888poker: Ian Simpson’s Top Tips for Transitioning to Live Poker from Online Poker

Ian Simpson

Professional poker player Ian Simpson was overjoyed when he became the latest 888poker ambassador earlier this year. The Englishman has also recorded some impressive results since moving to the platform.

In the latest Made to Learn video series from 888pokerthe 2013 Irish Poker Open Winner details the tips you need to know regarding swapping the virtual felt for the live poker games.

1. Calculating the Pot Size

One big difference in live poker compared to online poker is that it is up to us to calculate the size of the pot. In live poker, it is important to keep a mental tally of the size of the current pot. This will allow you to get your bet sizes right as you play a hand.

Remember, the dealers are theirs to help you. If you lose track of the pot, you can ask the dealer to spread it out so you can begin to count it again.

2. One chip rule

If you’re new to live poker, there’ll be rules you will be unfamiliar with. One of those will be the one chip rule. If someone at your table raises to 400 and you chuck in a 1,000 denomination chip, this will be ruled as a call. It doesn’t even matter if you through in a 5,000, 25,000 or 100,000 chip, putting in one chip will always be signed as a call.

To make it clear what you want to do, vocalize your intentions as verbal declarations are binding.

3. Adjust to a slower pace

Live poker has a slower pace of play to online poker and this is largely down to the shuffling and card pitching having to be done manually by a dealer. It can be easy to be distracted by your phone or whats on the television. Don’t fall victim to this.

Focus on what the other players are doing even when you’re not in the hand as you could be missing out on picking up some live tells.

888poker Pro Analysis: Making a Play Based on a Sample Size of One

4. Know Your Stack Sizes

When playing live poker, there isn’t a display showing you the size of your own and your opponents chip stacks. Before you play a hand, take a note of how much each of your opponent has so you are prepared for later streets.

It’s in the rules that chips must be stacked in easily countable piles of 10 or 20 where possible and that big denomination chips must be visible. You are well within your rights to ask an opponent to sort out their messy stack. You can also ask the dealer or the floor if needs be.

5. Be Aware of Live Tells

Live tells are big part of what separates live and online poker. If you are new to the live felt, don’t worry too much as most people over-estimate their ability to read live tells.

If you are worried about giving anything away, try to act consistently with all your movements. Put chips into the pot in the same way each time for example.

This will make it harder for people to get a read off you and remember to not be chatty while playing a hand.

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Calum Grant

Editor & Live Reporter

Calum has been a part of the PokerNews team since September 2021 after working in the UK energy sector. He played his first hand of poker in 2017 and immediately fell in love with the game. Calum’s proudest poker achievement is winning the only tournament he has ever played in Las Vegas, the prestigious $60 Flamingo evening event.


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