How to play like James Bond in your first poker tournament

  • Savour the atmosphere of your first live poker tournament with our top tips
  • Go from online poker hustler to live tournament pro all in our six easy steps

If you thought playing poker online was a thrill, just wait until you sit down at a table and play a live tournament.

The sights, the smells, the atmosphere, the competition and the comradery that can come with playing a live poker tournament is like nothing else and is a strong recommendation for anyone who enjoys playing game.

However, it can also be daunting and intimidating prospect stacking your chips on the cloth for the first time so we thought it a good idea to run you through your first live poker tournament so people think your more champ than chump.

Getting started

So, you’re a king of online poker and you can beat all your mates at your flat on a Tuesday night. Now it’s time to step into the live game.

However, just remember this is not going to be the World Series of Poker, more like a gathering down at your local working men’s social club or local casino tournament but the sense of excitement should still be the same.

Before you enter your first tournament, ensure you understand the basic rules involved such as whether buy-ins are allowed or not as you may have to factor this in should you need to buy back in (hopefully though, you won’t need to).

The last thing you want to do is not have the right bankroll and have to leave early because you hadn’t bothered to take two minutes to read the rules.

Don’t try to be someone you’re not

Don’t get too carried away, believing your own PR when playing poker. It is not all about looking the part.

It can be tempting to get a little carried away with the occasion and don the hoodie, shades and headphones but show your fellow players a little respect and just be yourself.

Acting up to something you’re not will only hinder your chances of firstly enjoying the game but secondly landing a spot at the final table

Remember this is your first live poker tournament so there is no need to get carried away and risk the wrath of the regulars ganging up on you because they don’t like the ‘cut of your jib’.

Focus on yourself but be aware of where the button is

Sounds kind of tricky, right? Especially when you’re trying to beat everyone else. However, it may take a few hands but you will soon start to settle into a rhythm and then you can start playing your own game and focusing on your own skills.

Of course, it does no harm to keep an eye on your opponent’s betting patterns and nervous twitches but for your first few hands just get to grips with your surroundings, focus on yourself and you will soon find yourself relaxing into the game.

However, do ensure you are aware of where the dealer button is and act when it is your turn, there is nothing more frustrating than playing with someone who constantly needs prompting when it’s their turn to act or plays out of turn.

If in doubt, ask

If you are unsure of anything then ask the dealer.

Remember this is not the World Series of Poker so if you are unsure of anything then ask the dealer. After all they are there to help and it is better to ask than look like the fool who made an unnecessary.

Everyone playing in the tournament had to start somewhere and chances are you are not the only one playing your first event.

If you are unsure of anything, then someone else probably is too, so don’t be afraid and seek advice.

Let people know what you’re doing and bet clearly

When it comes to your turn in the spotlight make sure you announce your option of play clearly.

For example, if you’re going to raise, make sure the dealer can hear you correctly and the amount you want to raise by so then he/she can then rely that information to any players who may not have heard you.

Also, place your bets clearly over the line and leave it up to the dealer to sort out the pot. It is vital that you and your competitors can see the value of the pot especially if it comes down to a split pot scenario.

More about poker

If you want to know more about poker then be sure to check out our guide to the best online casinos for poker, which includes plenty of useful information and tips on how to play poker well which are relevant both online and at land-based casinos.

If you want to play poker at online casinos then we reckon heading over to Genting Casino is a great starting point.

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