If you are an online poker player moving to a live game, or typically play at a brick and mortar casino but are trying online poker games, there are some adjustments you will have to make. Transitioning from live to online play or vice versa is not hard, but there are some differences between the two types of play.
Going from live to online poker games
If you are moving from live to online play you will need to get used to the idea of being outside of the typical poker environment. There are no sights and sounds of poker to “keep you in the moment” and focused on playing poker. As such, you may find that you need to be much more disciplined in order to play your best. You will be much more susceptible to distraction than you might be in a live casino. Some players fight this distraction by playing multiple tables at once, but if you are new to online poker, you will probably want to make sure you have a handle on playing one table first, and then expanding to more than one game at once.
Going from online to live poker
If you are an online player playing your first live cash game or poker tournament you may be most worried about giving away a tell; some kind of physical expression that gives away the value of your hand. It is rare that players give away very obvious tells. Of course, if you are the type of player who screams with joy when you hit your flush on the turn at home, you will probably want to curtail this kind of behavior. More than disguising tells, you will need to train yourself to observe the behavior of others at the table. If you are a multi table player, you may also face a challenge to your focus, so learning to observe others at the table may be a good way for you to maintain your concentration.
You should also pay some attention to etiquette at a live poker table. Excessive screaming, wild hand motions, running around, and other behaviors that are perfectly fine when playing online may not be appreciated by live opponents. Needless to say, playing in only your underwear should probably be reserved for your online poker forays.
In the end, poker is poker, and if you play a smart, disciplined poker game, with a little luck, you should win your share of the money whether you play live or online. Being aware of the adjustments you will have to make when moving from one type to the other will get you to that point much more quickly.
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