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Local Card Room Players vs. Casino Players

Locals vs. Casinos
by Hank Cashman of

I know this is going to piss off some of you but it has to be said. The players in the casinos are better players than in the local card rooms.

I was sitting at a table with some friends and this subject came up. Drew, Paul and I got into a debate, conversation about the skill and abilities of the locals compared to the players in the casinos.

Now let me get this straight. A lot of the players in the casinos like Tunica and Biloxi are from our area. So how can there be a difference? Locally, there are some great players and some bad ones in casinos. What we were talking about are the groups as a whole, not any individual players.


At first, I was alone in this. Drew and Paul both said that the locals are better. Drew said that the locals were better because of their aggressive nature. Paul said he could win more in casinos than he could locally, so the locals must be better.

As we discussed this, I asked Paul why he didn’t win more locally. He said the locals were willing to take more risks and they drew-out on him more. He believed that the locals were more willing to gamble and beat him more than the casino players.

I told him that is exactly why I disagree with him. Casino players are usually tighter and actually think about what they are doing. Just like you can’t bluff a new player because they don’t know when they are beat, the locals will stay with a hand just because it has “paint” or “it’s suited”. So many times they will play a “favorite” hand that only has a 10% chance of winning. The casinos players will figure their odds, pot values and hand percentages before they call.

In a local re-buy tournament, players are willing to re-buy too many times. Some get to the point that they have to get second place just to get even. That’s nuts. It will definitely cost you in the long run. In most casino poker tournaments you will see many players play a better game and limit their re-buys but take advantage of add-ons.

Drew chimed in at this point to add that since the locals were more aggressive, it made them better players. It just so happened that we had a great example of the aggressive player at our table. This guy was raising pre-flop every hand. He never checked or called. If he stayed in the hand he would always raise.

Drew said that this was an example of the advantage of aggressive play. Again, I said thanks for making my point. Blind aggression and emotional play will lose over all. Many times players think that aggression alone will win. It won’t.

Simple aggression will win a few pots by forcing out the weaker hands. This means that often when the aggressive player gets called he is dominated. This puts him in the situation of buying the small pots and losing the big ones. That can be costly. I also pointed out to her that this aggressive player was down a lot and losing more.

My point is this; the loose/aggressive players can push around the local game to some extent. In the long run, blind aggression and gambling will lose to the players that know the numbers and play them. The odds don’t change.

Keep the cards and chips flying.

If you have any comments or questions, contact me at


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