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Online Poker Strategy

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ONLINE POKER STRATEGIES

All of the strategies that you’d employ in casino and home games can be used in casino games as well except for some obvious omissions like physical tells. Go to our poker strategies page to familiarize yourself with the tips offered there and read our online-specific strategies that follow.

BLUFFING

Bluffing happens much more regularly online, so you’ll need to adjust how much you bluff and be aware that others are doing it more often. (Check out our section on online bluffing.) Since your bluff is more likely to be called when playing online, you don’t want to bluff too much.

Because there’s more bluffing, you should play more aggressively as good and average hands now have a better chance of winning.

PICKING THE RIGHT TABLE

You want to choose a table with bad players so you can easily take their chips. In order to find them, you simply look at some of the stats for that table (they’re listed beside each table when you go to the ‘tables’ section):

1. The average size of the pot. You want to find a table with a high pot average. Of course this could just mean the table has some high rollers, but it could also indicate a table with beginners who stay in hands that they should have folded. They drive the size of the pot up.

2. The percentage of players who want to see the flop. You want tables where at least 40% of the players are paying to see the flop as this is a sure sign of beginners at play. They don’t know which hands to play and tend to play more than they should (loose players), which makes for big pots that they don’t usually win.

3. Small chips stacks. While it’s possible they haven’t brought all of their chips to the table (so it doesn’t necessarily reflect their ability), in some cases having a small chip stack indicates a beginner player. You should seek out tables where at least 75% of the players have small chip stacks.

SAVE THE FANCY PLAY FOR SOMEONE WHO CARES

Well, it’s not that the other players don’t care that you’ve established yourself as a tight player who never bluffs it’s that they’re probably not paying attention to the game. They might be alt-tabbin’ to their homework assignment after they act and then back to the game for their next turn; they’re not necessarily watching your every move. Instead, just play a straightforward game and don’t concern yourself with setting up an image or any other nuanced strategy that requires the other players to notice.

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In home and casino games, you play against the same players for hours and must switch up your style every few hands to throw your opponents off. But online games are much shorter since it’s so easy to change tables. The average online game lasts about thirty minutes, so you don’t have to worry about players picking up on your style in such a short amount of time.

ONLINE PLAYERS ARE LOOSER AND MORE PASSIVE

Since people play looser and more passively online that means they play weaker hands that they should have folded you can loosen up your play, too, and win.

They tend to pay to see the flop more than they should and then play badly after it’s come down. This means you should lower your starting hand requirement and play less aggressively before the flop. If you have a strong starting hand, normally you would raise right away during pre-flop betting. But these passive players might be freaked out by too strong a raise. Your best bet is to call any raises pre-flop and don’t raise any flags that you have a strong hand. You want the other players to stay in the game and put more chips in the pot to see the flop and hopefully you can score a much bigger pot at the showdown.

PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE

Online poker is quite simply the most convenient and effective way to improve your poker playing in any setting (online, casino or home games). There are quite a few sites where you can play for free and this is definitely where beginners should start. Poker Stars is a popular site, which means they have lots of tables available with an abundance of players of varying limits and games. You can play for free against players from all over the world. Once you feel competent, you can move on to games with limits that are only a few pennies, so you’re not risking your money while you learn the game. And once you are pretty good, they have tournaments you can enter where you can win some serious cash, because remember, poker is about winning money.

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