For the inexperienced players coming into a poker room, live poker may seem very slow. On average, a big tournament or even high stakes live poker money game is going to be much slower than its online equivalent. That’s because it is the actual human element that slows things down – not the computer software. In some cases, the slow pace is intentional. A player could be playing too aggressively or too passively, for example, and this would slow the game down.
Still, for many players, they find the slow pace disconcerting and unpleasant. Why is this so? One possible answer is that the slower pace of live poker comes with the territory. Players used to playing online at a faster pace and then transferring to playing poker offline might find that they develop a certain mindset where the online games are simply easier to grasp.
If you’re used to playing against live opponents every time, playing against computers is really hard! You have to know the decks and know the strategies and betting rules. When you play against your own players, you’re more relaxed, because you don’t have to think so much about your next move, which is a good thing sometimes! But when you play against your own peers, especially if you’re a novice, then you will dread each hand and every pot as though your opponents are monsters that should be pacified.
There are two potential explanations for this. One is that the recreational players probably haven’t lost many games in their hand when they’re facing their own opponents. They’ve gotten comfortable playing against the big blinds, the money, and the jokers, so much so that they don’t see any reason to be cautious when playing against someone else. The other explanation is that their opponents are way too good for them. In other words, they’re too smart for their own good.
Let’s consider the first scenario. Let’s say that the six-max pre-flop has hit the flop and the pot is big, but the other players all have either coins in the pot or cards. They each have a good hand, which may be a straight flush or a full house. The blinds are all in the range of a seven-card stud, so there’s no advantage for any of the players. Even if all their hands are solid, it’s still a marginal advantage for these players. They have one shot, and they don’t want it wasted.
The second scenario is just the opposite. In this case, we have the advantage, the Recreational Player has no opportunity to make a profit, because he’s playing against an opponent who has studied the game enough to know what hands to bet and when. They know what to bet and how much to bet. Their playing style is geared toward beating the odds, so they will try to put you out at many hands. And you’re putting yourself out at many hands. So you have to adopt a different type of play, and it might not be the style that you’ve been accustomed to.
The final example I want to discuss is the one in which both players have poor hands, and the pot is relatively small. The pre-flop score is also poor, and the pot is likely to be small as well. This situation is where recreational players will often show up and throw a bunch of money at the table, trying to make up for bad hands they’ve played and lose. However, online games are different.
Here’s what happens when these players show up. They sit down at the table and try to play live poker. They immediately start attacking pre-flop bets, pre-flop raises, and post-flop bets. Soon, they find that their opponents are using pre-flop analysis and acting before they’ve completely thought things through. While it’s easy to see the value of playing online poker sites against opponents that don’t really know the game, you must keep this in mind if you plan on going up against experienced players.