin for many online players, but you can easily avoid it in a live setting.

6. You can play higher stakes
Let’s take a simple example. If you want to play $1-$2 Texas Hold’em No Limit 200 online, meaning you will have $1 small blind and $2 big blind, you will need to study thousands of hours and work with comprehensive GTO software to brush your skills, because you will face very tough competition.

However, in most live casinos, that is the lowest possible stake with plenty of recreational players and action around the clock.

This means that you can play this or even higher levels with much weaker players compared to online games, and that can surely add some thrill to your overall experience and your bottom line as well.

In a casino you are not going to be so stressed all the time.

In a casino you are not going to be so stressed all the time. (photo by Flickr)

5. Less stress
I also believe there is less stress in live games. It is not like playing online where you need to track 10 tables at once, and even a single thing can mess your whole session.

In a casino, you are not going to be so stressed all the time, which naturally leads to a more relaxed state of mind and all the benefits that come with it. A lot of the time, it is easier to keep your focus and observe your opponents on one table, and playing live provides you with that opportunity.

4. Enjoy added benefits
Also, live avenues often feature the best restaurants and bars, so you can surely find what to enjoy.

While playing at home probably means that you will be eating cereal while clicking the buttons, in a casino, you can enjoy the first-class diner between your sessions and find anything you like.

On top of that, when you finish your session, you can grab a drink and have a friendly chat with another player or simply enjoy the location. Of course, you can also grab a drink while playing, but this is probably not the best idea most of the time.

3. Ability to use poker tells
Various players have different things that they enjoy in live games, but one of the most appealing for me is the ability to read others and notice their tells.

Of course, if this is your first trip to a casino to play poker, you are more likely to give away some information than gather it yourself. But with some experience, this brings additional excitement into the game because you can notice how players react in different situations.

2. Social benefits
If you are an online grinder, social life could be a term you are not aware of. Of course, I am extrapolating it a bit, but a live poker room can be a great place to catch up with everyday life.

You will have a chance to chat with various players and maybe even find some friends who will become your studying partners or just someone to hand out with.

Either way, networking is beneficial to almost all extents, so meeting new people and chatting with them about anything could be a great start.

1. Weaker competition
Last but not least, is the ability to play in the games with a much weaker competition is very appealing.

While obviously, you will find good players in live games as well, the average pool just tends to be weaker, so if you have some experience in the poker, this can be very beneficial to you. Even if you don’t have the experience, a few hours of training with a GTO software will help you outgrow your competition extremely fast.

More recreational players leads to more profit, and I am sure that is something you are happy to take.
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