Online Poker vs. Live Poker

One great thing about poker these days is that you no longer have to burn through your bankroll traveling to casinos and poker clubs just to find a game. Instead, there are numerous online poker sites that give you the option to play right from your home. This being said, online poker has a definite advantage over live poker when it comes to convenience. But that doesn’t mean every advantage belongs to the online version of the game since casino poker also offers players some decided benefits. Seeing as how there’s somewhat of a debate here, let’s compare the two poker versions by looking at several different factors.


When it comes to rakeback, there is no debating that online poker has the definite edge here. In fact, casino poker doesn’t even offer players rakeback, which is one of its biggest drawbacks. Online poker players who have a rakeback deal get a certain percentage of money back that they contribute in rake. For example, if you had the 30% rakeback deal at PKR and paid a $100 + $10 tournament buy-in, you’d receive $3 back ($10 x 0.30). As you can see, rakeback really saves you a lot of money over time, and these deals are only offered in online poker.


Both casinos and internet sites offer poker promotions to reward their most frequent players. For example, online poker rooms feature sign-up bonuses, VIP programs, cashback, live tournament prize packages, and the aforementioned rakeback deals. Casinos and poker clubs offer comps such as free hotel rooms, meals and leaderboard races. Unfortunately, casinos can’t keep up with online poker promotions because of the heavy operating costs they incur, which include paying dealers, property taxes, poker room maintenance and more; it is because it avoids these costs that internet poker offers the biggest and richest promotions.

Social Aspect

Online poker sites do their best to give games a social feel with chat functions and webcams rooms such as the ones at 888Poker. But despite their best efforts, cyber poker rooms just can’t match the social aspect found at most casinos and card rooms; after all, you get to physically sit next to other players and talk to them between hands. So those who find the social part of poker just as important as the actual game itself will prefer to head straight for the casino.


One of the big advantages of playing live poker is that casinos put a lot of work into their venue’s atmosphere. For example: casinos and poker clubs offer food and drinks, decorate their venues, and keep the tables and room well-maintained. Their end goal is to make the rest of the experience just as good as the actual games for the players. Internet poker rooms also try to make the experience better for players with detailed graphics and customizable tables, but they can only do so much in this department since there is no physical atmosphere for players to enjoy.


If you’re a cash game player, the amount of rake taken by online poker sites is usually a lot lower than amount that land-based poker rooms take. Most internet sites rake 5% of each cash game pot, and they cap their rake fees at $3. So if a pot was worth $300, only $3 or 1% of the pot would be raked. Compare this to casino poker where cash game rake is sometimes as high as 10%, and the cap is $4–$5. Factor in the customary dealer tips, and you’re paying a lot higher fees in these games.

Cashing Out

Depending upon what method you use to cash out with at online poker sites, you could be waiting a few days or a few weeks to get your money. With casino poker you can cash your chips out immediately after playing without any delay. Plus there are rarely any fees associated with casino cashouts – as opposed to online transactions where many payment processors take out a small fee.

Playing Speed

The more poker hands a successful grinder is able to play, the more chances they have to make profits. With this being the case, many poker pros and semi-pros are drawn to online poker because they can play a lot more hands due to a couple of factors: 1) there are no physical cards dealt so hands move faster; 2) people can play multiple tables at once (multi-tabling). These benefits enable skilled rounders to play hundreds of poker hands per hour.

The Verdict!

Looking at the two more broadly, casino poker will always be enjoyed by certain players because of its social benefits and unique atmosphere, but online poker offers players a lot of financial and convenience advantages that just aren’t available in the live game. Perhaps chief amongst which is the top rakeback deals that so many online poker sites offer. There’s also the point that casinos won’t reward you for telling a friend about them, whereas refer a friend to RakeTheRake and you’ll earn money on all the online poker they play – for as long as they play!

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