Live poker is a different animal to online poker despite featuring the same rules. Whereas in online poker, you play more or less anonymously, in live poker, you’re sitting at the same table as other players and the croupier, so tells, intimidation and the dynamic of playing with others changes the feel of the game completely.
This can be off-putting at first, but after a few hands, you’ll relax into it and may just walk away with some decent cash. To help you do that, here are some hot rocking live poker tips to help you acclimatise to this version of the game.
Never Say it’s Your First Time
If it is your first time or you are new to live poker, don’t let others know that at the table. If you do, you’ll be descended upon by the experienced players. This can be daunting, off-putting, and puts your chances of winning at serious risk.
Announcing your play is a good habit to get into. Not only is it expected from other players, but should you throw in a large chip with the intention of raising, without an announcement, the dealer will take it as a call to prevent string betting. If you’re unsure what part of the play you’re at, ask. Players prefer this rather than getting it wrong and holding up play.
Cover Your Cards
Sounds obvious, but this is a good example of the difference between online and live play. Get into the habit of putting your hands on top of your cards or placing a chip on them, so you do not inadvertently show the rest of the table your hand.
Follow the Play
It is essential to follow the play, so you know when it is your turn. Getting it wrong is embarrassing and can potentially change the course of action taken by other players. This is poor etiquette and is quite rightly frowned upon. The dealer will look your way when it is your turn to make a play, so follow the action and don’t get this wrong.
Keep Professional and Keep Civil
It is easy to shout at players for making the wrong decisions, but it is highly counterproductive. Shouting and derogatory comments give the table a negative vibe and are highly disrespectful. Moreover, it stops players from making bad plays which makes it harder for you to win.
When players make bad plays, it is better to leave them to their own world to carry on doing that throughout the game.
It is commonsense to keep civil, if only for this reason.
Limpers, in case you didn’t know, are players that enter the pot by calling rather than raising. This limits the build-up of pots and is often but not always a sign of a weak player. Limpers are quite common in live poker, and many pros take the following approach to deal with them:
- Tighten the raising range. Now there are more players at the table; your hand has less chance of winning, and a player that limps tends to indicate they have a decent hand. If you suspect the player is decent or have never played with them before, this is probably the best approach.
- Raise against open-limpers. If the player open-limps, you may want to raise more than you normally would. The chances are they not good players, and this may make them weary. Additionally, the pot would have increased.
- Tighten your raising raise but increase your raise size against multiple limpers. To be faced with a table of multiple limpers is frustrating, and it is harder to target weak players. As they love to call, you can kind of turn the tables by increasing your raise size while tightening your raising range as it prevents them from calling as often as they would like.
Once you have live poker down, it is a good idea to play at a decent pace. You’ll make more money per hour, and you’ll find it easier to focus. Tanking is common in live poker to balance timing tells, but it is a source of frustration and it can break your concentration.
Watch for Angle-Shooting
Angle-shooting is where players exploit rules to try and find information about other players. This simply can’t happen in online poker, but it is quite common in the live game.
Common tactics to watch out for are:
- Making a raise seem accidental.
- Lying about showdown hand strength.
- Deliberate misinforming of stack size.
- Phantom checking.
- Betting line shenanigans.
Given that reading a player is akin to good poker, any reactions are going to make you a victim to this kind of dubious tactic.
When you first start playing in a live casino, it is good to go for the softer table. This gives you the option to get to know how live poker works. After you feel confident, you can head into the more competitive and lucrative games.
Did you like this article?