You may think that playing online poker is pretty much the same kind of experience as you’ll get when you play live poker. However, the reality of it, is that it’s almost like experiencing two completely different games.
While the basics behind the gameplay of poker is pretty much the same, the atmosphere, the setup, the betting rounds and everything will provide you with totally different experiences when you compare it to online poker play. So, how should you go about indulging in live poker if you’ve always played it online? Let’s take a look at the approaches you should take to this change.
Don’t Take Live Poker for Granted
Playing poker online means that you get to sit at your computer and, of course, you don’t get to see the faces of your opponents. This makes it difficult to really incorporate any strategy that involves bluffing, putting on a poker face and for you to see how your opponents physically play.
Yet, some online gamers who make the transition to live poker can go in with the expectation that it will be easier for them. Yes, while some online poker games and tournaments can be quite difficult to beat, that doesn’t mean that live poker is going to be significantly easier.
However, you need to remember that it will take some time to adjust to a live poker table. If you’ve played online, there’s a lot to get used to at a live poker table. Cards aren’t dealt as fast, there’s a lot of hustle and bustle going on in general, you need to be able to watch your own cards as well as how your opponents are playing and so much more. Live players will utilise different strategies to online players because they’re simply much more viable to do in that setting. If you’ve never played live poker before, then these strategies may overwhelm you to begin with.
The key is to go into it as though you’re a complete newcomer. Don’t expect that because you can see everything going down in reality, that it will be easier to play. If you’re up against seasoned live poker players, you couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Different Strategies Are Required
Certain poker strategies will cater to the online poker market better than they will to the live poker market, and vice versa. Therefore, you’ll need to adapt your own strategies to ensure that they fit in with the live poker setup.
Bluffing also works a lot better in a live poker setting, rather than online. This is because, of course, you can use your poker face and watch out for other players “tells” to be able to utilise in your own strategy.
Reading the other players’ body language is also crucial when it comes to live poker. Sitting at a live poker table for the first time though, it’s not quite as easy to put this kind of strategy into action. That’s why it’s important for you to not only look at their faces, but at their whole body language. Maybe they scratch their nose when they’re about to raise or perhaps they start breathing heavily when they think they’ve got a winning hand. This is, of course, not something that you can see if you’re an online poker player usually.
That being said, you should also make yourself aware of the fact that some players know how to utilise fake “tells”. Figuring out how to recognise a fake tell is something that you’ll need to learn, as it differs from player to player.
Live Poker Provides Fun in a Different Way
Some people believe that live poker isn’t as fun as online poker and vice versa. Now, while some people will potentially have a preference of one over the other, live poker does have its appealing perks, too.
It’s still possible to have fun while playing live poker, and you’ll be playing against people that you can see.
Yet, if you’ve been used to the fast-paced operation of online poker, you may find the slower pace of live poker to be somewhat dull. Cards are dealt at a slower pace, people will take longer to place their bets and then play their hands. Additionally, multi-table poker play is not available in a land-based setting, so while you’re waiting for the action to take place at one table, you can’t move to another with this.
Of course, if you find online poker to be too fast or something that you can’t get the hang of, live poker may provide much more fun for you. You get longer to study your cards, the table, your opponents and, potentially, if this appeals to you, it will be a lot more fun.
A Live Poker Scenario Affords More Opportunities for Bluff Mistakes
By accessing a live poker table, you will have the opportunity to utilise bluffing techniques. However, it’s also easier to make a mistake while incorporating this strategy into your play. There have been several instances of even the most professional players throwing away their good hand after bluffing.
These kind of slip ups are virtually impossible to make in the online scenario, because you can’t see your opponents in the flesh. Live poker requires you to be a lot more careful when it comes to folding, raising and such, because mistakes can easily be made.
By all means, use the bluffing technique to throw your opponent(s) off, but you need to ensure that the cards you have in hand and that can be used to help you win the hand are put to good use afterwards.
On the whole, it’s important to remember that live poker and online poker, while being the same game, are significantly different. That’s why you’ll need to adapt your style of playing to whichever version you’re accessing.