7 Tips For Playing Poker Online
It is quite possible to be a solid live Poker player and then for your game to fall apart once you get into an online room. The vast majority of players playing poker are losing online because they do not understand the fundamentals differences between online and live or they do not have enough discipline in their game.
Here are Beat That Deal’s top 7 tips for playing Poker online:
1. Understand the differences between online and live Poker before you start
The main differences are timing, pace, quality of opponents, the variance of play and the rate at which you can get through your bankroll. In the online game the speed is much faster, and the pressure to act against the clock, which doesn’t exist in live games, can be daunting. When you couple this with multiple gaming you have a massively increase HPH (hand per hour) rate. You can get through your bankroll pretty quickly at this increased rate so you must manage it with that in mind.
For more on the main differences between online and live Poker check out this article
2. Treat it like a job and create a conducive play environment
As anyone who has ever worked from home knows only too well, it is very easy to fall into bad habits. Especially when you don’t have to turn up for the job. Online Poker is similar in that, to be successful, you have to employ a bit of discipline, show up to the table as if it were a job.
It includes avoiding distractions like Tinder, the telephone or television, so put all those devices away while you’re playing Poker. It is advisable to get yourself comfortable at a desk rather than slouched on the sofa, if only to protect your back, and keep the environment positive, just as you would any workstation. Keep yourself fed and watered (never drunk) and take regular comfort breaks. The more professional your approach, the more likely you will be to succeed.
3. Start with low-stakes
It is the way to find your feet if you are a newcomer or switching from live games to online for the first time. Low-stakes games allow you to play with a more modest bankroll and take the stress out losing. Giving you the chance to hone your game, play some solid Poker and get used to the differences between bricks-and-mortar and virtual poker rooms. When you are feeling more comfortable with your online game, you can progress through the stakes.
4. Don’t dive straight in on multiple tables
Ease yourself gently into the online environment. Even hang back on the multi-table play until you feel at ease and you are playing solidly on one table. It may well be tempting to ignore this advice because of increased volume, of course, means an increase in your potential winnings. But, remember that this particular aspect of the online game works both ways.
5. When you are ready to move onto multi-tabling.
If you get the stage where you are getting bored between hands and looking for distractions, you are probably ready to start playing Poker on multiple tables. The pros will often play four tables at a time allowing them the chance to win more per hour. You should start with two and build on it from there. It may well be that you perform better when focussed on only one table.
6. Watch and learn
Even when the pros aren’t playing Poker, they are watching the action and so should you. When you are a relative beginner, it is hard to focus on anything else but what is going on with you and your hand.
If you just want to win then playing Poker on the most popular sites is the route to take as it is there that you will find amateurs in their droves playing bad Poker. If you want to watch and learn from best, then check out the higher-stakes games. You’ll notice that the pros tend to play quite tight online. However, they will also mix it up to keep opponents guessing.
Another thing you’ll note is that because there are so many bad players online, willing to call large amounts, slow play strategy should give way to betting big.
7. Take advantage of the software
There are various software options available to assist your game. As long as it is allowed by the site, you are playing on you should have no qualms about using it. Your opponents won’t think twice about using technology to gain an edge so neither should you. Here’s an idea of what’s available:
Built-in software on Poker sites, such as note-taking and colour coding to keep track of the play patterns of opponents who you may come up against again in the future and rate them by the level of play, which can be a huge help in table selection. Some sites have built-in odds calculators which can help with your pre-flop hand decisions. Knowing the odds offers a great advantage not available to you in the live game.
Premium software options include Hold Em Manager and Poker Tracker who both offer a 30 free trial and allow you to keep track of the games that you have played with certain opponents as well as enabling you to replay old hands and tournaments, which is a great way to analyse and improve your own game. There are some similar free programs out there for those not quite ready to invest in the paid versions. Look into Universal Replayer.
More experienced players will be interested in software that can increase their efficiency when multi-tabling, such as Table Ninja. It will automatically open tables, manage waiting lists and sit & go registration, bet sizes and handle your time bank, Auto Hot Keys to automate repetitive tasks and Place Mint to help you organise your Poker tables on screen.