Do you play Poker online? Me too! But if you think you’re ready to play it live as well, there are some pretty big differences. So here are five things to avoid if you’re making the jump from online to live:
1. Try to avoid playing with people out of your league, and try to make sure the people you are playing with are all roughly of the same poker ability. That would be novices or occasional players, or forgiving friends. There’s nothing worse than playing with someone who is an experienced player when you’re a novice. There’s not only the obvious issue that they’ll know the rules better than you, but they will be able to spot possible combinations or no-no’s from the cards already played much more quickly than you, and of course they will pick up very quickly on the other “don’ts” listed below, when you “do”!
2. Agree the maximum stakes right at the start, and don’t agree to change them mid-game. Don’t bet more than you can afford to lose. It’s easy to get carried away in the thrill of a live poker game, but don’t go over your limit. If you’re not doing very well, then there’ll be another time to fight another battle, so don’t lose the war by losing all your cash when on a losing streak that you’re trying to turn round!
3. Don’t drink too much. Poker seems to go hand in hand with drinking and sometimes smoking, but stick to soft drinks. Always. Alcohol may make you feel relaxed but it will also cloud your judgement and make you think slower, and can sometimes bring out other traits that you would not want to air at the poker table, such as frustration and greed.
4. Don’t talk too much. While Poker is a fun game, it also requires some thought and concentration if you’re going to play it at all well. Apart from irritating the other players and allowing you to lose concentration, it can also inadvertently give away, by the tone of your voice if not by what you’re saying, the quality of the hand you have.
5. Don’t give anything away! Finally, try to adopt a “poker face” and don’t give away whether you have a good hand or a bad one, by the expression on your face. I have a friend who always scratches his nose when he’s bluffing! You can give all the expressions you want once a game’s over, but not during it!