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Online Poker vs. Live Poker

While the rules for online poker and live poker might be the same, there are many other differences between playing behind your screen and playing at a casino table.

The Different Forms of Online Poker

There are many types of online poker games available: Real money games, play money games, Video Poker, online table game poker and online Novelty games.

OLG Poker has a variety of Video Poker, table game poker and poker themed Novelty games for players to enjoy. These games can be played with either play money and real money, giving you the chance to practice your game before using any funds from your account. Think of it as a driving range for your poker game, helping you get familiar with how the games are played before you step onto the real money tables.

Cash Games

There are two main variations of online poker: tournaments and cash games. Every chip in a cash game has an exact dollar value, and the amounts needed to play per round (i.e. the “blinds”) stay the same as you play. Cash games also give you the flexibility to come and go as you please. You can typically play cash games heads up against just one other opponent or up to 9 other players.


Tournaments are different. Let’s say you buy into a $5-dollar tournament. Each player is provided an equal number of tournament chips, and your goal is to win all of them and be the last player standing. These games tend to take more time and don’t offer the same flexibility as cash games, so choose your game type based on how much time you have to play.

How Online Is Different from Live Poker

Speed: When you go to a casino and play live poker, you might see a hand get dealt every couple of minutes. Once you take a seat at an online poker table, you could be seeing as many as 60 hands an hour. Whatever the number, it’s typically a lot more than the average amount of hands you’ll see at a live casino game. It’s important to be mindful of the potential increase in pace, and how that will affect the amount of money you are spending.

Avatars Not People: One of live poker’s defining characteristics is the ability to stare across the table and gain information by sizing up your opponents’ reactions and expressions. And of course, just sharing some friendly banter while you play. Many online poker games use a chat box to engage others at the table, but since you are playing against an avatar, you won’t be able to see your opponent’s “tells” to pick up additional information. Some say that takes away from the game, but many players prefer online since they don’t have to worry as much about bluffing and having other players size them up.

Poker Knowledge: The more hands you see, the more decisions you’ll need to make. There are lots of free tools available when playing online, to help you gain more knowledge about the game and improve your play. Hand ranking charts can be easily downloaded and printed, and none of your opponents will know that you’re using one. You can also use play money games to practice and sharpen up your game. The more you know, the better you’ll be able to decide when it’s time to hold’em, and time to fold’em.

Up the ante and read all about the basics of poker here!

Playing poker online for the first time? Games can be played with either play money and real money, giving you the chance to practice your game before using any funds from your account. Visit for more info.

How one OLG POKER LOTTO Royal Flush Jackpot changed more lives than one

After winning LOTTO, essential worker spends winnings on PPE for his community

Toronto, ONT.: OLG lottery winner Daniel Gopaul outside his West Toronto home. May 28, 2020 — Toronto, Ont., May 28, 2020. Photo by Nick Kozak for Postmedia News

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    Daniel Gopaul doesn’t like to do things halfway. When he plays OLG POKER LOTTO he spends the extra $1 to go “ALL IN.” POKER LOTTO already gives players two chances to win — on the spot with a Watch ‘n Win game that unfolds on the in-store lottery terminal, and again with a nightly draw. That extra $1 ante is a chance at instantly winning a jackpot that grows with each ALL IN wager. When Gopaul was dealt a Royal Flush, winning a Jackpot of $78,984.60, he was also able to go all in on what he’s most passionate about — helping others.

    Gopaul, a 63-year-old Toronto resident, recalls watching the lottery terminal screen intently as the cards required to complete a royal flush poker hand slowly assembled themselves in formation. The Jack of Spades sealed the jackpot win.

    “The lottery terminal started to produce such wonderful sounds,” he recalls. “As it dawned on me what had happened, I looked at my wife and said, ‘We just won 78,000 bucks.’ She grabbed me and we just started dancing all over the convenience store.”


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    Gopaul has won the lottery before: a $6,200 LOTTO MAX prize, and two wins worth $5,800 with PICK-4. He already knew the drill, waiting for an OLG representative to call the store to provide him with further instructions on how to claim his prize.

    “The guy working behind the convenience store counter was probably the last person in the store to realize what was going on,” says Gopaul. “Once he figured it out, he was sweating as the OLG representative called us over the store phone. It was his first time handling such a large prize. For my wife and I, this win was also special—something we’ll remember for the rest of our lives.”

    After collecting the prize cheque from the OLG Prize Centre in downtown Toronto, Gopaul went to work, distributing the money to the people he knew who needed it most. First on the list, he retired his daughter’s student loan, providing her with a debt-free existence following her education.

    “I also sent some money to support a food bank,” he says. “I sent some money to Guyana, both to relatives and to a senior citizen who needed glasses and a set of dentures. I also gave money to friends and acquaintances who needed things— a thousand bucks here and 500 bucks there to help them out with specific needs.”

    Considered an essential worker during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gopaul works as a plastic fabricator for a company that produces plastic products, including plexiglass sneeze screens and barrier guards to protect service workers and cashiers.


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    “I paid my workplace for some of the raw material using some of the prize money,” he says. “I took the material home and made guards which I donated to the local drug store and to other businesses in my area. I even made a plexiglass screen and face visor and donated it to the Markette convenience store where I bought the winning POKER LOTTO ticket.”

    Gopaul and his wife each also support charities through their respective religious institutions — he’s Christian and his wife is Hindu.

    For himself, Gopaul stuck to necessities — repairing his furnace which had broken down, replacing his roof and paying off his line of credit.

    More On This Topic

    How an INSTANT lottery ticket helped Michelle Grant keep her promise to family members

    A $250,000 INSTANT MONOPOLY prize allowed this winner to make a decision from the heart

    “Without debt, I sleep peacefully at night,” he says. “I can now use the money I once used to spend on the interest on the line of credit to help others.”

    What’s the balance remaining in his prize account after distributing so much of it to help others?

    “I don’t have any of it left,” says Gopaul. “And that feels great.”

    This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of OLG.

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    After winning LOTTO, essential worker spends winnings on PPE for his community ]]>