About Online Poker
Online poker is a far more accessible game than standard land-based casino poker; you can leave when you want, stop games, withdraw when you see fit and extremely turn up and play whenever you want to. It's still poker however there are many adjustments that need to be made when moving from the live arena to the world of online. A frequently asked question is how easy it is to make money playing online poker?
The short answer is yes, and considerable at that. That does not mean that everyone makes money, quite the opposite. The vast major lose when playing online. There will be many contributing factors as to why this is and I would argue that a large number of these players would likely lose playing live also. I would even go as far as to say that a large proportion of these players would not play live. Many are just recreational players and favor the ease of the internet game. Additionally, many do not consider them good enough to play live. The fact of the matter is that there are far fewer players who venture into the live game area. In playing online, there is the benefit of player anonymity, and to some this is highly appealing. Rather than hide behind the fact that you do not need to look into a players eyes when you get worn with your hand in the cookie jar or make a cringeworthy play, it's important to apply the same level of control to your game and emotions. As such, if you can play a winning game online, there's no reason why you should not be able to play a winning game in live cash games or tournaments.
The fact that only a small proportion of players make any money online, begs the question, why? It's fairly simple, there are too many players who simply do not take the time to learn the game. It's a game of skill and as with any skill game, the skills are hones and developed over time. To get you started on the right tracks, here are some simple things that you can do to improve your online game.
Bankroll Management ..
One of the most important aspects of playing at an online poker site is that you need to make sure you are well bankrolled and this means having a large stack of cash or chips to fall back on you should run bad. The game sees continuous swings and with the element of luck the game brings, more often than not the end result will not go your way, even when you're an awesome favorite for it to do so. The business aspect of gambling is no different when playing online poker. The fact that there are virtual chips does not make the money any less real.
Now that we understand that you will sometimes lose as an overwhelming favorite and fluke cards to win when you appeared to be dead in the water, we must protect against these runs. To do this you should limit yourself to not taking more than 10% of your bankroll to the table at any one time (or buying into a tournament at more than 10% of your bankroll). This will mean that when you have a bad run you do not go broke. Remember, it's easier to part with virtual chips than real cash.
Find an attractive welcome bonus ..
Most companies offer some sort of bonus or promotion to get your business and online poker rooms are no different. Regardless of how much you play, you have nothing to lose. With most bonuses, the more poker you play, the more you earn. Most online sites offer freerolls for new players and this can be a great way to help build your bankroll.
Do not worry about affiliate links on sites advertising poker rooms. They do not take a cut of anything you would get. They are paid directly from the poker room for referring your business (which is separate from your bonus offer).
Play Games and excel ..
There are many variants of online poker that can be played. Obviously it should be fairly clear that you should not take unnecessary risks playing any online poker game that you are not familiar with, especially for cash. Learn a game and excel at it before you branch out. If you try to take on too many games at once, you will probably never be successful at any of them, not really a trait of winning players. Use the free tables to practice games and do your homework. Watch televised shows and read books on the game. If you do play for cash, start low and crush the game at that level before moving up - always know when to call it quits. It is critical that you do not wager more than you can afford and if a good winning streak comes to an end and you lose a few hands, understand that it is okay to pull out.
Make decisions for a reason ..
This is an important one and one that is often overlooked. I see new players online who try to emulate the type of poker they see on TV without knowing why they're playing that way. If you're going to raise a pot, have a plan. What do you do if they call? How many bullets are you going to fire at the pot? Take calculated risks, never make a play unless you know why you're making the play. Raising every hand as you see other people do it is not going to reward you, you will be playing too many hands and will need to be continuing betting a lot to make any money. Up against good players this is not going to be a good move as they will be wise to your moves pretty quick.
Understand your opponents and have a plan as to which players you're going to avoid, which ones to target and what your starting hand requirements are. Your game needs the same control and discipline as it would in a live game.
Practice, Practice, Practice ..
Mastering any subject takes time, fact. Do not expect to take to the tables and instantly crush the game, this is not generally how it works. The same is true for any sport or game, and even the top players put in the grind to get to the level they play at. Much of poker is instinctive and this instinct is nurtured over time.
Additionally, you will need to consistently make adjustments to your game. If something is not working, recognize that something is not right and look to put it right. There are too many players that just press on in the hope that things will turn themselves around, nine times out of 10, they do not! They just become another losing statistic. Practice your game and keep learning and adjusting until you are playing a winning game.
A final thought ..
Hopefully these tips will help keep you on the right track. Remember that you'll be up against players that have significantly more experience than you. Playing online allows you to track players and use tools that are available to help your game. Make use of these tools and keep notes on players, in the event you run into them in the future, they'll prove useful.