Your first trip to the casino to play live dealer poker games can be overwhelming. Players huddle around tables, bells echo from the casino floor lights flash. This is a place awash with opportunities for overstimulation.
The poker room is often no more calming. TVs broadcast at you from all the walls, standing figures dominate with their piles of chips out in front of them, managers, chip runners and security all mill around.
It’s easy to be distracted. This piece will hopefully help you get prepared for what is coming next
Before you even play a game of poker you need to get your name on a waiting list. The poker room number will be on the Internet. Then you can check-in. Head to the poker room and find out when your seat is likely to be available.
Hopefully, you will have familiarized yourself with the poker room’s rules. To save yourself the time you can get your chips yourself. It takes longer but you can choose to wait until you’re at the table before giving money to the dealer or chip runner.
When you hand money to any casino employee it’s best practice to simply place the money on the table. Employees are not supposed to accept cash directly from a player’s own hands, but when you lay your money on the table, they can just take it.
It’s likely your name will be called over a PA system. Don’t miss it because if you do you’ll fall off the list. Report to where you checked in.
Most casinos need you to post a matching amount equal to the big blind prior to being dealt in. Some don’t. If you are in doubt, ask the dealer.
If you’re near the big blind, don’t post. You’ll be required to pay the big blind soon anyway. When you’ve taken your seat the game will play the same as any other poker game – except now the dealer is trained to run the game for you.
Get into the habit of always calling out whatever is your action as it will make the game easier for all at the table. When you want to call, simply say call. When you want to raise, all you have to say is raised along with the amount and then you move your chips. When you want to fold, all you need simply say is fold.
Remember to always keep the cards in sight in front of your own stack and protected them by placing a chip on top. It demonstrates to all you are still in the hand.
The chip protects your hand. When players throw their cards and accidentally hit your hand, if it’s not protected, there will be no questions asked your hand will be dead.
Similarly, when you are sitting in either seat 1 or seat 10 and a dealer takes your hand and puts it in the muck, your hand will be dead.
Keenly follow the action. Always know when it’s your turn. The best advice is to organize your Chips in stacks of 20. It makes it much easier to assess how much money you have available.
Never relinquish your hand until you’ve been awarded the Pot. Too many people throw their hand thinking they’re winners only to discover someone else is holding a live hand.
In this situation, the pot is awarded to the last player with a live hand. So don’t offer to give your hand up unless and until the pot is shipped in your direction.
If a dealer asks you to give in your hand, don’t! instead tell the dealer that you’ll trade the pot for your cards.
Ask lots of questions. It’s only natural for a newbie to feel intimidated at a casino. Your nervousness need not faze you. The game you play in a casino is effectively the same game you’ve played your whole life.