“These two don’t know what they are about to step into. They decide to play poker down here for fun and to have a great time. They are curious to see how poker differs from the game they have played all their lives.
–Matt Damon portrays Mike McDermott on “Rounders”.
Most of us didn’t have the opportunity to play in a casino when we first started poker. We learned about poker from our friends and family at home or tried online poker. The idea of playing in an actual brick-and-mortar (B&M) casino with all its attendant sights and sounds is appealing to many. What are the basics of transferring your online or home skills to casino play, and what should you know? While there are many differences between online and B&M gaming, two things you might want to focus on are tells and casino type.
Tells are the main concern for most players when they move from online to B&M. Tells are any physical act a player does that could give his opponents clues to his hand. For example, a player may put his hand on the opponent’s face while bluffing. Since your opponents can’t see you online, physical tells don’t matter. However, there are online tells that may be of concern. One popular poker site offers an advertisement campaign inviting players with “bad poker faces” to join their site. This is because no one can view your face online. The villain in the film “Rounders”, quoted at the start of this article, is shown choking on an Oreo cookie. It all depends on whether he has a giant hand. Tells are not often as extreme as this. Your opponents will be more interested in what you have than you are when you play at a casino, particularly a “tourist” one. While an opponent may look down on you while considering a call, it’s usually just focusing on how they like their hand. True tell-spot requires careful observation of the tendencies of each player. You won’t be able to reveal much about a particular hand. Professionals love to project the illusion that they can see right into your soul to find out what you are holding. But there is more to it. You can purchase a pair of reflective sunglasses to protect your eyes if you are concerned. You can always wait five to ten seconds before you act, regardless of whether your hand is strong. Then pick a spot on the table you want to gaze at while waiting for someone to respond.
2. Type of Casino
Not all casinos are created equal. Before the popularity of poker, many casinos had no poker rooms. Or, at the very least, they had a section of their blackjack floor divided away for two to three $1-to-2 limit games. Although things have changed, there are still many types of casinos where one can play poker. A Card Club is the first. They are often found in California, where poker is legal as a game. However, they are prohibited from playing other gambling games. These clubs have been expanded to include other games but are primarily focused on poker. You will find some of the best poker players in the club, but not always the strongest. They also have their fair share of tourists. Las Vegas Style Casino is the most common type of Casino. These casinos are made prominent in roulette, slot machines, and blackjack. They also didn’t focus on poker because it was not a significant moneymaker. Poker is different from other games against the House (the Casino) and designed so that the House always wins in the long term. Instead, the Casino takes a small percentage of every pot (called the “rake”; usually less than $4 per pot). Some casinos now take “time” as an alternative to raking. This means that every half hour, a representative from the casino visits and collects a predetermined amount from each player.
These Las Vegas Style Casinos will have what I call Poker Casinos. Tourist Casinos Poker Casinos have always offered poker as a part of their draw. These casinos include The Bellagio in Las Vegas, The Mirage in Atlantic City, and The Taj Mahal and Borgata in Atlantic City. One of these casinos is the Tourist Casino. It was not possible to have poker until the boom, but it has become a great draw for players. Both of these casinos are intended for tourists. However, Poker Casinos will be more popular with professionals. It is up to you to choose which one is best for you.
It doesn’t matter if you play online or at a casino; poker is still poker. You should play smart and rake in cash, no matter if they are virtual or clay.