Online poker is booming right now. This means that queue times to get into a good table will be drastically shorter and casinos are loading up on sign-up bonuses.
In 2022, this is probably a good break for many struggling to find employment, or find themselves accustomed to life indoors after being trapped inside for the pandemic. Chances are, you are a new player jumping onto the online poker craze, and while it’s fun to join in and get away with the crowd, know that the average player online is much better than they ever were before, due to the higher competition quickly weeding out the light-hearted.
To give you a well-deserved head start in playing, experiencing, and taking wins on the wonderful game that is hold’em poker, this guide will give you three tips “for the road”. And after you’re done mastering these three tips, check out this site for a really large promo offer.
1. Play Serious
Play without distractions
While this advice might sound trivial due to the fact that most people are probably picking Up poker as a side hobby, know that getting rid of your distractions immediately makes you a much better player.
Whatever your goal is, whether it is to play a certain amount of hands, cash out a certain percentage of profit, getting focused can get you there.
Firstly, being focused helps reduce the time you spend on “auto-pilot”. Not only is your money on the line, (would you try to play the stock market while juggling housework and a conference call?) playing distracted makes you a worse player and wastes your time as events at the table aren’t being absorbed and turned into experience.
Secondly, being focused helps you play faster, causing games to flow at a more manageable pace rather than feeling like the table is always passing you by out of concentration’s reach. Online poker is way faster than traditional poker, and just a few degrees of an overbet or a misjudgment could cause you the hand.
Play in the right frame of mind
Although there aren’t any real-life poker scrums eyeing you down or playing erratically to rile you up, that doesn’t mean that online poker isn’t every bit as much a mental game as physical poker.
Don’t tilt. If you come away from this article remembering anything, is that tilt, whether or not it ends up winning you money, is not worth playing through. If you feel like you may be close to being angry or emotional, you should immediately take a break.
People most often associate discipline with the doing of things just like working out and waking up on time, but discipline in poker is also the not doing of things, like cashing out and stopping play when the pressure is getting to you.
2. Play Boring
Folding pre-flop, playing tightly in early position. These are things that seem boring and counter to why you fell in love with poker in the first place, but to be a good poker player, you have to play boring, especially around unsure situations like middling hands or ambiguous bluffs.
Calling too often can lead to more post-flop folds, which starts to rack up losses as the blinds add up.
Playing only the top 10% to 20% of hands (such as high pairs, suited running numbers, and broadway) helps you pick and choose spots to enter, putting yourself at the best chance to win, and allows your experience to be more meaningful, since the times you choose to focus and play a hand, you’re playing not just for something but with something.
Calling with an uncertain hand will also lead to you losing tremendously post-flop. The worst position you can find yourself in is having called and checked into the river and then folding, realizing you never had any competitive shot in the pot. This way you learn nothing, play nothing, and lose everything.
Play one table and play it well
Discipline has been the word of this article. And, although multi-tabling has the potential to boost your earnings in the short term, in the long run, if you are just starting out, you don’t have the experience and confidence to play multiple tables and could end up with little to no experience gained.
Use outside assistance
Online poker software has gotten incredibly advanced, and using such tools that are publicly and easily available can help track your own playing habits as well as your opponents’. This helps you make better decisions and patch up weaknesses in your own play.
3. Play it Straight, until you don’t
One of the outsized advantages of online poker is cutting out the human factor of reading and giving tells. Even if you’re a great player, you will unwillingly give off physical tells to opponents who can, in a moment of weakness, use them to swing the tables.
As a beginner to online poker, understand that bluffing is way more common than in-person, and learning to recognize common bluff behavior, like severely overbetting and inconsistent bet sizes based on pot odds can help you get easy wins off of inexperienced players.
Play low, and be rabid.
As mentioned before, you should be playing one table, low-stakes, consistently, and play only good hands. Instead of calling in all the time with poor hands, save your play for when you are dealt competitive hands, and attack. Low-stakes are best for new players since they are getting used to the nature and flow of such tables
No matter what your personality might be like away from the table, at the table you must embody a rabid dog, always looking out for weaknesses like overbetting, limping, and opponents being inconsistent throughout their play, and exploit that by luring them in and chasing them down.
Focus on winning pots, entering pots aggressively, and not participating in as many pots as you can.
In this boom of online poker, sign-up rewards and this influx of wannabe low-stakes newbies trying to bluff and cheat pots, being level-headed and boring will help you rise above such players and amass wins that will help you learn how to play.
Remember. Play it boring, play it seriously, but don’t always play it straight. If you do, you’ll find yourself being flushed out.