2022? Online poker. The beloved sport and cash game has been experiencing a resurgence of sorts, and with it, the competition difficulty has been ramped up. No matter how much you may love poker, it feels horrible to be the sucker game after game.
In the article here are five tips for getting better at the game of online poker to take on your journey so you can love poker and win while doing it!
1. Know the game well
Make sure you familiarize yourself with the variant of poker you wish to play specifically. You should also be aware that bonuses can be used at tournaments to help increase your winnings. If you haven’t decided on this fact yet, consider learning a bit about all the poker variants available. Popular variants include:
- 5-Card Draw
- Hold’em no limits
- 7-Card Stud
Most beginners know roughly how a Texas Hold’em game works, but learning about all the variants may make you fall in love with another kind of poker.
After doing this, make sure to read in-depth about the rules of poker. What is betting? What about table position? Hand strength? Pot odds? What are some of the iconic hands played in high-stakes money games? What are the particular winning strategies in circulation?
Learn the basics of the game and make sure not to miss out on any corner in your search. Avoid being embarrassed when you mistakenly call (match) an all-in bet with an unwinnable hand instead of folding, or mistakenly play a turn-betting strategy but end up betting pre-flop anyway.
2. Play Low Stakes
I know there will be a sense of excitement when booting up your first poker game, especially after learning the basics, but it is important to keep that excitement from impulsively buying into higher stakes than you need to.
Avoid free poker apps, however, the lack of real money on the line encourages poor and half-hearted play from yourself and from your opponents that lead to nothing really learned. If you want to get better and gain experience, go for the low-stakes poker tables and really try to earn your keep.
3. Monthly Bankroll Management
Firstly, your monthly bankroll should only consist of money out of your entertainment and leisure budget. Always prioritize your savings, investment money, and pay off bills and debts before coming up with the money to bankroll your online poker account.
Next, always plan your monthly bankroll. Do you have a target of earning a certain amount? Think about do you think you can get there then, whether it be through a few well-timed intense poker sessions, or long periods of commitment, playing many ultra-low stakes games to rack up earnings slowly. If your goal is to play as much as you can to gain experience, then think of how you can protect your bankroll.
A piece of common advice is to divide your monthly bankroll into at least 50 parts and have each part be the maximum you’re willing to lose in a poker game. If you’re not playing so much, or the stakes are too low, you may increase the 2% to maybe 5%, or 20 equal parts.
4. Don’t play all the hands you’re dealt
You should play with only good hands. Now, as the number of players in a table increases or decreases, the stakes change. The way the table is swinging and your position at the table changes. This category of good heads may morph and expand or contract into a larger or smaller set of hands.
The feeling of wanting to see the flop and progress past the pre-flop stages is a very natural feeling, going into the flop with no strategy is equivalent to pouring your chips down an open drain.
You should play with purpose, and playing only when you have winning chances is an example of doing just that.
5. Choose when and where
As a rule of thumb, never, with a capital N, play when you’re feeling emotionally or physically tired. Feeling worn out from work, just had an alarming phone call? Keep your hands off of the tables. Unlike other forms of entertainment like phone games or online video, playing poker to destress will just cause you to play poorly, and as a result, wind up more tense and exhausted than you started off.
Good players play in a fresh mood and only when they’re feeling it. While to you these instances may seem few and far between, it’s taking advantage of the short bursts of motivation and focus that helps propel you toward greater improvements.
Unlike what most people think, how you think and feel and how well you’re feeling physically are not unrelated. Just the opposite actually, since your mind is, after all, a living organ that can fall apart when starved for exercise, sleep, or nutrition,
A good way of training your mind for the emotional rollercoaster that is poker is by making it a point to exercise regularly, rest often and eat cleanly. Poker is a high variance game, and you need to be able to take bad beats so your periods of concentration and clarity don’t get ruined by emotional setbacks.
Choose a good location in your house or anywhere around it that gives you a stable Wi-Fi connection, access to clean drinking water, and quiet from the humdrum of life. I personally choose the living room as it separates me from my bedroom where I sleep and the study where I do the majority of my full-time work.
Choosing a distraction-free environment is a kind of commitment to playing well and having fruitful sessions. Just by doing this alone, not only will you make it easier to last longer sessions at a time while clear-headed and fresh, you immediately get an advantage over other distracted players who might not catch on to certain micro-bluffs you might pull off or slight over betting.
Poker is at its core, a game where mathematics meets luck. In such a game of high variance, it may seem like you’re in control one moment, on a tear, and the next moment you’re getting made the sucker.
It’s wrong to think that you have any control of what might happen at the table from pot to pot, and it’s best sometimes to relax and just focus on playing well, no matter what the outcome! I hope this guide has helped. Remember, play within your means, choose your positions carefully, and study the game well, and you will be rewarded with great matches.