One of the biggest differences between online and live poker is the ability to talk to your opponent. Sure, you can chat online, but it is not quite the same as having a face-to-face conversation.
If you mention the word poker to anybody who does not play the game, they will automatically think of the words ‘bluffing’ and ‘poker face’, and both are essential components of a great poker player.
Dissecting conversation is a great way to create a portrait of your opponent’s skills, and so here are some ideas for you.
You can learn a lot by determining whom they are talking to. If you see a player talking to a professional, for example, then it is more likely that they know what they are doing than the person talking to their Grandma.
If he is talking to a professional player, is that professional player a well-known live player or online player? Understanding his circle of friends will give you some clues to his general style of play.
Is the player talking strategy at the table? If so then keep your ears pinned back and listen to what he or she has to say.
Also, if your opponent is the type of player to openly talk about his hands, then do not be shy; ask away at every opportunity.
You can create such a great understanding of a player’s game just by asking them how they play. It is incredible how many people will just give you this information if you ask for it.