Live vs. Online Poker Tournament Strategy

Live vs. Online Poker Tournament Strategy

0 comments 22 December 2019, 11:09

While the game itself is the same, the strategy of a live tournament is way different than the one of an online poker tournament. In this article we’ll take a look at some of these differences.

Online MTTs require more knowledge and abilities, such as being able to calculate pots, odds and equity. While real tournaments require less math, they do need calm and composure, self-control and the ability to read other players.

In online tournaments you have to take the best decisions based on math and hand equity calculations, while in live poker you can narrow down hand ranges based on the reactions of other players.

Usually, players in live tournaments are weaker than those who play online at the same buy-in. A fishy tournament means more variance, so you need to be careful to not go broke too early in live tournaments. You can avoid this by playing tighter than usual and by folding weak hands.

In live poker it’s more about getting the most chips out of each player gradually, compared to tight chip wars happening in online tournaments. In live games you will get called more often and for worse odds.

Bluffing is much more useful in online tournaments. Because players in live games are more passive and have a weaker strategy, your bluffs will not be as effective. If you really want to bluff in a live game, you have to be sure that your opponent will fold a marginal hand.

Because of the above mentioned passiveness, value betting is much more useful in live tournaments. So if you have a good hand, play it slowly from the flop in order to get the most chips from others. Just make sure to not be called down by a passive player with a better hand.

When switching from online poker to live games, make sure to keep these things in mind:

  • Live games are slower – not only that you can play just one table at a time, but players take much longer to make a move. Fewer hands mean a lot more folding and time spent not being in the game. But you can use this time to study your opponents
  • Live tables are usually softer (at small stakes) – we already discussed about this above
  • Live games are more loose and passive
  • Pre-flop ramping is very common and live players want to see the flop
  • Live games are deeper and you may find yourself in situations of being 200 bb deep

Online games:

  • Are faster
  • Are tougher
  • Are more aggressive
  • Have wider hand ranges
  • Are more about post-flop play

Which games and tournaments do you play? Do you prefer live or online poker?

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