Playing Live Poker In London For The First Time

Playing live poker at a club for the first time is always something people get very nervous about but once you have broken that seal you will realise that it was never a big deal and a hell of a lot more fun than sitting on a laptop staring at a screen! Click through to this article where I debunk the myths of playing live poker in London.

Playing live poker at a club for the first time is always something people get very nervous about but once you have broken that seal you will realise that it was never a big deal and a hell of a lot more fun than sitting on a laptop staring at a screen! So what are the myths and the realities?

The Myth – I can’t shuffle so can’t play self deal games
The Reality – This is a load of rubbish. There are probably from experience only 10% of players in a tournament that can do all the “fancy shuffling”. Most people either shuffle as they do at home or just do the dealer shuffle where they mix all the cards up on their desks. I have a friend that plays almost every week and still hands the cards to someone else to shuffle for her. I even remember one occasion where whilst shuffling I dropped all the cards all over the floor, table, players etc. – Turns out it wasn’t a big deal; we just got a new deck. SO don’t worry everyone is worried about shuffling till they see others doing it.

The Myth – Poker clubs in London are full of dodgy gangsters
The Reality – I will be honest, on the odd occasion I have seen people that look a little like a gangster in my stereotypical view on life but it turns out they nicer than me! The majority of people you will meet in these places are just normal people wanting a live game of poker, students, tourists or semi pros, and not much else. If you do see a real life poker playing gangster let me know

The Myth – I don’t know all the little rules so can’t play live
The Reality – Knowing the basics is obviously useful but even that is not essential if it is a beginner game or a friendly pub poker game. Even knowing the other house or general rules isn’t essential as you soon learn this pretty fast in a live game. An example of a really common mistake I see made in at least 4 out of 5 games I play is a string bet – This is basically when a player bets or raises in a double motion or where they drop their bet in chip by chip slowly without stating the total amount first. The problem with this is that you could be putting in just enough to get a reaction from the opposite player and then stop – This is simple to deal with = whenever you are going to bet or raise state the amount and then have fun with your chips because it is all cool then.

The Myth – I might get arrested as poker is illegal
The Reality – This is a tricky one as many of the poker clubs in London are skating on thin ice with regards to legalities disguising themselves as private members clubs, or claiming poker is a game of skill but at the end of the day this means NOTHING to you. It’s not like New York where the cops are going to bust down the door and arrest everyone in the room – Really the worst that can happen is the club could be closed down and screw it you can just go to another club.

The Myth – I have no chance of winning, I have only been playing for a few weeks
The Reality – Ask anyone that regulary runs or plays in a novice or beginner level tournament and they will begrudgingly admit that it always seems to be the beginners that win or finish in the top 10 far more regulary than it should be – In fact speaking to a guy that runs a pub game he said 80% of his winners are beginners, and I am sure I remember seeing on the Gutshot site that over half of the final table at their beginner £5 rebuy tourney was made up of people who had never been a member until that night. I blame the fact that they are lucky fish!!

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