For the most seasoned players, live poker may seem very slow. After all, online players are accustomed to seeing hundreds of hands per hour on their screens and playing a few tables at a time. However, live, you’re playing only one table at a time with only 20 hands an hour. This is a big difference! In addition, while you might play against opponents at your skill level, they may be much better than what you are used to seeing in an online casino.
Online players are typically grouped by country. When you log into an online poker room, the interface shows a split screen showing players from around the world. The games are usually faster since there are more players, but they aren’t as good as playing against a group of real life players. As a matter of fact, if you know anyone who has been playing online poker for any length of time, they probably wouldn’t say it’s much slower than playing at a real live casino. There is, however, a big difference in the amount of time that you have to play.
One of the benefits of playing online is that you are able to meet new people. This creates a social environment that creates a much softer edge than playing in person. When you are up against someone who is known to you in person, it can be hard to create an edge based upon your playing experience. When you are playing online, it’s possible to communicate much easier. You can use voice communication, instant messaging and text messaging and so much more.
With a real life game, you are playing against known opponents. Sometimes you can get lucky and find an opponent with whom you have an underdog’s advantage. That’s why it is so important to spend as much time studying your possible opponents before deciding where you would play. When you play online, those same factors don’t exist and you will be up against some unknowns.
However, that does not mean that you won’t have a bit of an edge when playing against your unknown competition. The problem is that when you are playing against individuals who have never played poker before, you have a much harder time defining what their hand is and what they may do. They could have a high hand and nothing else to go on it. Or, they could have a low hand and nothing else to go on it either. It’s difficult to analyze something that you have never seen before.
However, this does not mean you should not spend a little time studying your opponents prior to placing your bets. You should look at their betting patterns after the flop. Are they raising and re-raising on the flop? There is a good chance that this is related reading on how they are going to play after the flop, which is also related to how much they will raise and how much they will fold after the flop.
This may seem obvious, but it will often times get overlooked. If you see your opponents folding a lot of times on the flop, then there is a strong possibility that they are going to bet out after the flop. If you notice that they are always folding, then either they have a poor hand or they have an aggressive hand, where they are chasing a value hand. You need to figure out what their best hand is and exploit that, while throwing in the kitchen sink if necessary.
Finally, the biggest difference between winning and losing is whether or not you are able to stay in the game long enough to capitalize on those opportunities. Many players have the right idea; they are just dead wrong about how to implement it. They tend to wait too long to make plays, which causes them to be inefficient and make bad beats. The goal is to stay in games, with as few draws as possible, making sure you have the initiative after the flop, which sets up the action for your opponent. This is one of the fundamentals of poker, and something that many players struggle with.