Video Poker vs. Online Video Poker vs. Live Dealer Poker: Differences You Should Know

Video poker machines image

📖 Published on: May 24th, 2024

✍️ Updated: May 27th, 2024

⏳ 8 mins read


“A good game of poker is time well spent,” as many aficionados and pros usually claim. While poker is a great community card game played with a live dealer and other people, its online counterparts, video poker, and online video poker, have disrupted the world of iGaming as we know it and have since become a staple in the way we enjoy a good table game win. Here, we’ll contrast the obvious differences and highlight which ones are best suited for your gaming style.


Whether you’re a traditionalist who loves the thrill of a live dealer and the camaraderie of fellow players or a modern gamer who appreciates the convenience and speed of video poker or online poker, understanding the distinctions can help you choose the best experience.


Live Poker vs. Video Poker

The concept of live poker is pretty straightforward, and it usually takes place in a physical casino where a dealer runs the game. The only way to grasp live poker is to make it a point to educate yourself on the rules of the game and the potential consequences before playing live poker at a poker table. In live poker, you likely can’t foresee the exact poker hands of your rivals.


On the other hand, video poker is where you play against a machine instead of a poker dealer or another player. The way video poker works is similar to a slot machine which you’ll often see lined up in the dozens at go-to casinos like Caesar’s Palace or MGM Grand.

A couple playing video poker image


Keep in mind, though, that a player's card combination determines how the game ends when playing video poker. Players must consult the paytable, which lists the prizes and ranks for every poker hand, to ascertain payouts.


Key Differences to Note:


  Video Poker Live Dealer Poker
Type of Game Electronic poker through a machine In-person poker game with a dealer
Who to Play Against Electronic machine/computer A live dealer and other players
How to Win

- Select a machine based on your stakes, strategy, and level of expertise.

- Start with little bets and get some practice.

- Recognize the rankings of your hands.

- Control your financial resources.

- Select the table that best fits the stakes and style of your game.

- Keep your mind clear of other players.

- Employ a calculator for odds.

- Apply a ranking sheet by hand.

Random Number Generator (RNG) The RNG, or random number generator, is an internal engine in poker machines that makes sure every result is entirely random, guaranteeing fair play and chance-based winnings. You compete against the dealer or other players in a random hand of cards when playing live dealer poker.
Return to Player (RTP) Because the games frequently yield returns of more than 98%—some video poker machines even boast an RTP of almost 100%—video poker is a favorite among gamblers.

- Depending on the variation, live dealer poker games have different RTPs, although they all have high RTPs.

- Texas Hold'em, for instance, has a 99.47% RTP when played online.


Video Poker vs. Online Video Poker


Video poker and online video poker may seem identical at first glance, but they offer distinct experiences tailored to different types of players. Traditional video poker, found in casinos like Caesar’s Palace or MGM Grand, involves playing against a machine in a physical setting.


The thrill of the game can be increased by the exhilaration of being surrounded by the sights and sounds of a busy casino. Players are able to select machines according to their skill level and stakes; all machines include Random Number Generators (RNGs) to guarantee fair gameplay. Each machine has a paytable that assists players in determining possible rewards, which makes it popular among gamers who want a real, immersive gaming experience.


Online poker layout image


On the other hand, online video poker brings the game to your fingertips, allowing you to play from the comfort of your home or on the go. This digital version retains the core mechanics of traditional video poker, with an RNG ensuring randomness and fairness.


It does, however, offer the ease of playing whenever and anywhere you want, along with a greater selection of games and betting limits. There may be promotions and bonuses available on online platforms that aren't available in brick-and-mortar casinos as well. For contemporary players who appreciate accessibility and flexibility while still appreciating the high RTP rates and strategic components that make video poker so alluring, this version is ideal.


Key Differences to Note:


Feature Video Poker Online Video Poker
Type of Game Virtual or electronic poker through a machine Virtual poker played online via a computer or mobile device
Who to Play Against Electronic machine/computer Computer software, often with the option to play against virtual opponents
How to Win

- Select a machine based on your stakes, strategy, and level of expertise.

- Recognize the rankings of your hands

- Consult the paytable for payouts

- Choose an online platform based on your preferences and stakes.

- Recognize the rankings of your hands.

- Check the game's paytable for payouts.

Random Number Generator (RNG) The RNG ensures that every result is entirely random, guaranteeing fair play and chance-based winnings. The RNG ensures that every result is entirely random, guaranteeing fair play and chance-based winnings.
Return to Player (RTP) Frequently yields returns of more than 98%, with some machines boasting an RTP of almost 100%. Varies by platform and game, but typically high RTP similar to traditional video poker machines.
Betting Limits

- Typically based on your betting credits

- One credit wagers yield multiplier awards based on the winning hand.

- Varies by online platform and game

- Betting limits can be adjusted based on player preference and platform rules


Choosing the Poker Format that Best Suits Your Betting Needs


Now that we’ve broken down the key differences between video poker, live poker, and online video poker, it’s time to simplify which one is best for a player. This means considering the user-friendliness, accessibility, payout variety, and best odds when playing the beloved casino game.


Online video poker is a great option if you enjoy playing poker alone. On the other hand, you can learn more about the strategies and skills needed to defeat opponents in live poker because it's a much simpler game. In fact, live dealer poker is your best bet if you appreciate the social component of the game and the challenge of learning from other players.


You can practice your poker skills more effectively in real-time with live poker, which can offer a more dynamic and interactive experience. The ideal structure will ultimately depend on your preferences and the goals you have for your poker play.


Bottom Line


The poker experience is a crucial one if you’re a first-timer exploring your options. You could be a total homebody and prefer online video poker or a people person who loves the sensation of live poker and video poker in a casino; the good news is, there’s room to explore and see what best fits your betting needs.


Explore our online poker guide to further your iGaming experience with our pro recommendations at GambleSpot today.

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