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Online vs. Brick and Mortar Poker Rooms

Online Poker vs. Brick and Mortar Casinos
by Hank Cashman of

I am always happy to welcome the online players to the casino games. They are so much fun to watch and play with. They have the advantage of playing a lot of hands but live play is different.

When you are playing online, you never have to worry about what you say or do. In live poker your looks, actions and words can cost you a lot of money. Playing online can actually help you build bad habits. A flinch or a breath can give your hand away.

I was playing at a casino tournament and a young lady sat across the table from me. This was her first live tournament and it showed. I could tell she had played live some but most of her experience had been online. She wasn't studying her opponents. She wasn't guarding her “poker face” well at all. She didn't stay long.

When you play online, there are basically two tells to watch for. The first is betting patterns. This is very important online or live. You have to pay attention to how others bet their hands. It helps you determine the strength of their hand. You have to watch how they bet from what position. Some players have a hard time adjusting to position play. If they do adjust betting pattern by position you know they are an experienced player.

The second tell to watch for online is timing. How long do they take to place their bets. This is very questionable online. You have to determine if they are thinking, stalling for effect or is it a connection problem. You need to be sure of what is happening and why.


Online this is about the only things you have to look for and guard against. Use you position and bet well. Then watch how long you take placing bets. Slow down for effect when you want to look like you have to think about you play.

In a brick and mortar casino, online players stand out. They haven't adjusted to watching everyone and everyone watching them. Their guard is down and that is costly. They want to yell at the screen but they can't and it shows.

They don't notice that eyes are on them. When the flop hits the board they aren't trained to watch the other players. They look at the cards instead. When they are out of a hand, they don't study the continuing play. They drift off from the action.

Paying attention to the action is sometimes costly to online players. Most are used to playing multiple tables. This is good to keep you mentally active. Sometimes playing one table can get very slow. That is where you have to adjust to paying attention to everything going on at a live game. Don't let the slow action put you to sleep.

When you walk into a casino poker room, you should take a little time to find your game and seat. The same holds true for online poker rooms. Don't just jump in to any game or seat. Scope out the table and players to determine if it is a game where you want to get involved. Especially in an online game, look for collusion. There are many stories about players in teams to control a table. Be careful!

Whichever you chose just come on out here and play.

Keep the cards and chips flying.

Signing up For an Account

Check to see how long the poker room has been in business. What kind of bonus do they offer? Do they offer customer support via the phone or email? Do they offer numerous deposit options? Also be sure to check their volume (how many players are online at any given time) to assure that you can always find the card game of your choice no matter when you log on to play.


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