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Tadas Peckaitis

Tadas Peckaitis has been a professional poker player, coach and author for almost a decade. He is a manager and head coach at where he shares his experience, and poker strategy tips. Tadas plays poker, mostly online, but also manages to play live events while travelling through Europe and the U.S. He is a big fan of personal effectiveness and always trying to do more. Tadas regularly shares his knowledge about both of these topics with his students, and deeply enjoys it. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, or visit

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Top 10 tips for novice live poker players

24 Feb 2020

By Tadas Peckaitis
Handling your chip stack properly is an important component of playing live poker.

Handling your chip stack properly is an important component of playing live poker.

If you are used to playing poker on online sites, you know how easy it is. While there are most certainly some things you should be aware of before playing online, live poker is a different animal. There are many more things that can go wrong and mistakes you can make, so you need to be aware of it before you decide to give it a try.

If you do not know where to start, you can find local poker games with PokerAtlas and then pick what works for you. But if you have never played poker in a casino before, the below tips will help you have a pleasant experience even on your first visit.

10. Never angle shoot
If this term is not intuitively clear, it means performing an action that could give you an unfair advantage over other players, so obviously it is not something you should be doing.
While not being strictly against the rules, angle shooting is considered the grey line in poker, and you should not be crossing it if you want to have a pleasant experience.

There are many forms in which this could take place but generally try to avoid miss-declaration of your holdings, faking one more or another, hiding big denomination chips and similar stuff.

9. Follow proper etiquette
You do not have to worry about improper behavior when playing online, but things can quickly get out of hand in live games, so you should try to avoid it.

It goes without saying that you should not berate other players or the dealer, or offer your opinion about the hand if no one asks. However, one move seems to be considered as the worst of all, and I am talking about slow-rolling.

To avoid any misunderstandings, show your hand on a showdown without wasting time or teasing other players. Even if you have the nuts and it seems like fun to let others think they won and then table the winner, avoid this move and show some grace at the tables.

8. Do not ask for help from other players
Poker has a strict rule of one player per hand, meaning that you can’t ask for advice while playing.

If you do so, you are risking your hand being declared “dead” by the dealer and be forced to muck your holdings. Even more so, you can create a very unpleasant atmosphere at the table since other players will not tolerate such behavior, and in the worst-case scenario, it can even break the table to end the game.

7. Never show your cards to others
Even if you do not have any intention to ask advice from other players, you should never show your hand to anyone at the table.

After seeing what you have, the player can accidentally (or sometimes even on purpose) give away the strength of your hand, and I am sure you understand why this is bad.

So even if you are sitting next to your friend, never show what you have, and if you really want to share it, wait until the hand is over. But even this is not advisable because you can give away some information about your play.

6. Avoid string betting
This is a very important rule to understand when you are just starting playing live games.

String betting is the action when you want to place a bet, but fail to do so with a single move and risk of losing the chance to make that bet at all.

To avoid this, you should always declare your action verbally and move all your chips with one motion. If you do that, you will always be fine and knowing that this is quite a costly mistake, this alone can save you a lot of money.

5. Do not waste time
Even though it is important to evaluate all the information and carefully think about the hand, you should never take more time than needed.

Some players like to “think” about every decision for minutes even when they know what they will do, and this slows down the game, which is not something that you want at the table. In this situation, you will be playing fewer hands per hour, which means you will be making less money.

It is especially annoying when players take too much time to think about their action preflop when it is folded to them. You should know your preflop poker hand ranges based on your position by heart, so you should be able to make these decisions quickly.

4. Follow the action
Players hate when someone is not following the action, and the dealer constantly has to recap what’s happening at the table. This takes a lot of time and slows down the game, and no one wants that.

Of course, if you are lost in some situation or not sure what another player did, it is perfectly fine to ask the dealer, and it will not cause any problems.

But if you constantly chat with others, listen to music, or watch movies and this interferes with your play, you should direct more attention to the game. Get into a habit of observing others, and it will not only help you follow the action, but you will quickly become a better player by learning from them as well.
Poker pro Tadas Peckaitis warns against slow play, angle shooting and acting out of turn at the poker table.

Poker pro Tadas Peckaitis warns against slow play, angle shooting and acting out of turn at the poker table.

3. Do not worry what others think
When you come to play in a live game for the first time, you can face a lot of pressure. I do remember that my hands were shaking during my first live tournament and how everything looked more important than it is.

The truth is that you will probably need some time to get used to a live setting, and that is perfectly fine. Do not worry about what others think and concentrate on your game. Everything else will come with time.

2. Do not remove chips from the table
I already mentioned that you should avoid angle shooting, and removing your chips from your stack is also assigned to improper behavior, to say the least. But this point is so important that I needed to separate it.

Removing chips from your stack in tournaments is rarely a problem because it does not make much sense to do that. However, some players like to remove a part of their chips in cash games after winning big pots to prevent them from losing it back.

While it may even seem logical, this is strictly against the rules and can put you in many problems, so never do it. If you are very uncomfortable with playing huge stack or maybe have much better players at the table, you can choose to get up and leave the game, but never decide to remove your chips.

1. Always act in turn
As the name suggests, always wait for your turn to declare your action. This stands true for both pre-flop and post-flop.

Acting out of turn can also create many problems. In some poker rooms, you will be forced to take that action, and even if you not, you are giving away information that is hurting your chances to win.

Also, you can put other players in very awkward situations if you are in hand with multiple opponents, so try to follow the action and only act when it is your turn.

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