Top 3 Tips How to Spot an Online Poker Player in Live Games

How to Spot an Online Poker Player in Live Games

5 minutes

Last Updated: March 19, 2024

Many of us have had to change the way we play poker for the majority of 2020. The ongoing pandemic has caused chaos on the live poker scene all over the world.

Iconic poker series such as the World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour have had to host their events online, something none of us saw happening at the beginning of all the madness that has ensued.

Many predominantly live poker players are still playing behind a computer screen, tablet, or smartphone, longing to hit up their favorite card rooms and poker rooms once again.

But, fear not as hope does seem to be on the horizon, with plenty of casinos and card rooms worldwide re-opening their doors.

Albeit they’re operating far differently than we are used to, it does seem that live poker is ready to fire on all cylinders come the beginning of 2021.

Until then, though, the virtual felt will have to do. I imagine, though. It has been a tough transition for many of you who play live games to put food on the table.

Online poker pros far and wide have often come out and said it's really easy to spot the live player at an online table so, many of you have been playing with a target on your back for months and months now.

However, with the tables looking to turn shortly, and with everyone being cooped up for so long, even online players will pry themselves away from the computer screens for some live poker games.

So, for when you head back to your local poker rooms, you’ll need to be able to spot online poker players and give them a taste of their own medicine.

This article will help you spot online players, and once you are able to identify them, you can show them that the true poker players are the ones who battle it out in person. Or at least give it your best shot.

Online Players Often Complain That Live Poker is Too Slow

Some people think this is an egregious sin, asking to speed up the game, but think about it for a second.

An online poker player is likely used to playing multiple tables at once, and because of the lack of human element, they see more way hands per hour than an average live player.

For players used to seeing upwards of hundreds of hands an hour, live poker games can be seen as longwinded and borderline boring.

It is quite likely that if someone is constantly complaining and letting you know their frustrations, they come from an online background.

You will find these players reading more about betting options on their phones, watching videos, or engaging with other distractions. Experienced live players like to observe the action on the table and give more attention to everything that’s going on around them.


Online Poker Players Are Less Likely to Keep Their Emotions in Check

Let me start by saying that there are plenty of online poker players who dip their toes into live games who are completely decent people. I’m not trying to label every online poker player as a petulant child.

Heck, I’ve had a few instances myself where my emotions have gotten the better of me after a bad beat, and I'm not proud of how I went about expressing myself.

However, amongst live poker players, a common complaint raised about some online players is that they are not the most socially adept and display instances of a lack of self-awareness and emotional maturity.


On top of complaining about how slow the game is being played, live regs say that online poker players often get visibly irritated when someone they deem ‘not as good as them’ beat them in a pot.

Online poker players are often the first to share their (unasked for) thoughts and comments on how someone at the table played a hand.

Without trying to sound too crass and over-dramatic, if you see someone who’s constantly moaning about one thing or another at a live poker table, they are quite likely to be an online poker player.

Online Poker Players Will Be Unaware of Basic Live Poker Etiquette and Nuances

Those who have ever only played online never had to learn the basic poker etiquette, because why would they?

They're on their own and can vent behind a computer screen without anyone to see. They're not hurting anyone, either, so all good, right?.

However, when an online poker player sits at a live table, their safety blanket is gone, and they need to ensure that they conduct themselves in an appropriate manner.

If you see a table consistently telling someone to behave or reminding them of the poker etiquette that we are used to, it is most likely that person has played a majority of their poker hands in the virtual setting.

This is not to say that you should jump go off at someone who makes a faux pas. You should always try and politely explain that their actions are frowned upon and that they should act in the manner that we are familiar with.

It could just be someone who is trying to adjust, and they should be given the benefit of the doubt. However, if this rude behavior continues, then by all means, give them a piece of your mind.

Final Thoughts on Spotting Online Players

I imagine many of you expected this article to mostly be about bet-sizing, the time it takes to make a decision, and so on.

You may be surprised to hear that biggest tells revolve around how a person conducts themselves in terms of manners when playing live poker.

These are, without a doubt, the quickest ways to spot an online poker player on your next trip to your poker room of choice.

Yes, bet-sizing and the like can help you identify online players as well, but in this day and age, many of those lines are blurred and these tells aren’t as easy to spot.


So, now that you know how to spot an online poker player, it’s time for you to take advantage of their inexperience with real cards and chips and make them pay for the hell they have given you for a majority of the year.

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