Playing poker online demands a different approach than the traditional casino table setup. There is no need to “feel the room” or observe your competitors, at least not in a typical way. For the best odds of winning, though, you do need to pay attention to the game – and what others in it are doing.
Before you get dealt in, consider these four points for improving your online poker strategy:
Understand the Game
You must have a working knowledge of poker, and the exact style you’re playing, to expect to ever win anything. You wouldn’t walk onto a job you didn’t know the first thing about and expect to earn a paycheck. The same is true with poker, especially when you play it online. You must develop a strong knowledge of poker rules, tricks and strategies. Some of that does come with practice, of course, but learn as much as you can before you even start. If you find yourself feeling confused at any point, take a break and figure out what you need to learn.
Play More by Spending Less
You’ll win more often, statistically speaking, the more hands you play. Bigger bets have bigger payouts, of course, but don’t spend all your poker budget on the first one or two hands. Get a feel for the game, for the other players (if it’s a multi-player round) and how the game itself works. Once you feel confident, up your spending. If you are just getting started playing online poker, look for sites offering introductory offers that match your initial bet in cash to spend.
Walk Away, Sometimes
When you’re in the comfort of your home playing poker online, time tends to fly. Unless you are on a hot winning streak, make sure you are stepping away from the game at least once an hour. Disconnecting from the screen, even for just a few minutes, will refresh your mind and help you to focus with a higher level of alertness when you return to the game. If you are in a losing rut, don’t keep digging yourself in a hole. Walk away for a few minutes and then come back with a winning mindset. Don’t get sucked into your online poker playing; know your limits, financially and when it comes to time.
Don’t bet absentmindedly. If you are putting money behind your poker prowess, give it the attention it deserves. Play each hand with laser-like focus. It’s one thing to lose an online poker hand because you just didn’t have the luck; it’s another thing entirely to lose because you made a stupid mistake. When you are playing online poker, make that your focus and shut out other distractions.
Playing poker online is a savvy way to improve your in-person game, learn the rules, and maybe even earn a little cash in the process. Make sure you treat online poker games with the respect they deserve though. Develop a strategy and stick with it, ensuring that your focus stays on the game to improve your odds for success.