Poker fans are thoroughly spoiled for choice when they play online. Thanks to the popularity of the game, there will always be a multitude of options to choose from whether you’re a casual player looking to work on your strategy or you’re practically a pro and chasing those big pots in poker tournaments.
Perhaps the most common dilemma poker players face is choosing between video poker, also called simply online poker or RNG poker, and live dealer poker. While the game’s rules will be the same no matter which type you play, the experience itself will differ significantly and as a result, will be better suited to some players and not others.
In this blog, we will be looking at how video and live poker are different and how to choose the one that will deliver the kind of player experience you are hoping for.
The main draw of live dealer games, whether you are playing blackjack, poker or Sic Bo, is the social element. Between the dealer themselves and the presence of other players, this is the closest anyone can get to a real-life, land-based casino experience in their own home.
While the development of Artificial Intelligence is expected to have a radical and exciting impact on online poker play in future, we think that you simply cannot replicate the thrill of pitting your wits against a real, human player. And it’s not just the buzz of winning against another player - live dealer tables are a great way to make new friends or at the very least, engage in a little conversation with your fellow players.
Live dealer poker has, in recent years, taken the lead on the range of games that are offered. Back in the day, you could only play the common variants of poker, namely Texas Hold’Em and Caribbean Stud, in a live dealer game. Today, as this branch of online gambling continues to innovate, you can choose from a bigger range of options such as Hi-Lo, 3-Card Poker and others.
Video poker was one of the very first online casino games developed and thanks to advances in technology, it has evolved and adapted, retaining its popularity over the decades.
One of the big draws of video poker as opposed to live dealer games is the level of convenience and control this medium offers. For new players, the chance to practice the game in free mode (not often, if ever, offered on live dealer games) is invaluable. Only got time for a few quick hands? When playing video poker, there is no need to wait until the table is full before the game starts. You also don’t have to deal with finding a free seat during busy periods.
Video poker is perhaps a little impersonal and mechanical when compared to the social interactivity of live dealer games. However, this type of fast play is appealing to those who are not necessarily interested in that aspect of play and are more focused on learning the rules and improving their technique.
We also have to consider the technical aspect of playing online poker. Video poker requires fewer computer resources than live dealer games, which rely on a stable live stream connection and a certain minimum when it comes to display specs. While both are playable on mobile these days, you are more likely to face problems with a dropped connection on a live dealer table than on a standard RNG poker table. Live dealer games also tend to be more expensive. After all, the game provider needs to pay for that sophisticated video setup and its live dealers’ wages some how.
Live dealer poker games and video poker each have advantages and disadvantages, and we would encourage players to give both a try to see which one works for them. Video poker is a great option for those players who are tight on time as well as those who are still learning the ropes. Live dealer games bring a little of that casino atmosphere into gameplay, which some players might find valuable in itself.