Things to Keep in Mind When Playing Live Poker Online

Online poker exploded in popularity and spawned a boom in live games. Most players at some point play both formats, and while the overall strategies are the same, there are some subtle differences that can lead to avoidable mistakes. Here are a few things to keep in mind when playing live poker online.

One of the biggest changes is the pace of the game. Live games are slower than online and the hand ranges are narrower. This can be frustrating for some players who don’t adjust well and may end up losing a lot of money. However, by focusing on the slow pace and using information to your advantage you can increase your chances of success.

Stack sizes are also more important in live poker than online. Unlike online, where the software displays the stack sizes of every player, this is not the case in live poker. This can be problematic for some players who fail to take into account their opponent’s stack size when betting. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to keep track of this information and prevent mistakes.

In addition to stack sizes, it’s important to pay attention to tells and image management in live poker. Unlike online, where your only immediate image is your username and maybe a picture, live players will see you, your body language, how you handle your chips, and other factors that can give away a lot of information about your playing style. Although most players overestimate their ability to read live tells, it’s still a good idea to be cognizant of them and try to avoid giving away any tells that can be exploited.

Because of the short term variance they regularly experience, live players are often more results oriented than their online counterparts. This means they tend to get all in with hands like AK preflop more often and make less optimal plays when they’re behind. This is not necessarily a bad thing as it gives them a larger sample to draw their conclusions from, but can be dangerous when playing against more skilled opponents.

Another big issue that live players face is that they can’t use the same tools to improve their game as online players. For example, most online players use a hud to track their stats and analyze opponents’ behavior. While this isn’t possible in live poker, it is possible to find some decent huds that can help you improve your game by providing real time statistical data on your opponent’s actions.

Another big problem that many live players encounter is adjusting to the higher aggression of online players. This can be difficult because most live players have played a tight-aggressive style for years and don’t realize that online players are far more aggressive than they are. They will over-call with weak hands and bet small on strong ones, leading to costly mistakes. They will also miss opportunities to win pots by failing to raise with draws and slow playing monsters.