Learning to play poker is easy; mastering it is another story. But it’s not just experience that will be key to becoming a good online poker player.

Other considerations such as analytical skills, bankroll management and odds calculation will have a decisive influence on your conversion from a fish to a real shark.

There are many card game fans who wonder how to be the best at online poker. In the virtual world, we have access to a number of tools, such as hand downloads, that help you learn and improve your game.

Here are some pro tips to help you become a better online poker player.

Don’t play every hand

The benefits of following this tip are twofold. On the one hand, by being selective about the hands you play, you’ll avoid wasting a lot of money. In addition, you will make better decisions post-flop. On the other hand, by not betting on every hand, you have the luxury of analyzing your opponents and ranking them.

Analyze your opponents

In poker, it’s not just your hand that counts. From the moment you sit down at the table, you need to gather as much information as possible. Watching your opponents tells – those little gestures that give away whether they have a good hand or a bad bet – will give you valuable information about what your next move should be.

But opponent analysis is a two-sided coin and you have to know what kind of opponent you are up against. A novice player can give you valuable information based on his reactions or style of play, but an experienced player will know how to play the bluff and the tells will not be so obvious.

Stretching your response time too long, betting fast to make it look like you’re obviously interested in staying in the hand, or implying false tells to confuse your opponents are some of the strategies that top players use at the right moments in the game.

Calculate your odds

One of the most noticeable differences between a professional player and a recreational player is that the former knows the importance of calculating his odds well and applies it to his game.

The mathematics of poker is the unfinished business of many online poker players who, instead of focusing on winning money, prefer to have a fun and exciting time. However, if you want to become the best online poker player, you need to familiarize yourself with the terms odds and outs.

To understand this, imagine you have a flush draw on the turn, i.e., the fourth card has been revealed and your odds of completing the flush have increased. However, at this point, in order to complete the flush, you can’t just rely on luck: you have to calculate the odds.

Theoretically, to get a flush, you need the river to show a card of the same suit. Since a suit has 13 cards and 4 of them have already come up, that means there are 9 cards left in the deck to complete your flush, i.e., a total of 9 outs. This is the way to calculate outs in poker.

But if the theory seemed simple to you, be careful, because the reality is different. In poker, to calculate the outs you have to take into account other things: the number of cards that are not in the deck, that in the Turn there is only one card left and that alters our odds compared to the Flop… That is, the moment of the game influences even though the same elements are used to calculate the same thing. All you get with probability are estimates, but if you don’t introduce the right variables, you can come to wrong conclusions.

Consider your position

Many players, especially when they first start playing poker, do not take into account their position at the table.

Acting the same whether you are the first player to speak during the betting round or the last is a mistake that the best poker players don’t allow themselves to make. The reason? The information available in either case.

To put it more clearly: if you’re the first player to receive cards, you’ll have to make a blind bet. On the other hand, if you are the last player at the table, you will be the most coveted of all, since you will know all the players’ bets, i.e. you will be the player with the most information.

Manage your bankroll

The leap from a recreational player to a professional player involves not only theoretical, practical and strategic knowledge of the game, but also an emotional and psychological learning process that includes the proper management of the money you have available for your poker games.

The proper management and administration of your bankroll will be fundamental to the success of your poker playing career. Mismanagement of your bankroll can lead to bankruptcy as a result of the inevitable variance of the game.

The break-even point of playing poker is one of profitability and enjoyment. Of course, there are going to be some projects that don’t quite complete and you may well get bad beats, i.e. you may lose even when you have a good hand. But this is all part of the learning curve and the background of a good poker player.

This is where you have to control your emotional responses to the maximum to avoid falling into tilt, that is, a moment in the game in which the player feels frustrated and angry after a succession of bad results. Tilt is one of the worst enemies of poker players, as it leads them to lose control over their game and, of course, their bankroll.

 

READ MORE

Strategies for playing online poker. Part I: general considerations

Strategies for playing online poker. Part II: tips for newcomers

Strategies for playing online poker. Part III: poker techniques for intermediate players