Making the transition from play chips to playing for money can be a huge shock for some players. Inasmuch as it is recommended that you always start your poker education in an arena that has no chance of collateral damage, at some stage the desire to step up to the cash ring tables and real life poker tournaments will be overwhelming, and eventually you will make that initial deposit and start playing for real. However, for some people, entering you first game can be like walking into an alien world.
The first thing that you will notice is that the play is much more restrained. There are no cheery welcoming messages in the chat box to greet you, players seem to take a relative eternity to perform their betting actions and, after all of that waiting, most of them do not even bother to get involved.
This is the real world of online poker! Although the games are the same, the style and standard of the play is a lot different. Irrespective of how well you performed when you were playing against people for whom winning or losing was of no consequence, here there is money on the table and, even though it may be relatively small amounts to begin with, money is serious business.
An accurate gauge of just how mean-spirited the real games are, can be found in the lobbies of the online poker rooms. There is a column alongside the list of games that indicates how many players are seeing flop each hand.
Whereas on the play tables, you may have seen five or six out of nine bet pre-flop (about 60%), here, you will usually find figures of half that value – and sometimes less. The lower number of people entering a hand also reflects on the size of pot, so you may also be winning far smaller amounts than you originally imagined.
Real ring games are populated by players grinding out their bonuses, collecting rakeback and waiting patiently for that monster hand to come along which will make the discipline worthwhile. If you are still keen to get involved with some cash poker hands, here are a few start-up tips.
If you are new to real online poker then taking the time to read some poker strategy it will be a big help, it will give you a better understanding of the game and hopefully an edge which is what we all need!
Apply bankroll management to determine the correct level for you to start at. If you have deposited $100, you should not be playing any higher than $0.25/$0.50 games. You may even want to start a bit lower to get accustomed to differences between real play and what you have been used to.
Allow more time for your games. You are unlikely to see as many hands per hour as you would have done in practice games. Single table tournaments and MTT Poker Tournaments take considerably longer to play as well, so make sure before you enter a tournament that you have the time to complete it.
Start analyzing other players and make notes from Day 1. You will find that it soon becomes a habit, and if you stay in the same stake bracket for any period of time, you will find that you met them time and time again.
It is also a good idea to wait for the big blind before going into your first hand as it gives you the opportunity to see some of the playing styles on the table before you commit any cash to the pot.
Finally, learn and enjoy. There is very little to compare with executing a perfect poker strategy and scooping a monster pot in the real world of online poker.