For some players, switching from online poker games to live casino games can be very easy. For others, it’s a bit more of a struggle. There are several key aspects that make the two very different to play, not in the way you play your cards, but in the overall feel and flow of the game.
The first and main difference is speed. What I mean by this is the speed of the game. The live games of joker123 are much slower than online games. The speed seems to be crawling compared to online. This one difference can be very difficult for some online players to overcome in live games. When online, you might see 50 or 60 hands in an hour. Live, you might see 20. It’s a huge difference, obviously, and makes gaming feel a lot different live than online. You just don’t get nearly all of the action you do in online games.
The effect on many online players, is that they have a much harder time keeping their concentration at a high level. If you’re used to seeing 60 hands per hour and suddenly it’s down 2/3, it’s very easy to let your mind wander. Many players adapt it by listening to music on iPod etc. Depending on how social you are, this can be a great approach. However, if you don’t mind keeping the conversation empty, you may be better served by speaking to the people at your table if you’re not involved. You never know what you can take this way: they are tired, casual players, novices who are just wasting time, etc. What you do depends largely on your individual disposition,
Another aspect that many players forget until they get a live table is the chip stack. Everyone’s online chip count is on the screen for you to see at all times. This is very useful information to have when you are figuring out how much to bet, raise, re-raise, etc. In live matches, you have no references. There is a pile of chips sitting across the table from you and it is up to you to be able to park the ball how many chips are in it.
Many players who are new to live games are really confused by this fact. It looks pretty basic, but if you don’t have experience looking at your opponent’s chips and can make rough guesses, you can be very confused when it comes to calculating your bets.
An easy fix for this is to practice with chips at home before you head to the casino to play. Have a partner sit across from you with various sizes of chip stacks while you practice estimating them. You will find that this ability will improve, just like any other, with practice. You will love to do it once you find yourself in the live game. It’s surprising how many experienced online players forget this easy point.
Keep these two subtle differences in mind when switching from online games to live games, and if you make the effort to work through them beforehand, you’ll find the transition to be a lot easier.
Chris Wilcox is the author of the 224 page No BS Guide to Winning Online No Limit Texas Hold’em available as an ebook from and is a daily blog writer with over 600 quality articles on all things poker related. He has over 10 years of experience playing online and live poker tournaments including deep runs at the WSOP. Chris is also one of the leading Poker Coaches in the country, providing hands-on training for poker players looking to take their game to the next level.