Things to Know Before Playing Live Poker in a Casino

Poker in the 21st century has become one of the world’s most popular pastimes. Since the first season of the World Series of Poker was broadcast in 2001, along with Chris Moneymaker’s famous win in 2003, top poker players have become like rock stars. The game also opened up to a wider market, as the exposure of live tournaments, coupled with the rise in online poker, demystified the game. Today more people are playing poker, and with Las Vegas casinos recently revealing a $2.1 billion revenue in 2021, it is clear that there is a demand for live casino games. If you are thinking of playing live poker in a casino for the first time, here are a few key things to know before you start.

Poker Terms

If you are playing live poker for the first time at a casino, then you need a good knowledge of all the poker terms. A sure sign of a new player is if they have to double-check a term or their hand value. While it may seem like a small thing, experienced players will quickly hone on this inexperience and use it to their advantage through trying to draw you into making mistakes. Alongside the most important poker terms – call, check, raise, fold, all in, small blind, and big blind – you should also know terms like check-raise, continuation-bet, and heads up draw, in order to understand and implement strong poker strategies. You should also know the rules around some terms. For example, the nuts refers to the best possible hand once all the cards are dealt. As no hand can beat this, it is illegal to check back on the river. Knowing all the poker terms may seem like a small thing, but it can make all the difference when playing experienced players across the felt in live poker.

Understand Casino Poker Rules

In line with the above point it is also important to understand casino poker rules. One important rule to note is that you can only bet or raise in one motion. If you bet $100 and then change your mind and announced you are betting $300, this is known as a string bet, which is against casino rules. After announcing the bet you need to put the exact amount you intend to bet on the table. Another rule is that you can’t take chips off the table until you leave the table. This is known as ratholing and it deprives opponents the ability to win back money, which is why it is forbidden. Breaking these rules will also notify players that you are inexperienced.

Make Sure You Play For the Right Stakes

If you are switching from online poker to live poker, be aware that the stakes for live poker will be slightly higher. $0.25/$0.50 to $0.50/$1.00 are considered low stakes for online poker. However, a low stakes game for live cash poker ranges from $1/$2 to $3/$6. Be sure to check that you are playing for stakes you are comfortable with, especially if you are new and with a small bankroll. Otherwise you could find yourself out of cash much faster than anticipated just by playing the big and small blinds.

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