Winning at Online Poker

November 12, 2009 |

By Fiona Woods

Winning at Online PokerThere’s no two ways about it, poker is a game of skill that includes elements of luck and chance, but by no means is it purely a game of chance. Winning at online poker also means choosing from a dizzying array of choices of gaming websites and games.

Texas Hold ‘Em games abound on the Internet, and if you’re a skilled player, you have a good chance of earning first-rate cash prizes. This game is played against other players, unlike Caribbean Stud Poker, which is played against the house. Skills are an absolute must in poker.

One of the best tips in online poker is to simply learn the rules of the game thoroughly. This will automatically qualify you to start off building a reputation as a skilled player. The rest is down to experience. If you want to make money you should make sure you get better information and understanding of the psychology of each player you’re betting against.

So how do we define skill in poker? According to Diane Olandar, who writes frequently on poker strategy, skill takes on several dimensions: players adjust their play to their position according to whether they are first or last to bet; they “gauge the odds of making a particular hand compared to the size of the pot (the “pot odds”); they try and figure out their opponents hands by “tells” and betting patterns, and usually tend to play tight and aggressive, but must occasionally vary their play by bluffing (loose) or checking (passive) in order to avoid giving away their strength.”

The writer adds that “this illustrates an important rule in poker: skilled poker players are more selective, and therefore, enter fewer pots. They win less often, but are more likely to win the pots that they do enter. Average-skilled players tend to pursue more hands, and therefore, lose more when they do lose.”

Emotional control is an absolute must, and emphasized by several experts in poker. If you get a bad beat, take it in stride…back off if you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed with frustration. Remembering that poker is just a game is key.

Being honest with yourself is another key asset. You should know your level of skill, and match it against the rest of the players in the game you are playing at the time. This means constantly evaluating the game and the players, so that you don’t become complacent and assume that since you won yesterday, you’ll win today. As the old saying goes, you never step in the same river twice.

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