Stepping Out of the Casino Mentality

Although they both offer run-of-the-mill Poker, the online Poker environment is far different from the brick-and-mortar world. You need to give up what you know and love about playing in the casino and hunker down by yourself, in the corner, with your computer. Besides your physical surroundings, you experience other differences too … like when you want to play, you have to first download a Poker site’s software. Next you have to realize that looking for tells is a bit different because your opponent may be sitting somewhere across the planet rather than across the table in front of you.

You also have many more paths you can take in the online world compared to brick-and-mortar casinos. You can play in tournaments or ring games. You can play Hold’em, Omaha, or Stud (and even wild card games). You can play at tables with as many as nine other players or head’s up against a sole contender. What separates the Internet world is that you can play all these types of games at any time, not just when management gives you the go- ahead in a brick-and-mortar casino.

Looking for tells online

The most obvious difference between the physical and the online world is that you don’t have another player glaring at you from across the table. The lack of player presence directs your focus to the game, whereas before you may have split your time between looking at your opponent and the cards in play.

But being alone doesn’t mean that you play in a world devoid of tells and clues about another player’s bluff (or worse, when he tries to sucker you in with a killer hand). It just means that the clues you want to keep track of and watch for are different.

Experiencing Poker in the pure

Experience shows that, in many ways, Internet Poker is a purer form of the game. The decisions you make tend to be more positional than in the brick- and-mortar world. Where you sit in relation to betting around the table and the number of chips you have relative to the other players (especially in tournament play) hold bigger roles.

In the online world, you see bigger betting (pushing all-in, for example), largely because you come across more novice players who don’t have anything but time to lose. You also see less folding than in the brick-and- mortar world.

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