Online Poker Tips 101 for the AMBITIOUS BEGINNER
What is poker all about?
- Think of what you want poker to be all about to you and make all your poker related decisions in such a way as to achieve that.
- If you want to be as good an online poker player as possible, then for you poker should be all about making as many of the most correct decisions you can.
Online poker account protection
- Use strong passwords: use a combination of numbers, symbols, lowercase and uppercase letters.
- Protect them well: preferably have one e-mail account strictly for poker and nothing else and don’t ever save passwords on your computer.
- Don’t download stuff on your poker computer if you’re not sure it is ‘clean’.
- Familiarizing oneself with other poker variants for a change can be very fun and might improve your ‘main’ game.
- In high/low games the trick is to make both the high and the low, not one or the other.
- Don’t forget to use exactly two of your hole cards in Omaha.
Poker betting strategy
- Always bet for a reason and try to have a plan in mind for different scenarios during the rest of the hand.
- Bet an amount that wins you the most. This is not necessarily the amount that gets called the most.
- Don’t bluff often if at all. At the nano and micro stakes cash games you should focus on value betting instead of bluffing.
- Protecting your hand against a draw by sizing your bet correctly means as much that you are making sure that your opponent makes a mistake when chasing his draw and not that you can make him fold.
- Always see bet-sizes relative to the size of the pot.
General online poker tips
- Know the poker rules and hand rankings inside out.
- Be aware of the basic poker strategy fundamentals before you start thinking about more advanced plays. Keep the big picture in mind, always.
- Follow proper bankroll management guidelines: what might be proper for one could very well be inferior for others.
- Don’t call bets with ‘air’; at least have a strong draw or a strong plan.
- Don’t feel obligated to call when you know you’re beat.
- With fewer people in the hand you have a higher chance of winning the pot.
- Always try to identify your opponent’s playing style and try to adjust to that.
- Try not to give away any tells in your bet sizing, timing or in anything else, but don’t stress out about it either.
- Don’t play too many hands, but don’t play too few either. The former will probably be most costly though.
- Try to be patient and especially disciplined. If you know you shouldn’t make a certain play, then just don’t do it! What else would be the point of spending so much time reading up on poker strategy?
- Don’t draw to second best hands, they never win at showdown and you wouldn’t bluff often if at all, right?
- Think about the rake you pay before going all-in with the nuts on board versus a savvy enough opponent to see that.
- You can’t win more than your opponents’ stacks.
- Tracking software is a must if you are serious about your online poker game, but not because of the HUD (… it’s because you can easily review your hands and sessions afterwards).
No-limit hold’em strategy fundamentals
- Besides reading poker books and forums, you could also start reading your opponents and the board.
- Always think of your hand strength as being relative to the hands in your opponents range.
- Your position at the poker table is very important. Position can be relative too.
- Try to be the aggressor: initiative increases your chance of winning.
- You don’t have to know the odds in poker to two decimals accurate, one will do.
- Don’t overestimate the number of outs you have, especially when you aren’t drawing to the nuts.
- Multiply your outs by two and four to know approximately the odds in percentages of hitting them with one or two cards to come respectively.
- Correctly set mining can sometimes will be very profitable, certainly at the lower stakes.
Starting hand selection
- Delete the starting hands chart you just downloaded or bookmarked.
- In poker you don’t make a single decision as often as whether to play your hand or not.
- Good starting hand selection can keep you out of trouble; it’s the foundation of playing winning poker, especially when your post flop play isn’t that good yet.
- Knowing what makes a good starting hand is one fourth towards proper starting hand selection.
- Good starting hands are made, have nut potential and/or dominate other hands which are often played. Bad hands don’t and are likely to lose you money in the long run.
- Knowing which factors influence the potential of your hand and why is another fourth towards proper starting hand selection.
- Your own poker skills matter when selecting starting hands.
- As do your position, your opponents, stack sizes and the action before it’s your turn…
- The other half of proper starting hand selection is discipline.
- Good table selection might reduce the need for patience, but not for discipline.
- Average pot sizes and flop percentages can mask the fact that there’s a perfect seat available relative to the biggest fish you have ever played against.
Multi-tabling in online poker
- Don’t start multi-tabling too soon. Gradually add one table at a time.
- By multi-tabling you can play more hands in the same timeframe. That’s more hands to either win or lose money in. And that’s less attention you can pay to every single hand.
- The key to multi-tabling in online poker is learning to make decisions quickly and resisting the urge to follow all the action in a certain hand.
- Smoothly running, non buggy software and hotkeys also help.
- Learn to use a mouse with your other hand too to avoid RSI.
- Don’t keep playing with pain, numbness or tingling in your hands and wrists.
- Experiment with different table lay-outs. Tiled is effective up to 12 tables, stacked or cascaded for even more.
- A big poker monitor is awesome, but not necessary. It’s really awesome though.
- You can also multi-table across multiple poker sites when traffic at your game is a little low.
- If you want to play 24 tables with full stacks, then you need more than the standard 20 buy-ins for your level.
- Twenty buy-ins is pretty low anyway.
- Don’t move up in stakes to clear bonuses faster; move up because your bankroll allows it and you feel ready.
- Bankroll management is kinda useless if you’re not a winning player.
- You don’t have to move up but moving down in time is crucial.
- In no-limit games the blinds don’t dictate what bankroll you need but your buy-in does.
- 100.000 hands in poker is still considered ‘short term’, even if it takes you a lifetime to play that many hands.
- You can lose short term while playing a winning game due to ‘running bad’.
- New sports shoes won’t help you with that.
Full ring vs. shorthanded
- Early position in full ring games is unlike any position in shorthanded games.
- Playing 6-max is not the same as playing in late position in full-ring games when the first 3 or 4 players have folded.
- Full ring games are a good place to start due to lower variance and less difficult decisions.
- The game you enjoy the most and feel most comfortable in will probably be the game that results in the highest win-rate for you in the end.
Building a bankroll
- Make improving your game your number one priority in the beginning and your bankroll will grow before you even know it.
- Don’t worry about bonuses at the nano stakes too much; you probably won’t be able to fully clear them at these stakes anyway.
- Micro stakes multi-table tournament sit and go’s can be excellent for building a bankroll, just like 2 and 5 no-limit games.
Moving poker money around
- Having two e-wallet accounts in different currencies (one in $) can really reduce costs due to currency conversions when moving money around regularly. Not an option for Americans though.
Bonuses and rakeback
- You can get a piece of the rake you pay to a poker room back by taking advantage of bonuses and rakeback (if offered/allowed by the poker room).
- The combination of a first deposit bonus and rakeback will be more money in the pocket than either of these two alone.
- Kickback bonuses can be very helpful in building a bankroll quickly.
- Be careful to not sign up with small, unknown and unreliable rakeback affiliates.
- Don’t spoil your chances of getting rakeback at a room that offers it and you could see yourself playing at regularly in the future by doing a quick kickback bonus.
- Some poker rooms start throwing money at you when you stop playing with them for awhile.
- Other rooms take your funds from your account if you don’t play with them for too long.
- Don’t punch your sister in her face after a bad beat: you might have to ask her if you can open a rakeback account registered on her name, because you already spoiled your chance of getting it.
- Read ‘The Poker Mindset‘ written by Matthew Hilger and Ian Taylor if you have tilt issues.
- You know you have tilt issues if you regularly have to replace some or all of your computer accessories, doors, walls, windows or anything else you can break or disrupt after a poker session.
- Remember, poker is about making correct decisions if you want to be good at it.
- No matter how good a player you are, there is always an element of chance in poker.
- Try to play a lower variance game or apply a lower variance strategy if you can’t handle swings very well.
- Not looking at your account balance during a session can really help to prevent tilt.
- Of course then you shouldn’t be looking at your tracking software either.
- Don’t berate the fish in chat, don’t educate them either: disable chat if that is what it takes.
- Rebuy & add-on tournaments can be very profitable if you’re not the one excessively rebuying in the first hour.
- Unless you’re playing Double Or Nothings, you don’t win anything with outfolding half the field in a tournament.
- People won’t suddenly see your cards if you push all-in with something else than a monster once in a while.
- Accidentally exposing your hole cards is probably the biggest tell your opponents could wish for.
- Accept the fact that there is no pre-select fold button (and stop acting out of turn).
- Wearing a cap and sunglasses doesn’t make you a better poker player.
- This also counts when playing online.
- If a tight and passive player raises you, it’s usually not a bluff.
- Timing tells aren’t that strong on multi-tablers.
- You can also take a free card with your draw on the turn when checked to instead of compulsively betting to make your opponent fold (but of course he check-raises instead).
- Don’t forget to occasionally eat, drink or at least sleep in between your poker marathon sessions.
- Playing under influence of certain liquids or certain substances in general can be detrimental to your bankroll.
- Having fun playing poker once in a while can’t be a bad thing.
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