Playing live poker can be a shady business, especially when playing in back rooms, poker clubs, bars or similar venues. And while casinos offer a much more reliable environment, some of these rules will help you there as well.
Rule no. 1: Never let no one know, how much dough you hold!
In poker, the best chances of winning lie with whoever has the most information and can interpret it correctly. Knowledge is power. Asking a player about his bankroll seems harmless enough at first, but is in fact far from it. Knowing how much money a player can bring to the table is essential.
It allows you to analyse your opponents’ style of play and to adjust your own way of playing accordingly. If you know an opponent can afford the bets, he is more likely to make critical calls. And of course it is easier to force an opponent out of play in certain situations if you know that his bankroll is insufficient.
Envy is another factor. With a big bankroll you’ll risk not being paid out, pumped for money, or cheated.
My advice is to appear poorer than you really are. Tell people you have to pay off a bank loan or other debts with your winnings, and don’t have any qualms about it. In live poker you’ll have to listen to a lot of bullshit anyway, and it’s just not worth it to be honest about some things.
Rule no. 2: Never trust nobody!
As mentioned in the about me column, I played live poker for over a year. I witnessed a lot of incredible things, and the bottom line is to trust no one, absolutely no one. Live poker is all about the money. There isn’t much room for friendship or honor.
People you never thought capable of doing so blatantly pocket chips, and when you get back from a quick visit to the restroom, one of your €100 chips may have vanished into thin air.
In some rounds, the credit handed out to players backed by the house will drive the amount of money at the table up to several thousand $, while the “real money” invested only holds a couple of hundred $ cash. What good is winning a thousand bucks if you’re never going to see the money. People you trust will pump you for money on the pretence of having to pay their rent in order to avoid eviction. And even if that’s not a lie, you may hear the next day that they lost the borrowed cash gambling.
Hosts often cheat on the rake so shamelessly that at the end of a game there will be none left of the 200 each $5 and $10 chips available at the start. I have played in games where the house made far over $4000 between nightfall and daybreak and the blinds being $1/$2. Each month there were games where something strange was afoot.
Guarding against such things is not easy, but it’ll save you a lot of trouble if you trust only yourself and no one else.
Rule no. 3: Never play if you can’t afford it!
A little experience will let you notice which players have a sufficient bankroll and which don’t. Use this information (see Rule no. 1)!
Never play without sufficent funds! The fishiest table is worth nothing if you’re playing with your last few bucks. Particularly, don’t play with borrowed money. It’s a sure way of getting into serious trouble! So if you only have $100, go for the $0.05/$0.10 blind cash game until you have enough to play for $0.10/$0.25, and so on. Never join a $1/$2 cash game with only $100. You simply won’t stand a chance!
Rule no. 4: Never play for the house!
Once you get to know the game organizers, hosts, or whatever you want to call those guys a bit better and they know your a steady player, they’ll likely offer you to play for the house.
The usual offer is fifty-fity terms, which means you’ll have to give up half of your winnings, but in turn the house will cover for 50% of your losses. There are advantages and disadvantages to that.
The main advantage is that you only have to command half a bankroll matching your level of play. With the feeling of having the house at your back, playing is less stressful, psychologically.
In practice, however, the disadvantages clearly outweigh the advantages. You’re always last to receive your money; it will take weeks in most cases. It’s easy to feel like you’re not playing for real money and make bad choices as a consequence. Unlike the other players betting with cash, you won’t be able to cash out your chips at the end of the night. It’s a vicious cycle, and don’t fool yourself into thinking it would go any different for you. The only one with a real advantage here is the house.
My advice is to rather play on a lower level, but for your own account.
Rule no. 5: Play only when your mind is focused on the game!
Never play when you’re tired, drunk, under the influence or in distress! Never! Never play to block out anger, rage, grief or frustration! It’s bad enough having to go through a rough patch, but making bad choices at the poker table won’t help make the pain go away. So don’t play when you’re not on top of your game!
The Online casino have to make people feel satisfied, trusted and comfortable, so that they feel the same as they feel in the offline ones. That is the main reason of keeping the rules same and avoiding the confusion for the people. Most of the games are also same here.