Online poker comes in a variety of different games such as SevenCard Stud, Omaha, and Five Card Draw. However one form has swept the internet world to become the number one type of poker online and that is of course Texas Hold’em, and it is this variation of the game that we will concentrate on here.
For the purpose of getting started it is assumed that all readers already know the different basic betting options of Raise, Call, and Fold. So what is the object of Hold’em? Well to win money is the obvious answer, and to do this you need to have the best hand of cards. The rarer the hand you can amass the more it is worth to you, so for example a Full House (3 of a kind and a pair) is less likely to be drawn than a pair, so the Full House wins.
Do a Little Bit of Reading
Hold’em is a more complex game than many beginners realise and it is far from the luck of the draw; how you read the cards, situations, and chances will determine if you will walk away with your wallet full or empty. There are numerous books and guides available on Hold’em which should be sourced, but be sure to stick to beginner level literature because moving above your level could do more harm than good. Get familiar with the game by reading guides such as this, and learn about some basic concepts and strategies, there is a lot of information out there waiting to be used.
The curse of the beginner Hold’em player is also something that can inflict more experienced players, selectivity of hands. The reason why many beginners tend to play even the weakest hand is mostly because their sole purpose for playing is to have a good time, and they are usually playing with sums of money that mean little to their day to day lives. However if you ever want to elevate your playing and eventually play for decent sums of cash then you must cut out this urge to play marginal hands. Maybe it is a competitive streak inherent in all humans, but you need to duck out of hands that mean little to you or are unlikely to reap any reward. This selectivity can make you hard to read in games because you may be quiet for spells and active for others with no obvious pattern, but it will also give you confidence in the hands you do opt for. Success breeds success.
Aggressive or Patient?
Both are the ideal answer, but most online poker players tend to fall into one camp. There is nothing wrong with being assertive when you feel good about a hand or even if you are trying to scare off an opponent, but be wary of overly aggressive strategies that could see you losing the above mentioned selectivity. Likewise patience is a virtue they say and this is true in online poker, waiting for the right time to strike can see you win big, but likewise being overly patient could see you watch on as golden opportunities pass by.
Hide When Losing
This is something that not all online poker players advocate but I think it is a valuable tool. If you are losing badly, or going through a terrible streak there is nothing wrong in hiding during a game. By this I mean only playing on the best hands available, and I mean the best, even avoid very good hands. This will help to bring some stability back into your game because you will firstly have a greater chance of success and more confidence with the best hands, and secondly in online poker you get these fluctuations of form so you want to ride them out instead of running out of chips.
Ultimately it is you
You may be stocked up on research, strategies, and tactics. And you may be completely ready for the ins and outs of an online poker game, but without your own ability to make the right calls and to check your own behaviour if things go wrong you will likely remain at a beginner level. Take the time to apply what you have learned and keep the stakes low at first while you gain knowledge of the game and a match environment. Learn what makes you tick and what makes you crumble and then revisit the research to take your game and knowledge to the next level.