Some people are fans of online poker. Some love live poker. We are assuming you are an online poker player and want to try your hand at live poker games.

Perhaps, it’s easier to play online poker because you don’t face real players. You can simply look at your screen and make crucial decisions in your PJs. However, when it comes to live poker, things like body language, facial expressions, and table conversations matter. 

Here’s a guide to transition smoothly from online to live poker.


1. Plan Your Budget

If you are planning to play live poker, plan your budget. You need to take care of your food, accommodation, and travel expenses. Online games are economical as you don’t spend money on travel.

However, if you are planning to play live poker, you’ll have to do some budgeting. Check out which poker tournaments you want to play in the current year. Then, plan your arrangements and finances accordingly.

2. Control Your Body Language and Facial Expressions

You need to be mindful of a lot of things while transitioning from online to live poker. 

a. You need to make the perfect poker face. Here’s a quick guide to making a poker face:

  • Don’t grin if you have good cards. 
  • Don’t frown if you have bad cards. 
  • Maintain a neutral expression.

b. Your body language says a lot about your cards. For example, the way you hold your cards can give out some information.

  • If you hold your cards with one hand and hold a coffee cup or some object like a pen with another, it probably says you are worried and trying to feel comfortable.
  • If someone holds their cards with one hand and fidgets with the other, they are trying to regain control of something gone haywire. 
  • If someone is hiding their hand in their pocket or keeps their palm under their table, they are trying to calm themselves down or are trying to bluff. Now you know how to spot a liar or bluff, don’t you?

3. Find Yourself a Trainer or Mentor

If you find transitioning from online to live poker games a bit intimidating, find yourself a trainer or mentor. It’ll help you speed up your poker learning curve and reduce your losses. A poker coach can teach you various approaches and strategies to play live poker.

You can watch a few YouTube videos of live poker games. They’ll help you understand the different table situations. You’ll get a better understanding of poker table dynamics. Watch how poker players maintain their calm and composure under high pressure.

4. Find Poker Buddies

  • Play online poker with friends. Read their body language and facial expressions. You can arrange a poker night with friends to spend a chill weekend. 
  • Build your people’s skills and get a better understanding of human psychology and behavior. 
  • The more you play poker games, the better you get at them!

You know this already since you play online poker games.

5. Play Tight against Aggressive Players

Live poker games have recreational players. Some players play live poker just to socialize and have a good time. Some players gamble. Some play mindlessly. Online poker games have serious players, whereas live poker games have serious/social/recreational. So don’t forget to play wisely and carefully against aggressive players.

6. Use Online Poker Knowledge to Your Advantage

Online poker players have an advantage over live poker players. Many live poker games have less experience in the number of poker hands played. They aren’t sure of how to play poker hands post-flop.

Many live poker players are passive in poker rounds after the flop. Use this to your advantage. You can raise your bets and play aggressively against live players.

7. Get ready for slow progress!

You need to play several poker tournaments to become a successful live poker player. So be patient and play multiple poker tournaments at lower stakes for practice.

Once you are confident about your live poker gameplay, you can start making progress. You cannot expect to learn everything the moment you start playing. Can you? 

Whether it is learning a new skill or some sport, only practice makes you perfect. So don’t lose hope if you aren’t winning money in your initial games. A lot more focus and concentration are required to play live poker. 

Many live poker players wait for the opportunity to exploit opponents who seem bored or underconfident. Live poker pros have a lot of patience and self-control. So be patient and maintain extreme calm and composure while playing live poker.

8. Catch the Bluffs

Catching a bluff is much easier in live poker games. The best part of live poker is that can read a poker player’s facial expression and body language easily.

So, observe others and catch their bluffs. Usually, players don't raise after you raise their bluff three to four times. If your cards are good enough, you can raise the bet if you think that your opponent is bluffing.

Hope you have some information on how to transition from online to live poker. Slow and steady wins the race. So play poker games, stay patient, and enjoy the thrill of poker games as you play them!

So what are you waiting for? Download Poker app on your phone and start playing daily on Spartan Poker now!