Most people who play online games are there to have fun. They enjoy the intellectual challenge of deciding when to fold when to stay in, and when to press their luck with their next bet. While there is an element of skill in winning at poker, you also need some luck on your side. Many people don’t like losing in general, but even more, don’t like losing money (or chips). If you’re one of these people, then here are some tips that will help you improve your poker skills and increase your chances of winning at the table.
1) Set Goals
The first step in improving your poker skills is to set goals. These should be both long and short-term, and you should write them down. Making them visible will help keep you motivated over time. If your goal is to go from $0 in poker to $100k in poker within a year, that’s great! Make it happen! Be specific with these goals: I want $20 in my bankroll isn’t nearly as meaningful as I want $20 in my bankroll by next week so I can play 20NL at PokerStars. Having clear and measurable goals will increase your chance of success massively when it comes to playing online card games like Texas Holdem Poker.
2) Raise your Ante
Playing better poker means you’ll win more and lose less and you know poker tips and tricks. To improve your game, set a weekly goal for yourself and make sure you stick to it. Dedicate 30 minutes per day (ideally, not after work) to study and practice at home. If you’re looking for tips and tricks, check out big-name strategy books such as The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky or Harrington on Hold’em by Dan Harrington.
3) Always Play Your Best Hand
You may be tempted to play a weak hand just because you think it might win. However, that can lead to trouble if your opponent bets and you’re forced to continue playing. To avoid finding yourself in a situation like that, you should always play your best hand—even if it means folding early. This way, when people call your bets or raise, you’ll be better able to capitalize on those instances where someone puts their money where their mouth is.
4) Play Passive When Behind
If you’re playing aggressively and lose a few hands in a row, it’s tempting to take aggressive play up another notch. This will typically end poorly as players tend to lose focus and overextend themselves. Don’t fall into that trap; instead, consider playing more passively until you build up your stack again. If you find yourself behind a bunch of players, wait for a good hand instead of wasting chips trying to play them all out. Chances are you have more chips than you think – especially if your opponent is overly aggressive – so don’t be afraid to slow down and buy some time.
5) Understand the Odds
To improve your poker fish skills, it’s important to understand some basic odds and probabilities. For example, if you and another player both have a pair of kings, you can estimate that there is a 50 percent chance that your opponent has an ace in his hand. Although estimating percentages like these aren’t exact, they can give you a sense of where your opponent may have high cards or bad cards. After all, he only has three remaining cards out of 47 left in his deck! Understanding how to read odds during play will help you make better decisions about when to stay or fold.
6) Be Comfortable Playing Blind
At first, glance, playing poker online seems like an ideal way to make extra cash. You can start small and play with play money (practice without risking your own funds), and if you want to play with real money, you can quickly transition between practice games and real-world tables with ease. But if you don’t know what you’re doing when it comes to poker strategy or online etiquette, all of that convenience can work against you when it comes time for a winning hand. So one of our top tips is to be comfortable playing blind in a live tournament setting before jumping into an online tournament.
7) Understand That Some Hands are Better than No Hands at All
This is a tough pill for many poker players to swallow, but it’s crucial that you realize there are hands you should fold. If you play too passively or bet too cautiously, your opponents will take advantage of you. You want them to think that folding is never an option, even if it sometimes is. To successfully execute a bluff, you need to create doubt about what your hand might be. It’s only then that your opponent will start considering all of his options—including folding his cards—and give up some of his stack (and possibly yours). A good rule of thumb: play aggressively enough so that when your opponent bets into you and it looks like he has a hand like ace-queen, he also considers that maybe he doesn’t!