With the easy access to online poker and sites like PokerStars, more people than ever before are joining virtual poker games. At the same time, when these players want to ply their trade in a live cardroom, they may find the transition a bit more difficult than imagined. Yes, it is the same game, but the live atmosphere has a number of challenges not present in online poker. Henrique Pinho chimed in with the following three tips on his PokerStarsΒlog to help players new to the live game.
1. Because online poker is completely automated, many new live players do not understand how important it is to always protect their cards. A general rule of thumb is for a person to put a chip on top of their cards anytime they are involved in a hand. The only time to remove the chip is when the player is folding, the hand needs to be exposed at showdown, or the dealer has already awarded the pot to the player. A common mistake is to turn the cards in to the dealer when there are still other players with a hand. In this case, the player’s hand will be mucked, regardless of whether it was the best hand or not. The chip trick is the best way to prevent this mistake from happening.
2. Another thing for a new live player to look out for is distractions. In the online poker world, hands move at a rapid pace and a person is completely in control of their distractions. However, the live atmosphere can have tons of distractions, such as music, flashing lights, mobile phones, and even normal table banter. While not involved in a hand, a player should still be paying attention to the action and the players, especially in big pots. By learning how opponents react in tough situations, the player can then be better prepared when they square off in a big hand.
3. Last but certainly not least, it is a good idea for a new live player to avoid talking when they are involved in a hand. The reason for this is that many experienced live players are looking for information about what their opponents hold and use table talk to get a player to divulge small details that can make a big difference in how the hand plays out. A person should feel free to talk during the many times when they do not have a hand, but staying silent is a better choice until the player becomes more comfortable with the live environment.