Below are the major differences between online poker and live poker and how to adjust your game –
Live Games are Slower
The Biggest change, and it will hit you right away, is that dwell matches are slower. Not only are you forced to play just one table but the sport itself takes much longer to play out. Though you might get more than 80 hands per hour per table online you are going to be lucky to get 30 live.
Fewer Hands imply a lot more folding. And also much more boredom. But do not just shut off your brain – use your own free time to watch your opponents.
If you Can stay sharp, watch your competitors and break down their playing styles, once you end up in a hand with them a couple of hours down the street you are likely to have a huge advantage.
Average Live Tables are Much Softer
Making up somewhat for how slow live poker is is how much softer your average table is.
When you play online you may consider it a good table if there’s one full-stacked fish.
When you play live at $5/$10 and below, your average table consists of two real fish, two gamblers (the fishy kind), four super-tight “regulars” and maybe two good players (including, you hope, you).
The whole table is softer. The fish are fishier and the regs are more predictable. There are even players that are so tight you can guarantee any time they raise it’s either KK, AA or the nuts.
These players would be eaten alive online but because there are so many more fish live they can still beat the game. As easy as it is to wait for the nuts and relentlessly value-bet against the fish, it’s just as easy to raise the tight regs and push them around.
When they push back, fold. It’s an easy game.
Live Games are More Loose-Passive
If you’ve come from the online six-max arena it’s going to be shocking to you how passive these games are.
Online, it may be profitable to four-bet shove/call shoves with AK from any position pre-flop. If you do it live, you’ll find AA-KK every time and you’ll get killed.
Light three-betting is almost non-existent. When most players re-raise, it’s almost always for value. Watch your opponents – they may go a whole session without a single three-bet. Some players even just flat-call QQ and AK, opting to play poker on the flop.
If you’re regularly getting AK in pre-flop 100bb deep (or more) in a live game, you’re going to have a tough time booking wins.
Moving past just pre-flop play, the whole game is much more passive. Rather than raising with draws, players will just call and hope to hit. They’ll also slow play monsters rather than build a big pot and they’ll miss obvious river value-bets.
Pre-Flop Limping is Still Rampant
Connected to #3 above, there’s a ton of limping pre-flop in live games. Online you can tell who the fish are by who limps.
Live, it isn’t the same. Everybody limps – and limps a lot. If you tried to isolate every single time someone limped, you’d just find yourself taking 4- and 5-way flops regularly.
Live players like to see the flop. So, rather than iso-raising with T♣ 8♠ off the button, you may just be better off seeing a flop 6-way.
More Pots are Contested Multi-Way
Online, 90% of pots are heads-up to the flop. Live, your average pot is usually 2- or 3-handed. With more players comes more chance someone has a real hand.
As the pre-flop raiser you should continuation-bet less. You’ll also need, on average, a better hand to win at showdown.
Live Games are Deeper
If you’re a winner online you’ve mastered play with a 100bb stack. But when you play live, you’ll find yourself 200bb deep (or more) very often.
Adjusting to deep-stack play can be very difficult. You’ll often play hands where, if you were 100BB deep, you’d just happily get it in on the flop. But if you’re 300bb deep, it’s no longer profitable.
Should you choose to call, you’ll have to call large bets on the turn and river as well.
Just Play Your Game
Whether it’s live or online, your goal remains the same: either make your opponent fold before showdownor have the best hand at showdown. Watch your opponents, study their playing habits and play your poker game. The rest is just experience.