I have played exclusively online poker so far. All in all, I have a positive balance, and would like to move offline for some minor tournament (for curiosity, and because it's the real thing, actually).

What are common pitfalls for online players moving offline? Regarding the process/organization of playing (not the strategy), what are some things that online players should learn? Online you only have to push some buttons, and the system is clearly made to flow mechanically. I'm afraid an online player would get pretty lost really quick.

And what are some venues worth visiting? I live in the UK and tend to spend vacation (August) on Southern Spain or Southern France. I don't mean big tournaments costing £1,000, but rather places where you find hobby players.

  • It is referred to as live poker.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Apr 19, 2018 at 9:57

3 Answers 3


Pay attention to the action, or maybe better put, figure out how to pay attention to the action. You are dealing with a whole different set of prompts and interface to the game.

There are no beeps or lights to remind you it is your turn. There are no handy digital displays telling you what the player has bet, what they have in their stack or if the have acted or not. You need to observe this. The dealer will let you know if you ask, but you should not be waiting for the dealer to tell you when it is your turn, you should be on top of that. (it is also helpful for your bottom line if you know what is going on)

Learn how to handle chips. Learn how to look at chips and get a good guess of what a bet is. Learn to recognize common ways players and dealer cut out bets. Learn to handle chips with a little proficiency, nothing looks more retarded then a player cutting ten stacks of two high five dollar chips to make a 100 dollar bet.

The bottom line is just learn the new interface. You do that by paying attention to the flow of the action and asking questions if your confused. It takes a little practice, but is by no means difficult to get.


First of all, obeserve the action. If someone puts a chip worth 5 BB in, it might be a call/bet or a raise if anounced, so paying attention is important. You have to place your blinds and possible antes yourself. When putting a single chip in, it is a call/bet unless you anounce raise. You can also state a different amount, e.g 400 and putting a 500 chip into the middle. Do not try to do fancy things with your chips unless you know what you are doing, nothing is more annoying than chips flying all over the table. If you want to know, how much a player has behind you can ask the dealer(!) for a count, same goes for all-in bets. Most important thing: enjoy the game :)


Slow down and get used to physical chips and betting rules. There is too much to go through. One to highlight is string bet. If you are going to raise you have to move all the chips in one motion.

There is no pot total display. You need to keep track of the pot size.

From online you are going to want to look at your cards and decide what you are going to do when it gets to you. There is no call any button. An online player might twitch the mouse finger when they have a good hand. I suggest you wait until action is on you to look at you cards.

You need to be careful about not giving off tells. Be very mechanical and do stuff the same way. Keep the chit chat down. Don't tell them you are an online player. Don't say this is my first time offline.

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