If you are new to the world of online poker, one thing that you can be sure is that you are not alone. Whether you have experience of the game and its numerous formats in an offline environment or are new to gambling as a whole, the online poker market is well-populated with beginners who are looking to simultaneously build experience and hone their skills.
A Beginners’ Guide to Online Poker: 5 Tips to Help you on Your Way
With this in mind, there is a huge demand for practical information and tips that can help online poker players to thrive in an unfamiliar and enduringly popular marketplace. Here are five that you help you on your way as an online poker novice: –
- Practice before you Play for Real Money
Let’s start with the basics, as it is important that you practice and embark on a period of learning before you wager your real and hard-earned cash in an online poker room. Even if you have practised on an individual basis and absorbed as much knowledge as possible, there is a pressing need experience a competitive, real-time playing market before making a financial commitment.
Fortunately, there are community rooms, outlets and sites where you can hone your skills and play for free, as you test your skills in a risk-free and friendly environment. The free-to-play video poker games at Red Flush Casino for example offer first-hand exposure to a range of different formats giving you experience before you put your cash on the table.
- Watch the Chips at all Times
When first immersing yourself in online poker, there is an understandable tendency to focus on the mechanics of gameplay and dealer interaction. While these are important elements of online poker, they are not alone, and you also need to observe the amount of chips that your opponents have during each hand. As games progress, players win and lose considerable amounts of money, and those who retain more chips over time hold a distinct edge over their rivals.
This is true in both on and offline poker, so remember to bet more carefully and in a strategic manner as your number of chips diminishes.
- Use Data to Inform Your Playing Strategy
For those of you familiar with offline poker, you may well have become accustomed to using body language and psychological tells to inform your decisions. This is not an option when playing online, however, so you will instead find another way to achieve a viable competitive advantage over your rivals.
Fortunately, online poker rooms carry individual player data, which offers you an insight into how each one operates and the type of strategies that they deploy. This data can prove crucial, as it can be used to inform your strategy in each individual game depending on who you are up against.
- Rely on Your Hand More Than Anything Else
For beginners, there is an important need to simplify their strategy and optimise their chances of initial success. One of the best ways to achieve this is to focus primarily on the individual hands that you are dealt during the course of a game, rather than becoming too preoccupied with the success of others or the data you have used to inform your strategy.
This means only starting hands with genuine potential, including those with pairs, two face cards or those that can be combined to make a straight or a flush. Beginners with weaker hands should fold, as while bluffing can prove successful it is at its best when done sporadically and by those with experience.
- Be Patient and Prepared to Call Bluffs
Similarly, those who do bluff often do so from a late position and with the goal of derailing opponents (and ultimately ‘stealing the blinds’). With patience and an ability to recognise this tried-and-tested manoeuvre, you can react strongly and in way that successfully calls your opponents’ bluff.
This tactic can easily be adopted by beginners, and it is an excellent way of winning pots from a non-advantageous position. It is also particularly effective in no limit, online iterations such as Texas Hold ’em, where it is often referred to as the strongest possible play.