Many people new to the realm of online poker often make the mistake of considering themselves poker experts simply because they have studied the pros on TV or are able to beat their friends every now and then on “Poker Night.” Unfortunately, this usually leads to an immediate loss of money when they confidently sit down with seasoned sharks at a high-stakes online table. In order to avoid this situation and begin mastering the profitable world of online poker, players must first learn the rules of the game and become comfortable playing online against invisible players from around the world.
Practice for Free
After choosing a top online poker site and downloading the necessary software, online poker beginners should avoid the money tables and go straight to the free-play tables. Depending on the site, these tables may be called by a different name, but every leading poker site, for example bwin poker, provides players with the ability to play for free while they become comfortable with the site and hone their skills.
Free-play tables are tremendously beneficial, because they allow players to learn the ropes without risking any of their own money. The poker site that hosts the software platform should provide players with daily chips or virtual money for novices who are not quite ready to risk their own money. However, free-play poker is not an accurate representation of real poker, because when real money is involved, players tend to play a much different game.
After gaining some playing experience on free-play tables, it is time to deposit funds into the playing account and experience some real poker action. Before playing, however, a budget should be set determining how much money a player is willing to gamble with. It is rather easy to get wrapped up in emotion and excitement when playing online poker, so players need to keep their excitement levels in check and stick to their set budget. In poker, discipline is everything.
Starting off on low $0.01/$0.02 blind tables, online poker beginners should practice developing a tight, strong game right from the outset. In need of excitement, many players find themselves tempted to bet on every hand, but successful poker players take a methodical, disciplined, and reasonable approach to the game, only betting on strong hands and timing their bluffs perfectly. In fact, most poker pros only recommend betting on approximately 10 percent of all hands. The best poker players know how to pick the perfect spots to make their moves.
In order to play a tight game, beginners need to learn how to avoid making any rash moves whatsoever. Novice poker players often find themselves tilting, which is poker lingo for making irrational bets based off of emotion, so it’s important to remain calm and even-keeled at all times, especially after falling victim to a bad beat. The first time a player loses to trip threes with pocket aces, it is only natural to feel enraged and want to trash talk opponents through the keyboard, but losing composure can be far more detrimental than losing to a bad call that is saved on the river.
At first, novices should fold every bad hand. Players should only slightly loosen up their game to steal a blind every now and again after carefully observing their opponents playing style for a period of time. However, to do this, players must first be able to discern the bad hands from the good.
Understand the Hands
No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em is by far the most popular online poker game, and the game’s rules are relatively simple and can be easily learned through practice. However, learning the game starts with knowing the hands. From best to worst, the most valuable hands in poker are the royal flush, straight flush, four of a kind, full house, flush, straight, three-of-a-kind, two pair, pair, and high card. Knowing the hand and when to fold or raise is what separates the sharks from the fish.