Online poker is one of the most popular gambling activities around the world. Of course, people were playing poker long before the World Wide Web was invented, but it seems that the Internet has managed to improve and upgrade the gameplay. Today, poker players from around the world can enter tournaments or play in virtual poker rooms at any time of the day from any place they want with players from other countries. This poker guide for beginners will teach you this: How to play poker and get started towards becoming a winning player.
Obviously, playing online poker is easy, but what about winning at online poker? To win at online poker you need a good strategy, practice and a little bit of luck. If you are interested in learning how to improve your chances of winning at online poker, we suggest our guide. We have created a list of six useful tips that can help any online poker player regardless of their experience, skills, and goals.
1. Small Stakes & Bankroll Management
The size of the stakes you are using, as well as the bankroll itself, are two very important things in the process of playing online poker. When it comes to stakes, it’s best to start small. You should keep in mind that playing poker, be it offline or online, is about patience. You can’t expect to win big after a few hands. By placing small stakes, you will be able to practice the game without taking big risks. On the other hand, if you are using big stakes, you can burn your bankroll very fast. In addition, even if you are confident that you know the game, there’s always a chance that you will lose concentration or simply start playing bad. Even in situations like this, small stakes can prevent big losses. After a while, when you feel that you have enough experience and you are ready to invest more money in this activity, then you can gradually increase the size of the stakes. Remember that the higher the stakes, the more pros that are lurking for fresh fish to exploit.
As for bankroll management, this is one of the crucial things for every poker player. To put it in simple words, a bankroll is money that you’ve set aside strictly for playing online poker. This is usually money that you can afford to lose. It’s wise to set a limit on the size of your stakes and this limit should be related to the size of the bankroll. Typically, experienced players are using a small percentage of their bankrolls for every stake. This percentage is around 2% to 5%. In this way, even if you are out of luck or something else is making you lose all the time, your bankroll won’t be affected on a large scale. In case you’ve noticed that things are not going well for you at the table, you should move down in stakes and vice versa. But, never go over the limit. As the name suggests, the poker bankroll should be used only for poker games. If you want to play other games, you should create a different bankroll. For the best results, you should keep track of your poker sessions. This will help you determine the bankroll for the next year.
2. Poker Tracking Software
One of the benefits of playing online poker is that you can use software solutions to improve your results. We are talking about completely legal solutions like poker tracking software. As the name suggests, this is a software option that basically records your activities when you are playing poker online. It also records the activities of other poker players. To get the best results, you should play a few hundred hands (at least one thousand hands according to some experts). When the program has information from so many hands, it can provide useful suggestions that will help you start winning at online poker.
It turns out that there are many different benefits of using software like this. For example, poker tracking software will help you record and monitor literally every hand while you are playing. You will get a log of all the losses and wins and precise information about when and where these wins and losses have happened. Next, with just a few clicks, you will find data about the best and worst hands you had. Of course, you can list this information based on the time when you have played or the online poker room where you were playing. There are many software solutions that will record the best hands of players and turn them into high-res videos. As a result of that, you will be able to find out more about the weaknesses and mistakes you’ve made. It can be very difficult to determine something like this while you are playing. You can also record the game of other players and analyze their strategies. With a good poker tracking software solution, you will get data about every aspect of the game – raises, bets flops, etc. So, you can use it to avoid professionals and winning players and helps you find fish.
In the last two decades, companies have released a few different trackers. PokerTracker 4 for example, is one of the most used applications of this kind. It works well with a few different kinds of online poker including pot-limit, limit, and no-limit cash games, multi-table tournaments and sit n’ go’s. Visit https://www.pokertracker.com/
Holdem Manager 2 is another popular software solution. It comes with a HUD (Heads Up Display) feature that highlights crucial info about all the players at the table. This software has user-friendly interface and any person, even those that don’t have experience can learn how to use it without any problems.
Finally, there’s PokerStove, a poker tracking software that helps players with the math side of the game. With its help, players can calculate equity vs range. Based on community cards, PokerStove can calculate pre-flop and post-flop equity.
3. Read Poker Books
Even if you are a seasoned poker player, you will have to upgrade your knowledge all the time if you want to stay on top. There are many things that you can do to achieve this objective and one of the most used options that many professional poker players are using is reading poker books. Before you purchase a book dedicated to poker, it’s the best idea to check the content. Not all books are good for poker players of all levels. Some of them are created for beginners while others are designed for pro players. There are also poker books focused on specific types of poker. Now let’s check some of the best poker books at the moment.
One of the most popular books of all time dedicated to poker is The Theory of Poker: A Professional Poker Player Teaches You How to Think Like One by David Sklansky. Even though this book was released back in 1987, it contains tips and advice that’s still relevant. Obviously, the author didn’t have online players in mind when he was writing it, but most of the tips will work in online poker games too. What’s great is that this book is not preparing players for a specific type of poker – it works for draw, stud, lowball and razz poker too. Thanks to this book, you will find out how to bluff, raise, evaluate hands and more.
If you want to check something newer, then you can purchase No Limit Hold’Em for Advanced Players by Matt Janda. This book was published in 2017, but it became an instant hit among poker players who enjoy no limit hold’em poker. You can tell by the title, that this poker book is not written for beginners. In it, you will find information about complex strategies and tactics that you can use against other advanced players. It’s interesting that the author advises players to use software programs to become better players which means that the book is relevant for both conventional and online players. From counter strategies and high variance play to equity and overbets – you will find useful information all over this book.
To play like a pro, you have to take advice from a pro. Super System: A Course in Power Poker is a poker book written by a well-known poker player – Doyle Brunson. He has won a couple of world championships and hundreds of poker games. In Super System, you will find out how and when to call, raise, fold and other things. The book is designed for lowball, 7-card stud high/low, draw and hold’em players. Remember that these are just some of the many helpful poker books out there.
4. Join a Poker Forum
There are some people who believe that the rise of social media platforms has made online forums obsolete, but they are wrong. There are still hundreds of active online forums with thousands of players and some of them are focused on poker. So, if you want to improve your game and start winning at online poker, then you might want to check these poker forums and join them.
The best of these forums work like relatively small, but helpful communities where players are willing to share their experience with other players. Chatting with other players and learning from their mistakes can help you right away. If you have any questions, forum members will be glad to answer you. Of course, they will expect the same from you, so don’t hesitate to become an active member. Remember that you can get the best tips from forum members that have a long history on the site and strong reputation. To help you get the most from these forums, we will mention a few of them.
First of all, there’s TwoPlusTwo. This is a poker forum that exists for years now and they have the largest base of fans. The good thing about it is that the forum is organized well and you can find sub-forums for different topics. Of course, there’s a search box too. Due to the fact that there are many players on this forum, you have to be careful about who you are getting advice from.
PocketFives is another interesting forum for poker players. What makes it unique is the presence of many experienced tournament players. So, if you are into tournaments, you will find useful information here. In addition to the experience shared by users, you will find updated info about tournament results, feature tournaments and other things that can help you as a poker player.
There’s PokerVIP too. To be honest, this is actually a site for poker players where they can find useful guides, coaching options and reviews of poker websites, but their forum is equally useful. Take some time, do some research and find the poker forum that suits your needs and goals. Visit https://www.twoplustwo.com/
5. Distraction Free Setup
To become a successful poker player, you need many things including a high level of focus. We are living in a world where distractions can pop up out of nowhere at any time of the day. The problem is even greater when we are trying to stay focused at home. Of course, online poker can be played on a mobile device outside of your home, but in most cases, online poker players are playing from their homes. If you want to win at online poker, you must prevent distractions. For starters, you have to keep your desk clear of clutter. Are there any books or magazines sitting on your desk? Remove them and place them where they belong. Remember that your objective is to create a positive environment for playing poker.
If you are like most people, then you probably have a habit of checking your email all the time. But, is it really necessary to do this every five minutes? Unless you are waiting for an important email, you should limit this practice to once an hour or every two hours. Another thing that can help you in this process is to stay away from social media platforms. Surely, it looks fun to play online poker and browse the news feed on your Facebook profile, but this is something that can distract you. If you are not paying enough attention to the game, you will eventually start losing money.
As a matter of fact, you should stay away from multitasking in general. If you think that you don’t have time for something else in your life, limit the sessions. Play for an hour or two a day and use the rest of the day for something else. Just stick to the time that you have allotted for this activity. Multi-tasking will not only affect your poker game in a negative way, but it will also prevent you to finish whatever else you are doing in the right way.
Finally, it’s a good move to turn off your smartphone alerts. The vibration or the short sounds that your device makes whenever there is something new on one of your apps will definitely distract you. Don’t forget that you can always set a mode on your smartphone that will allow you to receive only urgent calls or calls from specific contacts.
6. Play Live Poker
Let’s be honest here – live poker won’t cease to exist simply because online poker is better. There are many advantages of playing poker over the Internet, but there are still a few things that make live poker in land-based casinos special. One of them is the atmosphere and excitement that players feel while they are competing with other players or dealers face to face.
So, if you have a casino close to your home, it’s worth visiting your local casino from time to time. In this way, you can keep your game sharp. You can also test the things you’ve learned online in the real world. As we have mentioned before, many of the things that are working for online poker are working in live poker games too. This means that you can become a better live poker player too.
When you have an opportunity to play in local casinos and online, you should use that opportunity. By playing poker games at online casinos and land-based casinos, you will notice the similarities and the differences between these two forms of pokers. While it’s true that most players prefer online poker, there are some players that are fans of live poker. By experiencing these two things you will be able to make the right decision and choose the poker game and type of poker that suits you.
Winning at online poker is not an easy task. It takes patience, discipline and strategy to start getting positive results. With the right approach, you should be able to become an experienced poker player that doesn’t make mistakes. You should remember that even the most experienced players have bad days and that no one can win at online (or live) poker all the time. What matters the most is having a positive record.