Live poker games are played in a physical setting such as a casino or a poker room. In live poker games, players are physically present at the table, where they can interact with each other and the dealer in real time.
Live poker games can range from low stakes cash games to high stakes events with large payouts. Live Poker makes for a more socially interactive experience as you can engage in conversations with fellow poker players, catch physical tells by observing the body language of your opponents and gain insights on their strategies.
That being said, the most commonly played games in live poker rooms are Texas Hold’em and Omaha Poker.
Types of Live Poker Games
Texas Hold’em Poker
Texas Hold’em is significantly more popular than other live poker games. It can easily be grasped by beginners and offers good money. You get two cards face down, known as hole cards and five common cards placed on the table. The players must use these seven cards to make the best five-card hand.
Omaha is played just like Texas Hold’em, but the players are offered 4 hole cards instead of two. They still must make the strongest poker hand combination using the five community cards and two of their hole cards. Pot Limit Omaha games are further categorized into 5 Card Omaha and 6 Card Omaha games where you play with5 and 6 hole cards respectively.
When played from scratch, each player receives three cards out of which two cards will be face down and one open. Players receive more cards in the following rounds. During showdown, each player reveals their hole cards and selects 5 of their 7 cards as their best hand. Seven-cards stud live poker tournament wraps up in five rounds, and the winner with the highest hand ranking wins the bet.
Five-cards draw is the simplest live poker tournament, which can be easily understood and played even by a beginner. Here, the players are rewarded with five cards at the start. After the primary distribution of cards, the betting round starts. The players can also draw a maximum of five cards to replace the previous deck.
Razz is one of the oldest poker games and is different from all live poker games. Players aim to get the lowest ranking hand rather than the highest. Seven cards are dealt to all players during seven rounds. Unlike regular poker games, the player who has the lowest five-card hand wins in Razz poker game.
How to Play Live Poker?
If you haven’t played poker in a live setting yet, here are a few things you should know.
Find a casino or Poker room
Live poker games in India are only arranged in casinos of Goa, Sikkim and Daman due to state laws that restrict real money play in other Indian states. That being said, you can always head to Goa for the best live poker experience and look for a casino nearby that offers live poker games. Once you are there, register yourself and buy-in with cash or chips.
Pick a Game
Pick the game you wish to play. Choose a game that you are well versed with and suits your skill level.
Know the Rules
Familiarize yourself with the rules of the game and those of the poker room. Ask about the betting rules and structure of the game to avoid confusion.
Find Your Seat
Once you find your seat, do ask the dealer about the betting limits of the table.
The game will begin with the dealer distributing the cards. After you receive your cards, follow the game rules properly during play.
Follow Proper Etiquette and Rules
Make sure to follow proper etiquette in live poker rooms. Take your turn to bet, raise or fold and show respect to your fellow players at the table. Never act in a way that influences action in a hand you’re no longer a part of. Do not discuss hands during play.
Keep Track of Your Chips
Keep track of your chips and do not mix them up with other players. Once the game ends, exchange your chips for cash money at the end of the game.
Know When to Quit
It's important to know when to quit the game. Do not chase losses by continuously betting more money or rebuying your way into the game. Set a limit for yourself and collect your cash while you’re still winning.
Tips to Play Live Poker
Practice, Practice, and Practice
As beginners, it’s crucial that you practice live poker games. Many people feel that poker is just about luck and the cards you receive in the initial stages. It’s poker skills that’s going to matter in the long run.
Understand the Poker Game Rules
Every game you play in live casino poker tournaments has a set of defined poker rulesthat you must know before entering the competition. Make a list of rules that every live poker variant follows to excel in each of the segments.
Start With Basics
As beginners, you can start by playing the basic level matches in live poker tournaments. This will improve your confidence and integrate your interest to play further. These live poker rooms will have low bids and shorter match duration, but will surely help you win significant amounts in the future.
Poker is one of the most lucrative card games worldwide. And you can definitely make a good living out of it. However, live poker card games are unpredictable, and can go downhill anytime. You can combat this by continuously up-skilling yourself and learning new poker tactics. The more you know, the less you fail.
Live Poker or Online Poker: Which is Better?
Online Games are Played for Lesser Money Than Live Poker
There is a term called “Impulsive buying,” where you purchase items by seeing others or being influenced by the glamor. Both these pointers are valid in the case of live poker games. However, online game offer more options in terms of number of tables, game variations and even the stakes you play for.
Live Players are Less Tech-Savvy
If you plan to play in online poker tournaments, the platform will offer you multiple advanced-level resources such as player stats that help analyze your competitors’ levels. However, in a live poker room, players are static and do not wish to evolve. You can take that step and start using online resources to understand the game and strategize better.
Everyone Cannot Play Live Poker Games
Most people treat poker as a part-time passion and play it whenever they are free or bored. Live poker games need you to hit live poker rooms. Conversely, online poker real money games give you convenience and flexibility and lets you play more hands per hour.
Live Poker - FAQs
While live casino poker rooms are only available in a few states such as Goa, Daman and Sikkim, you can play poker online virtually on multiple platforms. You just have to sign up and register yourself on the portal and then start playing with genuine players. One such platform can be PokerBaazi, which offers multiple live poker tournaments that you can participate in to win real cash.
Whether live poker is easier or more difficult than online poker depends on various factors such as your skill level, the type of game you are playing, the opponents you are facing, and your ability to read people's body language and emotions. Both online poker and live poker have their pros and cons. It ultimately depends on which kind of games to go for based on your skill level and game preferences.
Poker is a mind-based game that requires practice, consistency, and dedication. So, if you master any sport, it will eventually feed you money. To make a living from poker, you need to gain a deep understanding of the game, read your opponents well, and make the right decisions. You also need to have a solid bankroll management strategy, which means only playing those games wherein you can afford to lose the money you put on the table.