Guide to Playing Poker Online – Part 1
Welcome to part 1 of Online Casino Reviewer’s guide to playing poker online. I hope the information contained in these two pages will benefit you at the poker tables and make you a better all round Online Poker Player.
Fold Bad Hands
When you’re dealt trashy hands, fold like Superman on laundry day! Resist the temptation to toss in a chip ‘just see the flop’. Sometimes you will get lucky, but staying in without a decent pocket cards will cost you money in the long run.
Bluffing with rags can work at the higher stakes tables, but at the lower limits, people will pay to see you and over time you will lose out.
Raise Good Hands
When the time comes and you’re holding an unbeatable hand, make sure that you make others pay dearly to see it. Raise as much as you think your opponent will call. If your opponents are playing aggressively, check to feign weakness and when they raise, go for the kill and go all in.
Don’t Pick Fights
You don’t have to play for long to work out who the strongest players on the table are. No matter how tempting it is, don’t be drawn into trying to beat them. Basically do not play poker like it is an arm wrestling contest.
If you are unable to beat the other hands, then don’t join them. Fold your cards and save your chips. Chips saved are as important as chips won. In fact, this principle goes double if you’re playing in a tournament whereby chips equal power. In tourneys, it hurts more to have your stack cut in half than it helps to go up by 50%.
Take it easy, don’t let yourself go tilt. This may be a cliché piece of poker advice, but it is so important. If you are playing badly, or differently to how you normally play then take a break. If you can crack this, you’ll have the march on 95% of other poker players.
Time Your Moves
Timing is important! Take the same amount of time to play each hand. Don’t use the Bet or Fold check boxes, but wait five seconds for each hand. It will keep you from giving your opponents a read on your hand, as well as adding discipline to your game. You might even toss that Q8 Off-suit that you would have with.
Play Against Poor Players
Don’t play in a game against people that are better than you. It sounds wimpy, but wouldn’t you rather be winning like a wimp than losing like a hot shot? try a few different poker sites to see which ones have the loosest games. Think like a rookie: which site would you pick? The sites with the current interface? The best sign-up bonus? The secret to winning money consistently in poker is to find players who play worse than you do.
Don’t Marry Your Cards
Don’t get emotionally attached to your hand. You must be able to throw down your cards when it’s obvious that you are beaten, no matter how good a hand you started with. A good example is when you have a strong pocket pair, but several others have put in huge raises before you.
Play When You Are Happy
A good rule to remember is to give playing online poker a miss when you’re feeling low, bored or tired. You won’t have fun, and you’re more likely to lose! This is one of the most important rules in poker – and if you can master this you’ll see your game – and that of your bankroll improve hugely.
Don’t Play Too Many Hands
It’s a simple fact of online poker that most players play way too many hands. Fortunately, you can use this to your tremendous advantage: when choosing a table to play at, many sites list the ‘players per flop; as a percentage. If you see 70% of players staying in for each flop, it’s a sure sign that they’re playing with bad cards. Keep an eye on this figure though – if the table tightens up after you’ve joined don’t be afraid to hop to another, more looser one. Keep an eye on the lobby for a likely table to leap to.
If you’re having a bad time at the tables, take a break. In fact you should take breaks anyway, just to keep yourself fresh and fed. Hit the ‘sit out’ button if you’re only going to be gone for a couple of minutes, but leave the table if you are going to be gone for a longer period of time.
Take a Long Term View
You can’t expect to win every session you play. Realise that every session is part of your overall career session.
A good bluff-bet to make in Texas Hold’em is when an Ace falls on the flop. Your opponents will often fold in such a situation if they don’t have any pairs or an open ended straight, because it’s impossible for them to have any over cards when the flop contains an ace. Please note that this will only work if you’re up against many opponents, and as long as they’re not very loose players.
Beware of Re-Raises
If another player attacks you with a sudden bet or raise, take a look at how many chips they have before you throw away your cards. If he is very low on chips, there’s much more chance he’s simply bluff raising.
Don’t Attack, Defend
One key to poker is to not try to beat the other players, but to let them try to beat you. This is a great thing to remember. A good example was the $2,500 buy-in No Limit Hold’em event at the World Series of Poker. Some 1,056 contestants has been whittled down to Denmark’s Lars Bonding and California’s Farzad Bonyandi. Bonding has been dominating the final table, but as the pair went heads-up, Bonyadi tightened up and waited for him to make a mistake. After an hour he did. Bonding pushed all-in on K-3-2 flop holding Q-10. Bonyadi immediately called holding top pair – and ended the game right there.
Know The Rules
Be sure you know the rules of the game. The players who knows the rules has a decided advantage in any game against players who are vague about them.
Observe Your Opponents
Spend some time watching a table before sitting down. Are the others loose or tight players? Have them cased out before you’ve even taken your seat.
Count Your Callers
One thing that many new poker players don’t realise is that in a poker game, the value of your hand falls the more people who join the pot with you. Although it’s true that the pot will become bigger, this is balanced by the fact that you’re less likely to win it. Let people try to knock each other out if that’s how they want to play a hand: sit back and watch as your odds of winning soar.