There are many distinctions between online poker and live casino poker, also called B&M or “Brick and Mortar” poker. Are the rules of the game any different? No, but there are some matters you should keep in mind when transferring your virtual chips onto real life felt or vice versa.
Online, you don’t give any. It’s one of the big advantages of online play and one reason some pros prefer the internet to B&M. If you do play in a B&M casino, you should know what’s expected. Most people tip whenever they win a pot. The amount varies depending on the stakes of the game you are playing but it’s usually in the neighborhood of a dollar. Professional player Mike Caro feels this penalizes looser players since, due to the fact that they pay more pots, they win more pots and therefore tip more. If you feel you are this type of player, he advocates giving the dealer a set amount as a tip as soon as they sit down to deal, making it clear that you tip in advance and not per pot. Typically though, throwing the dealer fifty cents or a dollar when you win a pot is the accepted practice. Some players like to tip more if they win a big pot or caught some miraculous draw. You are certainly not obligated to tip and no one should give you a hard time if you don’t, but they might and you’ll probably generate some good will from the dealer and the other players who are tipping if you do. The other dg personnel, cocktail waitresses, chip runners, floor people etc, also appreciate a tip for good service.
Well, you know it’s okay at home online, but guess what? It’s okay at the casino, too! In a traditional Las Vegas casino where poker is only a small section of the games offered, you won’t see too much eating at the table, but drinking is no problem (although if you are drinking, your bankroll will thank you if you stay away from the alcoholic stuff). At Card Clubs that cater primarily to poker players, eating at the table is commonplace (not on the table, there are side tables for this purpose). If you are at a casino that features food service, there are just a couple of things to remember. One, don’t slow up the game. If you can’t put down your sandwich (which was actually invented so one could eat and play cards at the same time) to act on your hand, ask for an “out” button and put off playing until you’re finished. If you can walk and chew gum at the same time, feel free to keep playing (but keep in mind that if you stop eating a good meal to get involved in a hand, people are probably going to suspect you have something good). Also, be sure to wipe your hands before touching your cards. No one likes to pick up their cards and get a handful of grease along with them.
Online, there is generally a convenient filter that replaces your expletive with some nice non-confrontational asterisks. Of course, a live game can offer no such protection. Make an effort to control your language when playing in a B&M casino. The “F-word” is particularly frowned upon and in some casinos you may be required to step away from the table when you use it. A popular tournament rule in effect these days requires a time penalty for using the “F-word,” so it can prove to be both rude and expensive.