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Live Poker Room 101
03-24-2009, 04:19 AM
Post: #1
Live Poker Room 101
I think I'll be nice and help Killjoy out here.

The poker room at the casino could be one of the more intimidating places to go into. There are a few reasons for this but there is no reason to panic. But it is wise to follow the advice of US State Department and "know before you go."

First, the room will be somewhat to very seperate from the rest of the casino. Poker rooms are their own "seperate entity" within the casino. One "racino" I go to the poker room is across the infield from the rest of the casino and you need to take your car to get there! That is extreme, but it should not be hard to find the room. But with the room being a seperate entity, keep in mind "comp" policy may be different. You will usually get $1-2/hr in comps depending on your play level. However, the amount of hands you play DOES NOT AFFECT THIS! So do not play hands to "impress" the floorman into a higher rating like at the BJ table. Second, drinks may or may not be free. I drink soft drinks while I play and they have been free to me, but I have heard of the being charged for the hard stuff. Ask before you sit down if you are unsure.

Another thing that makes poker different is you have little choice in where you sit. You can ask to be moved, but you can't bounce from table to table and game to game. You are kind of stuck.

Your buyin amount might be fixed as well. If you start at a level of $1/2 expect to not be allowed to sit with less than $50 or so and no more than $200.

OK, so you are at the casino and ready to play. So find the room, and ask the "brush" (person who seats you.) for a game. You will say, for example, "1/2 no limit hold em." Now, this isn't the stock exchange where you have to order a certain way, but it is best to know what "1/2" means so you do not look totally stupid. The brush is there to help you so if you want a table with a friend you can ask. They might not be able to fit you in but you can ask.

After you get your table assignment you find the cashier window. Now, remember what I said about "seperate entity?" Well, the poker room chips may very well for the poker room only. So don't bring down the blackjack chips and expect to sit and play. I say be prepared and just buy-in there.

By now you might have a picture of you at the table, Michael McDermott to your left and Teddy KGB to your right and check-raising them all the way to all-in. GET THAT IMAGE OUT OF YOUR HEAD RIGHT AWAY!

First, the dealer will ask if you want to "post or wait." I say wait for the big blind so you can get to see the flow of what is going on. Pay attention to who is in the action, who is not, and who is winning. Figure out who the "sucker" is. And if you can't figure out who the sucker is in the first 30 minutes, YOU ARE THE SUCKER!

Example on this is see who keeps betting and getting raised then folds. Or who keeps betting big with little cards.

Expect to be nervous as hell. Your hands might shake when you post your first bet or raise. Learn to relax. Fit in with the table talk that is or is not going on. Avoid going allin without the nuts. Expect to win at most 2-3 hands an hour of which one is for a "big" pot. Your goal in a cash game is to have cash for when the big hand comes around.

TIP THE DEALER WHEN YOU WIN! $1-2 for a win above $10 s the right amount in small stakes. If you clear $200 you might want to give $5. TIP WHEN YOU WIN, NOT LATER! Why? Because unlike table games, poker dealers keep their own tips. So if you plan to tip at just the end of your session you will most likely be on your 7th or more dealer by then. And you may be out of money as well!

Finally, stop playing when you are not enjoying yourself anymore. Don't play tired or scared. Have a budget, have a goal in mind for money and time. HAVE FUN!
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03-24-2009, 07:40 AM
Post: #2
RE: Poker Room 101
Thanks for the tips! This is the kind of thing I'm interesting in learning about here, so I'll have an idea of what I'm doing. I don't want to be the sucker in the room Wink
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03-24-2009, 08:35 AM (This post was last modified: 03-25-2009 06:40 AM by KillJoy.)
Post: #3
RE: Poker Room 101
(03-24-2009 04:19 AM)AZDuffman Wrote:  I think I'll be nice and help Killjoy out here.

Thanks Smile

Nice post. Hmmm, maybe I should make this a sticky.

EDIT: Moved to General Poker Forum (since poker has it's general category) and gave a prefix word Live so people know it's about live poker, not online.

"Depend on the rabbit's foot if you will, but remember it didn't work for the rabbit." - R. E. Shay
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