It’s the game that’s taking over the world, a game that has enjoyed massive growth since the early 2000s, and one that we even suggested as one of our great ideas for a group date. Yes, it seems that poker has found a new lease of life away from the smoky backrooms of bars and busy casinos. And that is in no small part thanks to the popularity of the online game.
Online poker has become one of the most popular games played on the internet (besides Fortnite of course) and, as such, there’s a lot of interest about the game and its strategies. So how do you go about winning? And is it really all about luck?
Well, before we get to the ins and outs of winning at online poker, let’s take a look at how to get started in the online version of the world’s most popular card game.
Online poker is a global game – Image credit: 888 Poker
As we mentioned earlier, online poker is now considered a global game and that popularity has seen dozens of online poker providers enter the market. Players are now spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a platform, but you should still consider your options very carefully.
Ideally, you’ll want a platform that boasts a large player database. What this means is that you want your platform to have a significant number of registered players from across the globe. This ensures that no matter when you go online, you’re pretty much always guaranteed a seat at a table.
You’ll also want to choose a provider that has a good reputation and, in this case, Google is your friend. Look for reviews on the platform and pay close attention to the options for making deposits and for the payout times. Remember though that one bad review shouldn’t cloud your judgment. A major platform will always have a few disgruntled customers or the odd problem here and there. However, if the majority of the reviews are positive, then you should be good to go.
Take advantage of free resources
A good online poker platform will have tons of free resources that will help both new and seasoned players improve their game. Poker providers want you to play well. After all, someone has to win the pot.
With this in mind, they produce tutorials and guides that cover everything from basic hand values to in-depth strategies. Some will even teach you about bluffing and controlling your emotions (more on that later).
If you want to win at online poker, the best thing you can do is take advantage of these free resources. Even if you’re quite good at home games with your buddies, you never know what you might pick up in a tutorial.
Remember too, that these tutorials are often created using the input of highly successful professional poker players. No matter how good a player you are, you can always learn something new from the professionals.
Adopt the right strategy
Many people assume that poker is a game of luck but it is, in fact, a game of strategy that is right up there with the likes of chess. So with this in mind, it’s essential that you look into the various strategies in your chosen platform’s free resources. These strategies could suggest playing low stakes to win more often, or deal with how aggressively you play a hand.
It’s difficult to suggest one strategy over another, as the approach you take will depend on a lot of factors such as your experience, your budget, and your style of play.
An interesting thing to note is that while novice players might not realize it, a great strategy for online poker is to limit your bluffing. If you over-do it with your bluffs, you may become too easy to read and, as you can imagine, that’s a very bad thing indeed. This is one of the most common mistakes that a novice will make because, let’s face it, unless you know better, most of us assume poker is all about the bluff. Don’t fall into that trap.
Once you have decided on a strategy that suits, stick to it. Of course, you may have to adapt your play when the unexpected happens but your overall strategy should stay the same.
Keep your emotions in check
Don’t let losing get to you
Poker is a game that can stir up the emotions. From satisfaction to frustration, joy to outright anger; you’re going to go through the whole rollercoaster ride of emotions. But it’s hugely important that you learn to keep those emotions in check. Online poker is a game of logical outcomes and so you should take a logical and analytical approach to it.
Accept that you will lose a certain percentage of your games and treat each loss as an opportunity to learn. Analyze your performance and the decisions you made and adjust your approach so that the next time a similar situation arises, you won’t make the same mistake. As a matter of fact, remove emotion from your game and you’ll find that you’ll rarely make the same mistake twice.
Play some free tournaments
Now it’s time to start playing, but before you jump into some live cash games, take advantage of any free tournaments available on your platform. Some providers will host free tournaments where you play with virtual currency. This allows you to practice your strategy without running the risk of losing your bankroll.
There’s simply no substitute for playing the game when it comes to honing your skills, but at least this way there’s no risk involved. Having said that, it’s important that you try your best to play as if it were real money. There’s no point in playing reckless poker in free tournaments when you know you can’t play that way in cash games. When you are ready, you can move up to the proper games. You want to win real money, right?
Managing your bankroll
One of the best tips for winning consistently at online poker is to learn how to manage your bankroll. This means that you set yourself a budget and no matter what happens, you stick to it. As a new player, it’s often tempting to keep playing and to raise your bets in the hopes of winning back any losses, but this rarely works.
A better approach is to know when to quit and live to fight another day. If you blow your weekly online poker budget in one day, that’s a whole week away from the tables.
If you’re clever, you’ll find a platform that offers you a deposit match or a free bet on your first deposit. This gives you a little more to play with in your first day or two of poker which, if you’re a novice, could be a great help.
So to sum it all up, if you want to win at online poker, you need to pay close attention to your strategy, keep your emotions in check, and keep control of your bankroll. Most importantly though is that you simply must take advantage of those free resources. Poker is a game that no matter how long you play, you’re always learning. So if you want to win, listen to the pros and take on board what they have to say.