Differences Between Online Poker and Poker Room Gaming Are Considerable

Many players who are keen on online poker will feel the urge to test themselves in a real poker room. Before anyone takes that step, though, there are several important things that they need to take into account. The experience of playing a game like poker online is very different to playing at a real table.

Perhaps the first thing which many players who make the transition from an online game to a real game will notice is the speed. An online game happens much more quickly. This is because the 'dealer' is in fact a series of calculations and codes which are processed incredibly quickly by a computer. A real dealer will take longer, slowing up the game as a result. This has several implications for how a player approaches the game, not least in terms of the amount of time that they are given to think. A real life poker game is a much more leisurely paced affair than the online version, so players will need a longer attention span. It also helps to have a calm temperament, not least because the psychological pressure of a real game is so much more intense than online poker, just as your experience playing at Zynga on Facebook will attest. Even the best online poker sites cannot replicate the tension of a real game.

Another difference which online players will notice when they make the transition to a real game is that players will call less often. Online games in a free poker room, where players are not throwing around real money, means that calls are more frequent. Players can often take more beatings as a result. At a real poker table, players are playing with their own money and real chips. This often induces a greater degree of caution and tension, with players less likely to want to throw chips around. Playing online, a player can simply click a button. This makes the whole process of calling so much less demanding. In a real game, a player needs to be careful about how and when they bet, and what emotions they show while they are doing so. That pressure does not exist in online games.

Emotion and psychology are a massive part of playing poker at real tables. People who have only played online poker games for free possibly do not realise just how massive a part of poker strategy focuses on body language and facial expression. Of course, when playing online it is impossible to read any of the classic poker 'tells' which body language and expression can indicate. Second-guessing opponents online is tricky, but it is nothing like the kind of all-round tactical awareness which good real table players possess. There is no easy way of learning this kind of skill, either. Only by experience can players develop the ability to read body language and expression, and use it to their advantage.

There are also more practical factors to take into account when you are playing live, rather than  online. Poker games online do not require anyone to actually have a hand of real cards. Managing your hand is something which actually takes a reasonable amount of time and effort when you are playing live. It is actually a good idea to practice looking at your cards before you head to a real game, as you do not want to give anything away by accident. It is also sensible to bring a card protector, or to use a chip as one. This helps to prevent over-zealous dealers disrupting your cards on the table by accident.

Managing chips is also an issue for players making the transition from the online world to a real poker table. Stacking your chips when you can see them properly and pick the right value ones is a crucial part of playing at the table. Excitement, nerves and a whole range of other emotions and events can conspire to see you pick the wrong chip at the wrong time. Stack them according to value, and position them where you can clearly see them. This way, players making the transition to playing at a real table are less likely to make an error.

However good a player thinks they are at online poker, playing hands at a real table is a very different proposition. If you want to have the chance to be able to one day qualify for some of the world's most prestigious poker tournaments such as theWSOP's Main Event, it's high time you started practicing and refining your poker strategies and tactics. To make the transition requires strong nerves, confidence and decisiveness. Time to take the big leap from circuit to stardom, start now!