Online poker is quietly experiencing a massive resurgence. That means many casual and advanced live players are making a move to the online poker rooms.
There’s no disputing that online games provide a different set of challenges than live poker tables. Take these top seven tips for winning at online poker to slice that learning curve and begin winning money now.
1 – Become a Student
Successful poker players are continually evolving and improving their game. You need to develop a thirst for knowledge.
There is a nearly endless stream of resources to tap into for improving your skillset when playing poker. All you need is an internet connection or a library card.
There was a time not long ago that merely reading any poker book on the planet would put you far ahead of your competition. The climate has changed.
Today’s players focus on seeking out the latest trends and strategies. You’ll need to pore over starting hand charts, trends, and hand histories to get the upper hand.
Many players will spend the money to join an online training site or even hire a poker coach. Of course, anytime you start paying to learn a game, you’re cutting into your profits.
I suggest you read everything you can about poker theory and tactics. This book study will put you ahead of enough players that you should be able to become a winner.
Another incredible resource for many is YouTube. Watching the top pros do in-depth hand reviews can provide tremendous insight. For many intermediate players, this is where things begin to click.
Watching what the top players do can be useful, but understanding why they do it can be precious intel.
Always strive to learn as much as possible away from the table, and it will pay dividends when it’s game time.
2 – Create a Home Poker Room
You don’t have to fly in architects and interior designers to transform your bedroom or office into a lavish Vegas-style poker room.
What I’m talking about here is an area free from distractions.
It’s easy to fall into bad habits when you ditch the casino for online games. The biggest pitfalls facing online poker players are watching television, being on the phone, and spacing out in general.
If you have a family, I suggest you wait to play when nobody is around. Having a toddler wreaking havoc in the next room can throw any player off their game.
Ensure the room is well lit to keep you alert, and it may benefit you to have a small cooler with bottled water.
The key is to build an environment where you’re free to focus on every hand played. Any distractions will eventually lead to a mistake.
Sometimes, you may avoid making a misplay, but you could miss a crucial piece of information that will benefit you down the road.
Maintain a professional approach to your poker game, and you’ll start winning more often.
3 – Master Bankroll Management
For online poker players, the most crucial element of bankroll management is playing within your bankroll.
Most online players will start at the $1/$2 tables. This is a perfect point to begin your online poker career for a few reasons.
First, it gives you a chance to learn the nuances of online poker for relatively cheap. You don’t want to make a mistake due to inexperience on a high limit table.
Secondly, you can establish a solid baseline for measuring your success. Starting on the low limit tables is a great way to measure success before moving up in stakes.
When you’ve established yourself as a consistent winner on one table, you can then confidently move up to a higher table.
This takes weeks, not hours. So, be patient and play the lower tables until you’ve shown continued success.
Playing in tournaments can be a little tricky. If you’re playing the $1/$2 tables and suddenly, a tournament pops up for $500. That’s a pretty significant leap.
However, a $50 or even $100 tournament can be well within your bankroll.
I recommend reviewing the risk vs. reward factor for the buy-in and payout for the event. Then you can decide if the buy-in makes sense.
For cash games, I suggest you log at least 7,000 hands before you leap the next stakes. This large sample size will ensure that a lucky run or awful players don’t skew your data.
4 – Stick to a Small Number of Tables
I’ll admit, I’m terrible at multi-tabling. It’s hard to say, but it’s the truth.
I get so wrapped up in my hand and watching how all of the other players act that I forget about my other hand. I suppose it comes from my tendency to become hyper-focused, at least that’s what I prefer to tell myself.
The fact is that far too many players will have 2, 3, or more tables going simultaneously.
This multi-tabling aspect is unique to online poker. You’ll never see a player jump up from one table, sprint across the casino poker room, and check their hand on another table.
Online poker offers all of the action you can handle and, in many cases, more than you can take.
Playing multiple tables is a fantastic way to battle variance and win more. However, this isn’t a task for the casual or novice online poker player.
You’ll need to be sure to ease into multi-tabling. It can increase your wins, but you’ll also be making yourself more vulnerable.
5 – Learn to Navigate the Highs and Lows
The variance of low-stakes poker is tremendous, especially in tournaments.
You’re faced with a sea of opponents to wade through, and you’ll soon learn that many of these players can be impossible to place on a hand.
It’s a challenge that can have a significant impact on a player’s short-term success. In fact, successful players must learn to weather the ebb and flow of online poker.
Novice players are far more likely to call your all-in bet than a skilled player. Unless you’re clearly bluffing, but that can be difficult to navigate in online games.
Of course, having novice players call your large bets will be advantageous in the long run. Unfortunately, it can create some pretty severe swings in a small sample size.
To manage these ups and downs, you need to not only maintain a healthy bankroll. It would be best if you were mentally prepared for the challenge.
Resisting the temptation to go on tilt after some scrub calls your all-in with 2/7 and catches a hand can be intricate. Still, if you understand that the next 20 times that happens, they’ll be out, you’ll be much better off in the end.
6 – Prepare Your Body for a Long Table Session
Online poker, much like playing live poker gambling in a casino, can be a grind. This is especially true for tournaments.
The most massive online poker tournaments are often low buy-in events with hundreds of players. Sometimes, these numbers climb into the thousands.
Wading through the competition can take a toll mentally and physically. You should make sure to be well-rested before you sit down for a tournament session.
Your body can’t perform its best on rest alone. A healthy meal before you get started can provide a boost in alertness and an overall pleasant feeling.
I also recommend ditching the alcohol. Tournaments may last over 10 hours, and those two drinks may not have too much of an impact. But if you’ve still got the glass in hand around hour six, it could impact your play.
Look, I’m not here to have you instituting massive lifestyle changes. However, I want you to understand the importance of being prepared for what will hopefully be a deep run into the money.
7 – Keep Detailed Records
Keeping detailed records of your online poker sessions will be among the most beneficial endeavors for your long-term success.
You shouldn’t merely jot down how much you win or lose on scrap paper. This information is vital, but to maximize your effort; you must go deeper.
The more intricate records you keep, the better this information will serve you in the future.
I like to track not only how much I win or lose, but what game I was in, how long my session was, and when I played.
I keep track of the date, but I’ve found knowing what time of day it was can be more advantageous.
Human nature is to expand the good and diminish the bad. This may have devastating consequences for poker players.
We must be completely aware of our failures and successes, our strengths and weaknesses.
These top seven tips for winning at online poker will get new players started in a winning direction. Online poker veterans can sometimes use a refresher or to implement a new dimension to their approach.
In either case, you’ll take more wins and diminish your losses by being prepared.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. …