Playing poker online is quite different than playing live poker, and it is a lot more than just not being able to see your opponent’s faces. The online poker interface has a huge impact on the game and there are several important tips to keep in mind to maximize your chances of making profits playing internet poker. Texas Hold’em is by far the most popular online poker game.
The Online Poker Interface
Online poker has the exact same rules as live poker, but the server-based interface enables nearly twice as many hands to be dealt in the same amount of time, compressing the time to make decisions. This reduction in the time to make decisions has two notable consequences. First, in general it has led to a loosening of play, particularly at lower stake levels as players just play by habit instead of analyzing each poker situation in depth. Second, those players who really understand the game and can analyze the flop and relative position in just seconds, and who consistently make good decisions in less time will be successful in online poker.
Attitudes About Playing Online Texas Hold’em
There are many serious poker players playing poker online, but the truth is they are at most 25% of the players on a given site. Of the remaining 75%, a good 50% know how to play Texas Hold’em but are not skilled or willing to really concentrate, and a solid 25% are novices who may barely know the rules, never mind more advanced poker strategies.
Inexperienced Hold’em players very frequently have a “let’s have fun and learn” attitude and stay in a lot longer than they should in many cases. This kind of inexperience can be exploited by skilled players.
Online Poker Tips
- Play Conservatively – This point can’t be overemphasized. Play conservative poker except in special situations or when you feel you have identified a strong “tell”. Playing conservatively, especially in aggressive open games like most online poker, is simply the more profitable long term strategy (arguably the ONLY profitable long-term strategy for a relatively inexperienced player).
- Look For Tells – While you cannot see the faces of the other players at the table, you can carefully observe their habits (auto-folding, always raising on button, etc.) and even take notes so you can identify when a player is likely bluffing and/or has a strong hand.
- Focus on Position – Playing your cards based on your position is critical in Texas Hold’em. A general rule of thumb might be only play marginal hands in late position when there is no action in front of you or you know the one caller is an aggressive/bluffing player.
Even if you are new to online poker, if you keep the above tips in mind, and play smart and conservatively, you have a good chance to make money playing Texas Hold’em online.