Are you haemorrhaging chips at the table or finding it difficult to pick the right spot to move all-in? This guide will help you play better Online Texas Hold’em poker and help you gain an advantage over other players at the table.
The World Series of Poker estimates that each day, 100 million people play Texas Hold’em online each day. That means there are plenty of bad players to exploit at the tables and win big if you employ the right strategy.
Here are the five simplest things you can do to play better online Texas Hold’em Poker.
Pick the Right Online Poker Site
You might believe that all poker sites are the same and ultimately, players only pick sites on preference. The truth is poker sites operate different software which can greatly impact your ability to maintain profitability.
This guide isn’t going to recommend a poker site to play online Texas Hold’em, instead you should research the marketplace and read reviews. When evaluating the reviews check out the 1-star reviews specifically.
If a site has 1-star reviews based on bad beats alone, you can disregard that as bitter players upset at their losses. But, if you find the 1-star reviews mention bots, poor customer service or odd poker software then you should steer clear.
For example, there is currently a hugely popular online poker site that has software that produces improbable river cards – this points to the poker software not being up to scratch and you should avoid sites where you can’t rely on the software to operate fairly.
Bad Beats Happen to EVERYONE
You may feel sick after moving all-in with a premium hand only to find your opponent held the stone cold nuts. It can be exasperating if you continually experience bad beats, commonly known as running cold.
You have to understand that there will be times where luck impacts you chances in a game and you will have periods where you run cold and times when you run hot.
When you find yourself in a bad beat situation or if you are running cold, the best thing to do is to play defensively. Be careful with your betting and ensure you are protecting your stack. Likewise, when you find you are in the groove and hands are falling your way, you should be looking to maximise any pots you can win.
Over the course of a long tournament, you will find your luck ebbs and flows naturally and the best poker players know how to protect their stack during bad spells.
Pay Attention to Other Players at the Table
Many poker sites allow you to make notes on other players. If you notice a player using a particular pattern then note it and use the information to your advantage later.
For example, you may notice a player always bluffs by employing re-raises to scare others off the pot. You can easily maximise your gains against these players by playing passively and letting them build the pot for you.
You may also notice a few players at the table are only playing what they consider ‘premium hands’. These players may feel like they are being careful by having such a narrow range but it is easily exploited to your advantage.
Be Wary of Pre-Flop All-Ins – Play Better Online Texas Hold’em Poker
If you watch a lot of live poker online you may notice it is rare for professional players to shove before the flop. The reason for this is because a pre-flop all-in invites a larger degree of luck to win.
Online poker players seem to love to shove all-in pre-flop and often do so with marginal hands. Before you call an all-in, ask yourself how good your starting hand is and whether you will be happy to gamble in the spot.
This doesn’t mean you should avoid calling pre-flop all-ins. It means you should be folding some of the time and calling when you are happy with the risk.
Risk management is incredibly important if you want to build your chip stack and make it to the final table.
Be Defensive – Play Better Online Texas Hold’em Poker
With poker it is incredibly easy to play aggressively, especially if you have build a nice chip stack. In tournaments the temptation to tax the pot and squeeze weaker chip stacks is high.
In certain spots aggression should be employed. But, you should also ensure your defensive game is equally strong and employed roughly the same amount of the time as any aggressive play.
This protects your range, allows you to maintain your chip stack. Playing both aggressively and defensively helps you to leverage in positions where you are weak and maximise your chip winnings when you are strong.
Most poker players have very little understanding of defensive poker play. It is a very difficult skillset to master compared to aggressive or offensive poker play. Adding even basic defensive strategy to your poker game will make your chances of success much higher.