Many aspiring poker players will start their playing careers playing online at virtual tables. But many of those who are brought into the game by the offers of Party Poker discount codes, or simply as a means of passing a few otherwise dull hours sat around the house, find their passion for poker soon develops beyond the realms of a simple distraction or online pastime and they wish to take their game further and emerge from behind their screens to play in real face to face games with real live opponents.
While the rules of the game of poker will essentially be the same whether you are playing online or offline, the way in which you approach the game will need to be tailored to the environment in which you are playing if you are to get the very best out of each and every hand.
While playing poker online will allow you to learn the nuts and bolts of the game of poker, the remote nature of online game play means that poker players who begin their career in this setting before making the move into the “real” (non-virtual) poker world can often find themselves unprepared when first faced with poker playing in the flesh.
For the novice poker player online games are a great tool to allow them to master the fall of the cards, the importance of betting strategy and even, to a certain level, their own experience of tilt.
However, playing exclusively online without a thought for how to translate skills into a live game can lead to the development of bad habits that can put a player at a disadvantage in the real world.
For example, players who come up through the online poker school may not have mastered their “poker face” the inscrutable façade that every live poker player needs to be able to present in order to gain the psychological advantage.
Inexperienced (indeed, even experienced) poker players all have “tells” small ticks or behaviour that can give away information on the hand they are holding, their level of confidence and whether they are in face bluffing when playing in the flesh – these will need to be recognised and brought under control by online players who hope to succeed in an offline game.
Likewise online poker players need to understand the dynamic of a non-virtual game. They have to be able to get a read from their opponents and learn how to turn that to their advantage.
But while there are steps that the online player will need to take before venturing into offline games for high stakes, having a background in online play can also serve as an advantage to the player.
Participating in online games allows poker players to hone their skills in an almost anonymous environment, and so, when they emerge onto the live poker playing scene others may perceive them to be more of an amateur than they are, getting sloppy in their play as a result and allowing the recently emerged online player to walk away with the pot.