Though there are many similarities to playing poker online and playing poker face-to-face, there are some significant differences to the online version that players should be aware of. If you’ve always played poker in a casino and have thought about playing it online, here are some pointers to consider:
Just because the chips aren’t in front of you doesn’t mean you aren’t playing with real money. When playing online, some players lose track of the fact that they are playing with real money because the chips aren’t physically sitting in front of them. Don’t make the mistake of playing online poker like you were playing a teenager’s video game. The money is real, and if you are going to play poker online you must take it as seriously as you do in a face-to-face game.
Related to the previous tip, don’t play every hand just because you’re bored. It is more difficult to fold while facing a computer screen than it is to fold when facing a card table of your peers. Something about not being able to see and really interact with the other players affects the way you play the game. While this may be human nature, this compulsion can be controlled with discipline and practice.
Got a calculator, well go use it! One of the benefits of playing poker online is that no one will know or care if you use a calculator to figure out your hand odds. Some online poker sites even provide the odds for you as well as other helpful calculations. Use these tools and resources to your advantage and don’t shy away from them. It’s a guarantee that other online players will be making decisions based on these calculations, and you should too.
Along these same lines, take time to make appropriate notes while playing online poker. Some players make notes about their opponents or about how many times they folded, raised, went all-in, etc. By taking notes, you can go back later and review your play and make changes to improve it. Because you’re playing online, no one will know that you’re taking notes on them so you’ll have the upper hand the next time you face off against an opponent.
Advices for Playing Tournament Poker Online
Online tournament play is not for every poker player for various reasons. Some people prefer the face-to-face interactions of playing live poker while others simply lack the patience and staying power to be successful in online poker tournaments. Yet for those who enjoy online poker tournaments, here are some tips that can help your game.
Realize that tournament play differs from cash game play on various levels including mentality, strategy, attitude, betting style and more. Think of a cash game as a 100-yard dash and the tournament as a 10K run. You don’t start out sprinting giving it all you got when you have 10 kilometers to run, do you? The same can be said of tournament play poker. Start out slow, make moves decisively rather than reactively and remember to pace yourself. Otherwise, you won’t make it until the final table, which is the only way to win a tournament game.
Betting smart is crucial for tournament game success. Each bet must be mathematically sound and stand up to analysis otherwise you will likely lose your chips too soon. In Texas Hold’em, for instance, if you choose to bet after the flop, you must ensure that you bet at least one-third of the pot so as not to draw people in and increase the risk of you losing the pot. Furthermore, when you think you have the best hand at the table and go to make your bet, make sure you bet a good amount so that your opponents will be reluctant to call.
Know your odds and know them well. One of the worst things a player can do is show that he is uncertain about the odds of his hand. Make a decision based on calculated odds and make it decisively.
Nine times out of ten in tournament play, it is better to be the better than to be the caller – this is especially true in all-in situations. Take advantage of this situation when it presents itself rather than playing timidly in this advantageous spot. Remember, your goal is to avoid a battle and to have your opponents fold instead