How to Beat Live Poker Games

how to beat live poker

I know many of you play live or considering playing live poker in the future.  You might be wondering what is the best way to dominate liver poker games. To excel in these settings, it’s crucial to adopt a strategic approach that maximizes your chances of success. That’s why in this article, we will explore effective strategies for beating live poker games in general. Most live poker games have similar characteristics so the tips in this blog post should help you achieve success in the low to mid stake games nearby.  

Utilizing Iso-Raises

Iso-raising refers to isolating a single opponent by raising with a strong hand when facing multiple limpers or a loose table. By isolating weaker players, you narrow the field, increase your chances of winning the pot, and gain control over the hand. This strategy allows you to exploit the weaknesses of individual opponents, especially those prone to making mistakes or playing too many hands. Whilst this strategy works online too, a smaller raise size can do the job online. This is not the same for live games where an iso-raise may need to be 5 or 6 times the big blind. Keep this in mind, otherwise you may find yourself in many bloated pots multi-way.

Avoiding Experienced Pros

In live poker games, it’s often advisable to steer clear of experienced professionals. Skilled pros possess a deep understanding of the game and can be challenging to outplay. Instead, focus on identifying recreational or less-experienced players who are more likely to make mistakes or exhibit predictable patterns. By avoiding confrontations with pros, you minimize the risk of being outmatched and increase your overall profitability. Naturally, if a favourable scenario crops up, take advantage but avoid the nitty gritty battles that some ego-centric players often get into with pros.

Buying In Deep

Buying in for the maximum allowed amount in a live poker game provides several advantages. By having a larger stack, you increase your potential for winning big pots and maximizing your profits. Additionally, a deep stack allows you to leverage implied odds—the potential future winnings you can extract from opponents when you hit strong hands. Playing deep-stacked also grants you more manoeuvrability and flexibility in your decision-making, giving you a significant edge over shorter-stacked opponents.

buying in deep

Targeting Fish Players for Implied Odds

Fish players, referred to as recreational or inexperienced players, tend to play a wide range of hands and make costly mistakes. When seated at a table with fish players, focus on playing speculative hands with high implied odds. These hands have the potential to win significant pots when you hit strong combinations, as fish players are more likely to overvalue their hands or pay off big bets. Patience and selecting the right spots to extract maximum value are key when targeting fish players.

Employing a High C-Betting Frequency

The continuation bet, or c-bet, involves betting on the flop as the initial aggressor, regardless of whether your hand improved or not. In live poker games, where players often exhibit passivity and tend to fold to aggression, employing a high c-betting frequency can be highly profitable. This strategy puts pressure on opponents, capitalizing on their tendency to fold weak hands and allowing you to win pots uncontested. However, it’s important to exercise discretion and adjust your c-betting frequency based on table dynamics and opponent tendencies. If you’re up against a calling station, you may want to relax your c-betting when you have total air as you’ll just be spewing chips.


By incorporating these strategies into your live poker game, you can significantly enhance your chances of beating your opponents and increasing your profits. Remember to remain adaptable, observe your opponents’ behavior, and adjust your strategy accordingly to exploit their weaknesses.

In conclusion, to beat live poker games, it’s crucial to adopt a well-rounded strategy that combines smart decision-making, table selection, and exploiting opponents’ tendencies. Utilize iso-raises to isolate weaker players, avoid experienced pros, buy in deep for maximum advantage, target fish players for implied odds, and employ a high c-betting frequency to maintain aggression and put pressure on your opponents. With practice and a disciplined approach, you can become a formidable force at the live poker table.

Narciso Baldo is the Director and Head Coach of Texas Hold'em Questions. He has been playing poker for over 16 years. After spending many years as a professional, he now runs UK poker training site Texas Hold'em Questions. Narciso regularly writes poker articles sharing tips, strategy, news and experience with gambling enthusiasts. Narciso also writes for reputable gambling portal Casino City Times, (bio here). Contact: