For the inexperienced players coming into a live poker setting, live poker may seem very slow paced. Players coming to a poker room for the first time may feel as though it is moving slower than the speed at which they are accustomed to playing poker. For the players already comfortable in the live poker environment, live poker might seem like a brand new experience.
Online players are accustomed to seeing and playing 50+ hands an hour, at a minimum, at any of the online poker rooms. In a live poker setting, there are only a few hands being played at any given moment. When more hands are played, the pace picks up significantly. This means that for the inexperienced player, it becomes harder to understand the pot odds and the general flow of the game. For the experienced online poker player, much slower.
Of course, for many of the newer players who have become accustomed to playing online, this is not an issue. However, some of the older players might feel a little overwhelmed at the slower pace. Especially if they are used to seeing a lot of action, the difference in speed could be quite alarming. For these players, they should consider watching tape of their online opponents to get a better feel for their own style of play.
Some live players tend to get a “burnout” faster than others. A “burnout” is when you are sitting on a good preflop hand but start losing money because of the poor decision making. You start targeting low-stakes hands, and you keep putting money in the pot to get caught up. The only problem is that your preflop strategy is working against you. As a result, you are putting too much money into the pot and getting hit with poor hands.
Another way to minimize your losses in online games is to know which opponents are better than you at raising and re-raise. Live opponents have a tendency to be much more disciplined than their internet counterparts when it comes to raising and re-raising. Since they are actually present and playing the game, they are much more aware of how much you are paying and what kind of hands you are getting called with.
Many times, this knowledge can be the difference between winning and losing. When playing full-ring games pre-flop, it is best to stick to your pre-flop strategy. Sit tight, play conservatively and don’t get drawn into getting overly aggressive or getting greedy with your raises and re-raises. Once you get into the ring, there will be much tighter action and a lot more action after the flop. Therefore, staying patient and playing conservatively is very important.
Lastly, remember that most live games have many different players. When playing multiple tables in a row, remember to remain concentrated on your table and not get lost in the shuffle. This can often lead to an over-all loss if you become distracted. It’s best to stay focused on one table at a time and try not to make your stack bigger (and yourself thinner) by going back and forth between tables. Many times, the pots will be bigger in a multi-table game due to the increased number of players.
Overall, live games tend to be much slower paced and more interactive than online games. Online games are more fast paced and quick-paced. However, once you start playing multiple tables, you will notice that the action is much slower when you are playing multiple tables at a time. Keep these three major differences in mind and you will be a much better poker player.