Game Guides

Advantages of Playing Online Poker

I have not played much online poker – and yet after a few months’ experience, already I manage to win about $10/hour on average, not including the profit I made from deposit bonuses. I would not be able to do this offline for sure.

This is because I play only online poker, and using these advantages:

  1. Low overhead. Much lower rakes, no travel costs, no restaurant bills, no tipping.
  2. Low minimums. In offline poker, the lowest minimum generally is $5, and even this is not feasible because of the high rake. Whereas in online poker, you can start at 25ยข or even 10ยข, and work your way up gradually.
  3. Low stress. Hazing is still there but is much easier to ignore in online poker. Also there are no “tells,” no need to freeze your face. If you like, you even can take notes and read your cards aloud.
  4.  Table-hopping. Whenever overmatched in online poker, you can change tables or even casinos without a long waiting line. Or just sign off and try again later.
  5.  Higher playing speeds. Online poker is much faster. This means that you can win more per hour at lower levels.

Basic Resources for Online Poker Players

Poker Books and LaptopPoker guides may not be necessary-experience is what counts most. If however you are a rank beginner or want the best possible game, here is all you really need.

1. Winning Low Limit Hold’em by Lee Jones.
2. Turbo Texas Hold’em by Wilson Software. *Amazon

What Poker Games to Play?

I would avoid Stud games because there are relatively few online players, so you have little chance to seek out a winnable table. Success is easier in the following games.

  1.  Low Limit Hold’em. This is by far the most popular game and the best place to start. Just start cruising various online casinos with a minimum deposit-leave any table as soon as you seem to be losing-and play more wherever you tend to win.
  2.  Single-table Hold’em tournaments. This is not for everyone, because only the first three players win, the rest lose everything, and there is a lot of luck involved at the end. However those who have the feel for it can be regular winners. (Never mind multi-table tournaments, however-your chances of winning in those are rare.)
  3.  No Limit and Pot Limit Hold’em. This is increasingly popular, with good reason-after a while, limit Hold’em can be a bore. However the trick is to find an online poker room where you can play with a modest stake, and frequently see the flop without having to bet everything. Usually the play is quite wild-but at some tables, everyone folds often against any show of determination. This can allow you to bluff successfully even with small bets, for a huge profit/risk ratio.
  4.  No Limit and Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo. Don’t ask me how to play Omaha Hi-Low-I tried it a few times and lost my shirt. In the process however, it seemed evident that for those who do learn Hi-Low properly, there is a steady stream of “that looks like fun” players like me just asking to be fleeced.

Strategy Tips for Online Poker Beginners

Here are my ways of taking advantage of the little tricks that most online poker players eventually learn, and which you might as well learn as soon as possible. My tactics suggested here probably are not very professional-they are over-cautious, to be sure. However the goal of the beginner is not to win the most in the long term, but only to win and to do so steadily.

  1. Taking advantage of position in online poker. It is not enough to “have good position.” You also must take advantage of a late position in online poker, by semi-bluffing when you have some chance both to win and also to fold the table. Conversely however, also look out for the over-bluffer. Then just wait until you have a killer hand-play possum while he bluffs away-and then, wham.
  2.  Do not slow play in Low Limit Hold’em. With some exceptions, in low limit poker games, usually slow play doesn’t pay. Your opposition usually will fold or play somewhat regardless of what you do-so when you have a strong hand, play its worth from the start.
  3.  Milking your 4-flush. Always remember in Hold’em that when you have 2 pocket cards the same suit-and exactly 2 more of that suit hit the flop-and if you hold a face cardยญ-and if there is little sign of someone building a house or better-then you already know that on average, you will win approximately half the time. This means that if only you can keep 2 or more opponents in such a poker game, on that flop you should try to pile the bets to the ceiling.
  4.  Cooling your 4-flush on the turn. So you bet high on the flop hoping to complete a face-high flush-then on the turn, it does not come. Here is where you want to keep the bets low, your chances are no longer about 50%, but more like 25%. In No-Limit or Pot Limit, you may even want to fold if there is only one opponent and he is making extreme bets-conversely however, you cannot reveal this reluctance, but must bet something semi-substantial if you have early position.
  5.  Cooling your faceless flush. If one of your two-of-a-suit in the pocket is not a face card, then if two more of your suit hit the flop, you certainly want to stay in the game but keep it cheap. All too often, someone else is betting for the same flush and with a higher kicker.
  6.  Cooling your over-flush. Here again you have two-of-a-suit-but instead of two more hitting the flop, you get three-a made flush. A dream come true? Maybe, but if another of your suit hits, and if you do not hold an Ace, this dream is a nightmare. At a full low-limit table, the chances are very high that someone has the Ace of that suit and is clinging to it. It is for the 4-flush holder to bet high on the flop and not on the turn-it is for the 5-flush holder to bet high on the turn, and not before.
  7. Spotting the flush play. If it is a full table and nobody bet high on the blind-and then somebody wants to raise the flop-consider folding as soon as you see three-of-a-suit on the board, even if you have a made straight. A flush is very likely.

Original Source: 26.05.2010  Online Poker

By Simon

One of the first editors of Honest Casinos, I have been reviewing casinos since 2003.