It is often assumed that poker is simply a game of luck, but this is not strictly true. There are various playing strategies that can increase your chances of winning back your stake and making a profit. On the other hand, playing online poker can be financially draining if you do not really know what you are doing. This article offers some advice on becoming a successful online poker player.
Getting started with online poker
You are likely to be burned if you try to jump straight into playing online poker without learning the basics first as the more experienced players will usually be able to spot your lack of knowledge and experience and use it to their advantage. Because of this, it is far better to spend time getting to grips with the ins and outs of playing online poker before you commit yourself.
1. Start with free games
If you are a newcomer to playing online poker, it is a good idea to use free games to fully familiarize yourself with the rules before you start playing for money. There are various websites that offer the opportunity to play online poker for free, and these are an ideal starting point for learning the ropes without losing out. Move on to the more advanced options once you feel that you have mastered the beginner games, but do not feel obliged to graduate to the paying games until you are fully comfortable.
If you choose to participate in one of the “freeroll” tournaments that are offered by some of the free poker websites, you can even win money without risking any of your own. You will often have to download poker software to take part in these games but it offers an opportunity to play risk-free online poker. Be aware that as these games are free, they will tend to attract plenty of other competitors, and this can make it difficult to win.
2. Do some background research
While you are participating in the free games, make a point of learning as much as you can about playing online poker. For example, books and blogs offer advice on tricks such as the best ways to bluff and when to hold firm. In some countries, specialist poker magazines are available to provide tips and advice for both beginners and the more advanced. Alternatively, you may want to look out for books that have been written by highly successful poker players.
If you know people who are good at playing online poker, it is worth trying to pick their brains to gain valuable hints and tips. As long as you will not be playing directly against one another in online poker games, he or she may be willing to offer some advice. In addition, many poker websites have a chat facility during games, and you can
3. Take notes
This is particularly important if you are still getting to grips with playing online poker. Experts suggest that you get into the habit of noting every single tip and trick that you pick up during your background research and while you are learning the ropes on the free games as it can help you to formulate a game plan.
Online Poker Playing Strategies
The better online poker players have a knack of reading a given situation and using it to their advantage. Fortunately, this practice can be learnt through experience and research, so you do not necessarily need to have a natural ability to suss out the state of play.
1. Know the cards
The better poker players understand which cards to play, and which to fold. In addition to this, they can work out the rough probability of a particular card hitting the deck, which is particularly crucial during a draw or when playing against another player who is on a draw. Demonstrating patience and discipline is a key element of success in poker, and it pays to be able to spot situations where luck is not on your side and fold accordingly. Generally speaking, the poker players who engage in card counting have a much better idea of when it is better to bet or fold.
2. Know the opponents
To successfully outwit your fellow competitors, you need to study and assess your opposition, take note of their playing style and using it to your advantage. You may find that specific opponents have a tendency to fold in a particular situation. Once you have spotted the pattern, make sure that it works against him or her.
3. Know your own strengths and weaknesses
Be aware that your opponents will be assessing you in the same way that you are analyzing their every move. Because of this, it is important to see yourself through their eyes to determine whether any element of your play is predictable. If you sense that other players may be able to guess your next move, it can be worth throwing in some random moves to put them off the scent. In most cases, the key is to play aggressively without making ill-advised moves that put your position at the table at risk.