Some general questions for a Live Noob

PokerDuderPokerDuder Red Chipper Posts: 2
Hey Everyone!

I've just starting playing live and wanted some advice on what is probably some really basic stuff to most of you. So thank you in advance for any help.

1. I'm having trouble seeing peoples stacks as I play. They tend to place their arms/hands around/over their stack when they play and it makes it difficult to clearly see how much they have in front of them. This is especially true for short stakes or those who prefer to stack their chips in short $50 pillars.

I really don't want to keep asking people "how much do you have?" while in a hand because, well, I would look like a d-bag (in my mind). It would seem to me like I was trying to intimidate players by continuously asking them how much they have behind. I dunno. Maybe this is just something that comes with experience and time. Maybe the answer is to just pay attention during play and try to steal glances to get an idea.

2. People act really fast in these live games. They bet fast, call fast, raise fast. Holy crap. So when it gets to me, I like to take my time. Not forever, but I might take 10 seconds to think about a bet size. Meanwhile, I can feel the dealer burning a hole through my head with his stare, and everyone else is probably thinking, "WTF, dude. Let's go."

So I was wondering how most of you handle those situations or if I'm just worried over nothing.

3. I agree that it's +ev to be nice and help make the games fun for the other players at the table. I like to chat it up a bit and have fun even though my main objective is to be ruthless and take no prisoners.

Because of this, I'm usually the most aggressive guy at the table with larger raise sizes pre-flop and I tend to put people in tough spots through aggressive play. I'm worried that the other players will view me a as some jerk just trying to be table captain while mindlessly running everyone over. Any advice on that would be appreciated.

Thanks a bunch!


  • JoeOffsuitJoeOffsuit Red Chipper Posts: 589 ✭✭✭
    Your opponents chips should be in clear view with large denomination chips in front, but that is very rare. In a cash game, I would advise against asking to count peoples chips pre-flop, just keep an estimate of them and focus more on how much is going in the pot (that will keep you plenty busy.) Its very difficult live to know how much everyone has at any given point, that's just a difference.

    Post flop, if you are planning to make a big move, or if someone has made a move on you, go ahead and ask them how many chips they have if you want to know. Most players in the hand will gladly stack them for you... (Not that it will help.)

    Take your time to make your bet exactly what you want it to be. Warning if you use a lot of white chips to make the amounts "perfect", you will draw attention to yourself as an online player.

  • ChibberChibber Red Chipper Posts: 380 ✭✭✭
    edited April 2016
    You can observe stacks between hands and estimate. Don't be coy about asking if you an estimate though, just ask. I will ask the dealer to tell me sometimes or I will ask the player to move his arms so I can look for myself.

    People bet raise call fast because they are usually just thinking about their own cards and have made up their minds on what they want to do. Don't worry about how much time you take to a certain extent. Try not to hold up the game on every street though.
  • porterporter Red Chipper Posts: 315 ✭✭✭
    1. Yes, just pay attention and steal glances at the stacks. You'll get the hang of it. I try to survey all stacks on the table prior to every hand. This reminds me to consider what my general plans are for each hand, who is on tilt, who I'm going to be isolating, etc.
    2. This is fine on the turn and river, but try to move more quickly pre-flop and on the flop (more common, less complex spots). Also something you'll improve at with experience.
    3. Don't sweat it. You can be friendly and aggressive. Nothing contradictory there.
  • SplitSuitSplitSuit RCP Coach Posts: 4,082 -
    1. I have zero issue asking to see a stack size if I can't get a clear idea with a glance. I ask in a joking way at first by saying "roller coaster!" and raising my hands up and it gets a giggle and usually villain will follow suit if you make your intention clear
    2. 10 seconds is fine so long as you aren't just wasting time preflop with a trivial fold
    3. No need to worry. Just be you and adjust to how they adjust to you =)
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  • ChipXtractorChipXtractor Red Chipper Posts: 1,193 ✭✭✭✭
    I think the trick is to start developing a technique for constantly being aware of players stack sizes in game. If you develop a habit of after showdown, and during the shuffle, to take a quick look at all the players stacks and get a basic idea of where everyone is, than while in a hand you wont have to start from scratch.

    Be consistent with updating your opponents stack sizes during the game in your mind. Do it at a set point in every hand. Practice, Practice, Practice. Maybe for your next session choose a orbit when you say to yourself I am going to update every opponents stack size after each showdown. Or maybe just choose a few. Do it for a full orbit. I think you will be surprised at how easy it gets once you do it for a while. The key at first is to do it the same way and same time before every hand. Create a routine that works for you.

  • PokerDuderPokerDuder Red Chipper Posts: 2
    Thanks for the help!

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