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The main mistakes online poker players make in the live game 

April 13, 2022

Even the most successful online poker players occasionally make forays into offline poker. There can be many reasons for that – a desire to prove themselves in a large live tournament (or even win a prestigious trophy!), tired of a monotonous online poker game, or to try their own strength at a green table.

After all – online poker and live poker have a lot of differences and features, they are, in fact, different disciplines. And in this article we decided to collect 10 main mistakes that online poker players make in the live game, and give some tips on how to avoid them. First of all, the recommendations will be useful for those who are just going to try themselves offline.

1. Card Viewing

Dealing and playing pocket cards in a live game is different from online poker. In an online game, the AI automatically hands you cards, and you can see them right away-usually you don’t even have to click anywhere to do so. And you don’t have to worry that your neighbors at the virtual table won’t peek at your cards – it’s simply impossible.

Offline is quite different. The player has to look carefully at his cards – so that other poker players at the table (or spectators) won’t accidentally see them. The cards must always be covered with both hands and pulled back just a little, just to see the face value and suit. 

It would seem that there is nothing complicated. However, it’s not always easy for online players to change their minds and learn how to view the cards without fear of being declassified.

2. Protecting the pocket cards

Once the dealer has dealt you cards, you alone are responsible for them. If you accidentally flip them, you’re entirely to blame, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Sometimes even the dealer can mistakenly think you folded and take away your cards. This most often happens to the cards of players who sit on either side of the dealer. We are all human, and casino workers are no exception. Even at the biggest poker festivals, the dealer can slip up and make a mistake.

Get yourself a so-called “card protector,” a special object that you can place on top of your cards. It prevents them from accidentally being knocked over. Card protectors in the form of heavy chips or funny figures can be purchased in any major online store, such as Aliexpress. They cost mere pennies, but their value is very great. You can also use an ordinary poker chip for this purpose.

In the old days, poker was often played outdoors, so card protection was one of the fundamental conditions for a successful game. Literally every poker player used card protectors, because any, even the weakest gust of wind could overturn cards.

 3 Betting

In online poker with betting everything is as simple as possible: you just need to press the right button. Of course, no one is immune from miscalls, but, as a rule, players do not have problems with it. Live poker is another matter. In offline it is very important to make correct bets, because they may not be accepted. Stick to the two most important rules:

First rule. The bet must be made with one move of the hand. The offline player is required to move the required number of chips close to the dealer at one time. Under no circumstances can you put a few chips and then move some more – this bet will not count.

Remember the character Teddy KGB from the legendary poker movie “Cheaters”? In one scene, he poured handful after handful of chips into the center of the table. Now, this segment of the movie can be classified as “sci-fi.” In no live game would his “piling” bet be accepted as a minimum bet.

Еither place a bet with a single move of your hand, or say the size of your bet out loud.

Second rule. Always say how much you’re betting if you’re betting a larger denomination chip. If you want to raise your bet and you move a larger value chip to the center of the table (without saying anything), the dealer takes it as a call. You’ve probably seen plenty of entries from poker tournaments where the players say out loud “I raise” or “Raise”. Well, they do it for a reason.

Our tip: If you decide to raise with a single chip, always say the amount you’re going to bet out loud. You can also throw another chip of smaller denomination along with it.

4 Tapping the table = check

On the Internet, you can check, raise, or fold just by clicking on the right button. In a live game, it’s a little more complicated. We’ve already learned how to protect our pocket cards and how to bet offline. Now we need to say a few words about such action as “check”.

There are two ways to check offline: either by announcing it aloud, or (which the vast majority of players prefer) by tapping your hand on the table. You don’t need to tap hard – it’s enough to lightly touch the surface of the table with your palm a few times, so that the dealer sees it. Therefore, it is extremely important for offline poker players to control themselves and reduce the number of accidental actions to a minimum.

5 Always Know How Many Chips You Have

A lot of players, especially beginners, hardly ever count the number of chips in their stack. They may also not pay any attention to the stack size of their opponents. And in live poker this is a serious enough problem, because such poker players drag the game out a lot. Judge for yourself – you go all-in, your opponent asks you to announce the stack, and you have no idea how many chips you have. You have to count your chips, and nobody likes that.

 live poker is different from online poker in many ways. Not everyone comes to the casino to make money. Many people like the offline atmosphere, and it is also a great way to relax and have fun. Don’t be afraid of anything, strike up a conversation with your tablemate, be open and positive. This is the only way to experience the beauty of live poker 100%.