Poker Chips – Online versus Live

Harry Truman's poker chips
Image via Wikipedia

During the last three years, I have played hundreds of online games of poker and less than seven (7) face to face casino games. I am not counting the thousands of home games I have played with parents, friends and relatives since I was old enough to play. Besides, almost all of the home games were played using cash; pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, etc.

The easiest mode of  betting, calling and raising is online play. Just click those buttons, move those sliders, type in those bet amounts and hit enter. Now, if you don’t pay attention, it is also to easy to call when you meant to fold, fold when you meant to raise, and raise when you meant to check. So maybe online has its own share of problems?

In my limited exposure in live play I have found that using real chips is pretty tricky. First there is the problem of learning how to handle the chips. Forget about shuffling them like the professionals do. Just handling the darn things without tipping over your stack. I have even seen people at the tables knock over other peoples stack of chips. Now, that is a sight.

Next you have to learn the value of chips based on color at some casino tables when playing in tourneys. So depending on your buy-in, you could have up to four different color of chips in front of you of varying value. Picking up and placing the wrong chip out there can be as dangerous as clicking the wrong button.

My very first tourney play was at an event called The Foxwoods Poker Classic at the Foxwoods Casino in Ledyard, Connecticut.  We were given $1,500 in chips using three denominations to start at the early stages of the “Act I” tourney. I fumbled with my chips, threw in large raises instead of calling by picking the wrong color chips. It was quite a learning experience, that first time using chips instead of a mouse. Despite all my mistakes, I got lucky in that event and won a seat to the next level, called “Act II”. I did not fair as well in Act II as luck was not with me. I had no idea what I was doing at that time, especially at live play.

It has taken me a few games to get better at handling my chips. I still have a ways to go. I am not going to try to shuffle chips as I don’t want to hurt my fellow players or the dealer.

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2 thoughts on “Poker Chips – Online versus Live

  1. It can be hard, for sure. My first tournament ever had 150 people, and I never could remember what the colors stood for, bombing out finally in 90 minutes or so. The second tournament had only 48 players, and that time I was able to remember the dollar amounts, making a conscious effort of separating all my colors so the amounts would stick in my mind, and I finished 12th (all in with queens to tens, and of course a ten came up on the flop). So it can be done, but you're right, it is definitely more challenging to the uninitiated.

  2. It can be hard, for sure. My first tournament ever had 150 people, and I never could remember what the colors stood for, bombing out finally in 90 minutes or so. The second tournament had only 48 players, and that time I was able to remember the dollar amounts, making a conscious effort of separating all my colors so the amounts would stick in my mind, and I finished 12th (all in with queens to tens, and of course a ten came up on the flop). So it can be done, but you're right, it is definitely more challenging to the uninitiated.

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