6 Tips for Taking Your Poker Game Online
You love poker. You’ve played at your local casino or card room for decades. Perhaps you have a soft home game that has been going on since you moved into the neighborhood. Or, maybe you are a student of the game and studied Caro and Brunson. You can’t even imagine playing the game without being able to look into someone’s eyes before risking all of your chips.
So, how can you transition to online poker?
At first glance, playing poker online can seem worlds away from the game that is so dear to your heart. But believe it or not, this “video game” that all the kids are playing offers its own brand of conveniences, perks, advantages and even tells. Yes, tells!But, the cyber-felt is not without its pitfalls, too.
These tips will have you stacking virtual chips in no time:
1. No Waiting Around
First things, first. You don’t have to pay to park, travel, play until you have enough comps to eat at the buffet, or, hell, even put on pants to be dealt in 24/7/365. Plus, you get “seated” immediately online. No more reading the paper waiting for a seat to open. Online poker also opens up the game to inexperienced players who are shy, don’t live near a casino or are just too embarrassed to play live because their skills aren’t great. Yes, you will take a few bad beats. But tight, patient poker will yield you big profits over time.
2. Player Perks Hedge Bad Beats
Most online sites offer a deposit match, a sign-up bonus or both. Show me a brick-and-mortar cage that puts twice the chips in your rack as you actually paid for. OK, it’s not that simple. You get the match play over time. But you do get it. This extra salary from the house will mitigate a few wacky bad beats that you will take from all the loose play online. Follow the old adage: play tight in a loose game and loose in a tight game. In case you don’t know, it’s always a loose game in cyberspace.
3. Play Multiple Tables at Once
You can sit in as many games as you want, meaning you get way more hands dealt to you per hour. This fights off boredom as you search for monster hands in perfect spots. Basically, fold until you get the nuts people! There is no rush. Plus, if you are literally getting cold cards across multiple tables, just log off and poof you are home! Do something else. It’s a great way to money manage.
4. Look Inside Your Opponent’s Soul
You may not be able to look into an opponent’s eye, but you can peer into his soul via the unique aspects of online poker. Information is everywhere. You can look at a table’s hand history or a particular player’s stats as easily as checking a box score after a baseball game. The chat can also be very telling. If a player who never stops typing in the chat room all of a sudden goes silent, he has a big hand.
5. Screen Names and Other Tells
You can look for screen names like “Fish,” “Shark” or “Dead Money”as clues into the personalities or characters you are playing against. A profile picture of a grandkid usually means you are playing against a grandpa—not much mystery there. But screen name plus profile pic plus observant hand dissection plus old-fashioned book can give you a great sense of who is trying to take your money. Poker has always been a game of imperfect information. These are just a new ways of getting intel.
6. Betting Patterns Can Save You Costly Calls
People betting odd amounts like $8.77 instead of 10 bucks are usually trying to make their bet look bigger and force people to fold. Don’t forget those auto-action buttons the tables have. If players check the millisecond the action is on them, they have weak hands and may even be in the kitchen getting a snack for all you know. Conversely if they insta-call or raise a huge bet, they most likely hit the “raise or call all in” button and have the best of it. And just like live poker, you can switch up any of these tells to give out some false information of your own.