Online poker is slightly different than live poker. There are different skills that you will need to learn in order to succeed. The basic principles of poker are the same, however, and a lot of the tips below will be applicable to both live and online play.
1.Playing too many hands
You simply cannot play too many hands. In live poker you will often see people limping into a pot with anything. This is a bad idea in live poker, but in online poker it is terrible. You want to play a tight range of hands depending on your position. In early position you want to be entering into pots with the top of your range. If it folds to you on the cutoff or button then you can enter into a pot with a much wider range.
2. Be Aggressive
The ideal poker player will be entering a pot with a raise. You do not want to open limp into a pot. You will see this in live poker, and sometimes it might be correct. However, in an online game, especially a 6 max game, it is terrible. If you play a hand you want to be the aggressive. The other problem with limping into a hand is that you will allow all sorts of hands to come in cheaply. This makes reading your opponent close to impossible.
3. Pick the Right Table
This is critical. The great thing about online poker is that you have many options to choose from. When you want to play in a brick and mortar casino you will need to play in the games that are available. Because of space constraints there are a limited number of tables. Online, you have tons of options. You should look at the players and determine if the game is good. See how often people are limping into pots, or doing other things that signifies it is a good table. If you notice that the table is full of tough regs then it might not be a good table to sit at.
4. Buying in 100 bbs deep
If you are playing No Limit you should always buy in and reload to 100 big blinds. The exception is if you are trying to play a shortstack strategy. If you are not playing a short stack strategy, then you have to buy in for 100 big blinds and have auto-top off enabled. This is important if you want to be profitable.
Consider a situation where you have lost a few small pots and are down to 60 big blinds. If you make a big hand you will not be able to make the most of it. Therefore it is important to have your stack always at 100 big blinds.
5. Bankroll management
If you are going to play online then you need to understand bankroll management. It is going to depend on what game you are playing and what format. A person who is going to play mainly MTT’s will want to have 100 buy-ins. A person playing 45 man sit-and- go’s should want at least 50 buy ins.
Buy-ins for cash games depends on both your comfort level and the stakes at which you play. If you are playing small stakes then 20 buy-ins would be a good start. Most people recommend playing with at least 50, however, if you are simply taking a shot and feel comfortable with reloading, then you can use 20 buy-ins as a starting number.
6. Stack Awareness
You have to be aware of the stack sizes at your table. This is a concept referred to as effective stack size. If you have 110 bb’s and you raise the big blind who has 20 big blinds, the effective stack size is 20 big blinds.
Some things to consider: You cannot set mine effectively against a small stack. You will want to set mine against a deep stack. Additionally, if you make a raise against a small stack they are likely to shove on you as opposed to a normal stack who will either raise, call or fold. Stack awareness is important in cash games, but it is critical in sit-n-go’s and multitable tournaments.
7. Table Awareness
When you play online you can use software programs that keep tabs on your opponents. They tell you things such as how often a person makes a raise, how often they limp, how often they fold to a raise, etc…
If you choose not to use these programs then you can simply pay attention on your own. The programs are used for people who are playing multiple tables. If you are only playing one or two tables then you can do fine on your own.
8. Pot Odds/ Don’t Chase
This is one of the basic principles to being a wining player. Learn your odds, and learn how to determine pot odds. You can download a copy of PokerStove and practice with the numbers and hands on your own.
9. Control Tilt
Controlling tilt is important for anyone who wants to limit loss. The fact is that you will get bad beats. If you have pocket Aces and get it all in preflop against AsKs you will lose that hand 12 percent of the time, 7 percent if the AK is off suit.
Some people are bad at tilt control. If you are simply leave the game. The worst thing you can do is to begin to play poorly and chase bad draws in an attempt to get your money back.
10. Know your Game
This is important for any game. You want to constantly read and study about the game you are playing. It does not matter if you are playing Stud 8 or No Limit, you need to read about the game and do hand history reviews. Without thinking about the game it is unlikely that you will improve.