Learn to Play Poker Like a Pro: What Strategies They Use for Different Poker Games Online
Poker is a game with simple rules, but with a very complex game play. Although the element of luck does come into play, most of the outcomes in poker matches are decided by the player’s skill and strategy. That said, there are essential skills and strategies that you should know to improve your chances of winning in this card game. Most people would ask, “Is there much difference between online and live poker?” Not much, but there are minor changes when it comes to some rules and game play. The only main difference would be the lack of face-to-face interaction. This is because seeing your actual opponent allows you to read his or her action, which can help you make the right plays and decisions. It can go both ways. If you can see through other players, then they can also read you. It depends on how good your poker face is. If you’re pretty good at hiding and reading “tells,” then you would prefer live games. But if you’re not, then the anonymity of online games might present more advantages for you. But whether it’s live or online poker, the basic rules are the same. As long as you know the right strategies, then you should have good chances of winning in poker, whether on live or online tables.
Know the basics by heart
The true mark of an expert is knowledge of the basics, and poker is no different. You should have your poker basics intact if you want to have a showdown with the pros. What are these poker basics? Aside from knowing the basic rules, there are things that every good poker player knows.
* Take note of the hand groupings
You need to at least know the classifications of the starting hands to help you decide early on whether your hand can be played or just thrown away. This saves you money and a lot of thinking by knowing which hands are still playable and which are sure losses. For example, a Q-10 may still have a chance for draw, but keeping a 5-4 in play would be practically giving your money away.
* Read and categorize your opponents
Remember what was said about “tells” early on? You need to be observant not just of your own hand and strategies, but also of your opponents’. You also need to look at the other player’s behavior and playing style–are they loose, tight, or tight aggressive? Do they display patterns such as betting only on strong hands, or do they play every hand? Aside from these, you should also try to read what cards they’re holding, or whether or not they know the cards that you’re holding. Being aware of these things can help you make better decisions with every hand. Though you can’t see your opponents online, their actions give out clues to their playing style. The advantage of playing online poker is that you have tools where you can get a log of your game play and that of your opponents’. This way, you can analyze the style of your opponents and be ready for them next time you meet them online. Another advantage is that you can also check your own style and see any weak point or pattern that can be read by your opponents. You can make adjustments on your game style and experiment on other styles of play. For example, if you’re too tight as a player, you can experiment on bluffing or by taking more aggressive bets on average hands.
* Know your math
Another aspect of poker that you should know is taking calculated risks. This is where pot odds come into play. In most cases, you consider the odds when you’re on the draw, or when you need additional cards to strengthen your hand. What you consider here are the chances of you getting the cards that you need, and compare it with the amount that you need to pay to win the pot. If the risk is too great, meaning the amount of money that you need to enter into the pot is greater than your chance of winning the pot, then you should just let go of the hand. Here, online poker presents another advantage. There are several odds calculators that can make the computations for you, so you can easily decide on the risk factors involved in each play.
* Practice, practice, and more practice
As with any game of skill, practice is essential. You don’t become a good poker palyer overnight. You need to be exposed to the game, interact with different players, and observe different situations and playing styles. As you gain more experience, you get to be more comfortable in playing and also gain important insights about the game. Just don’t forget that nobody wins all the time. Experiencing a losing streak is not rare; even pros go through that. Whether it’s due to bad luck or just playing at a tough table, getting losses is unavoidable. What’s important is that you learn from your mistakes and improve your own game play. Online poker gives you a great chance to practice without playing for money. Since there are several free poker tables, you can get a feel for the game without the risk of losing cash.
You can also find free poker tournaments where you play for a small amount or some other prizezs. Once you feel confident enough with your game, then you’re ready to move on to the cash tables. The great thing about poker is that game situations can change very quickly, and you can get different results for the same situation. Although there are strategies, they don’t guarantee sure wins all the time. They are not laws set on stone. In the end, the outcome of the match will depend on your skill and judgment, and not just how many strategies you know. The best strategy of all is to develop your overall soundness as a poker player, whether on live or online tables.