Five tips to win at online poker

Posted by admin on 23rd November 2012 in online poker

Most people think that playing online poker is the same as playing with friends or at a real card room. The reality is that there are subtle differences that determine success or failure.

1. Learn the Rules:

Many players go into online poker rooms without any knowledge of how to play poker. They assume that in a $0.5/$1 game their losses would be minimal. Little do they know that over a course of an hour, losses can add up in the hundreds. Know the ranking of poker hands, the betting rules and most importantly the rules of the particular game you are playing. I recommend that you play for fun money at the beginning and once you are familiar with the game to play in tournaments which have a nominal buy-in amount.

Once you learn the basic rules, you need to learn advanced game play. Advanced game play can be acquired through books and magazines related to poker. These include theories on bluffing, betting theory, player position etc. My basic rule for beginners is to not play too many hands. Being patient and waiting for good hands is crucial to success.

2. Money Management:

What determines the success of any gambler, investor or poker player is how they manage money. Knowing how much your bankroll is, the correct bet size related to what their bankroll is is critical. In a $0.5/$1 game I recommend that a player at minimum bring at least 50 times the upper limit (50x$1) to play an hour. Without a sufficient bankroll is it very difficult to win. Other basic money management rules such as setting a stop loss and maintaining discipline to play within your limits is crucial.

3. Tells

“Tells” are signs that indicate whether a player has a strong or weak hand. When playing poker face to face, signs such as the eyes, facial expression, trembling hands etc. can give indication to the hand a player has. Also the ability to read players based on previous hands gives good indication on the player’s tendencies.

In online poker, there are tells. The most obvious is the speed of the placed bet. This can be misleading since many players online react fast or slow because they are also engaged in other activities such as playing at another table (in online poker you can play at multiple tables simultaneously) or watching TV. In general a fast bet indicates weakness and a slow bet indicates strength however this may vary according to the level of the player.

4. Focus

Needless to say in the lower limit games most players are playing for recreation rather than profession. They are engaged in other activities such as browsing the net, watching TV, talking to friends or whatever else fancies them. In these low limit rooms it is easy to catch players making bad decisions on betting and calling. Play with focus. My strategy is to play conservatively when there are still a lot of players ( in a no-limit game) and bluff more as the number of players go down.

5. Good execution

This refers to executing the game properly. This includes not playing too many hands, knowing when to fold hands and betting properly to gain information on what a player has. In general until you acquire the required expertise, you should try to play in games where less skillful opponents linger. These are low-limit tables and less known poker rooms.

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