10 tips for winning online poker
I bought a great book called "Beat Texas
Hold'em" by Tom McEvoy and Shane Smith. Due to copyright laws I cannot post verbatim what he writes and this post should be NO
substitiue for buying this book. Having said that, I will paraphrase a few of these tips in order to give some much needed information to members here. Specifically, this information relates to the game of Online Hold'em.
I decided to post this for the simple fact that I know that others don't buy and read these books, which is crazy, but true. If this thread is received well, I will post my little book reviews or cliffs-notes on future occasions and on different books in my library. So here goes, enjoy!
Bear in mind that this is more for the beginner and not the advanced skil levels.
Concentrate your table position and
strong starting hands
This is a common rule and one that should be adheared to if one is to become a sucessful online poker player. This is due to the fact that most online players are involved in way to many pots and see way too many flops, mainly with marginal to weak starting hands. It is permissiable to play marginal hands in late position when there is no action in front of you. The way to beat these super-loose online players is to just tighten up and wait for the right cards at the right time so you can felt someone.
Avoid playing too lose online
Again, this goes back to tightening up your play against these super-loose online players. In the long-run you, as a tighter more disciplined player, will be more successful and take down more pots. These loose-as-a-goose players try to see way too many pots, maybe because of the low limits, maybe because of the action. Whatever the reason, tighten up your play and take down those pots.
Practice reading the flop
Since the speed of online play is part of its allure, the games move at a much faster pace. Being able to immediately scan a flop and determine the "nuts" or best possible hand, is imperative. Does the flop have a possible straight or flush draw? Who may have hit the flop? More importantly, who missed the flop all together? McEvoy reccomends sitting out a few rounds the first time you start a game or new table session to get a feel for the style of play you're up against.
Adjust to the speed of the online game
This one is pretty self explainitory, but important still. In a Brick & Mortar casino a player can expect to see around 30 hands an hour. This number can be expected to easily hit 50 hands per hour in an online casino and one must be able to adjust to the faster pace. There are several reasons for this, first, the online "dealer" is much faster than a live dealer in a casino. Second, there is a time clock that immediatelt begins to run as soon as the action is on you which causes an annoying beep when you have delayed too long. If a decision isn't made 10-20 seconds after this period, the players hand is automatically folded and play continues. There is a way around this however, a player may request an additional period of time when faced with a very tough situation such as an all-in call. This feature is available on most gambling websites.
Take notes when you play
This one, in my opinion, is a biggie. On most sites there is a little "notes" box that you can click on and jot down small tidbits of information along and along during a game. An example of this would be keeping a list of hands that a particular player shows down. Another example would be to keep track of your own play so that you can review it at a later time and fine-tune your play. Also, when playing online at a particular site, one will notice that at certain limits and in certain rooms, it is common to see the same players so keeping track of their betting patterns and what hands they show down is extremely helpful. To this I would add: there are a few great programs out there that auto track lots of information, one must just be certain not to become dependent on this software and use it strictly as a supplement.
Look for tells
While tells are typically reserved for live games, there is information one can garner from other players online. When you flop a pair and check from first position, if the table checks all the way around rapidly, it denotes the use of the automatic-check button, which can usually signify weakness. Also, when a player takes a fair amount of time before bringing his hand in for a raise, be sure to keep track of that hand at the showdown, so next time you have a better idea of what he might be holding when he pauses before coming in for a raise.
Play smaller tournaments first
The reasons for this are many, but mainly to gain confidence at the lower levels if you are able to dominate them. Playing in these small buy-in tournaments, one can receive a ton of experience for just a little bit of cash, with incentive to win some pretty decent prizes if you make it to the end.
Schedule your tournament play
There are so many tournaments online, scheduling them and remembering which ones you have scheduled is difficult. Also when scheduling, remember to leave your schedule open so that you can be assured sufficient time to finish a tournament that you start rather than having to watch the clock.
Don't play poker to escape other things
Don't play when you are in the midst of an argument or to avoid doing something that is wieghing on your mind. You cannot, and will not play your best game if you are preoccupied with something else. If you must play when preoccupied, do so at a lower limit table so that you can handle the swings in your bankroll without really being affected by them.
Don't put more cash in your online account than you can afford to lose
This is a bankroll management tip, but very important nonetheless. This is an often ignored rule strictly because we as humans, tend to chase our losses or move up in limits to recoup a loss at a lower limit game more quickly. Always remember to quit when your situation has deteriorated to the point where you are "on tilt" or making bad decisions. Chasing cards, making bad calls, or playing inferior hands. In short, don't use the grocery money to gamble with, and when your allotted gambling money is gone, don't throw good money (not planned for gambling) after it.
I hope these tips can help some of the forum members and if this is accepted well, I will delve deeper into my personal library and take excerpts from great poker books
I have read, and summarize them for the members here in an easy to read, simple format. Enjoy. Your comments and suggestions are appreciated.