2020 was a year in which online poker went to new heights, with multiple platforms running huge tournament series and the popularity of poker streamers like Lex Veldhuis and Spraggy going through the roof.
Ways to Take Your Online Poker Game Up a Level
However, as anyone who has dipped their toe in the online poker waters will tell you, this is not a game that can be mastered overnight. Indeed, it’s poker’s complex nature that gives it such widespread appeal, as it attracts gamers no matter their ability level.
In this article we focus on those new players who want to reach a respectable level in the shortest amount of time possible.
Have Hand Rankings Imprinted on Your Brain
You would be surprised by just how many new players of any online game expect to become experts in the blink of an eye, despite them not even knowing the absolute basics.
The bare minimum that any new poker player should have committed to memory are the hand rankings that dictate which hand will conquer that of an opponent.
There really is no excuse for not knowing these because online card rooms and apps usually have a free-to-access area where you can find out what beats what when it’s time to stop raising or bluffing, and show what you’re holding.
By remembering your hand rankings, you will avoid finding yourself in that embarrassing situation where you believe you have won, but in fact it is your opponent who gets to mop up the chips after you made a miscalculation.
Use ‘Play Money’ As You Learn the Ropes
As you learn it makes sense to keep the stakes you play as low as possible, and that begins with players taking advantage of things like ‘Play Money’.
This is a type of in-game currency that can be used to enter tournaments but at a fraction of the cost. This allows new players to garner the experience they crave but without incurring too many dents in the wallet.
Understand Why Table Position is So Important
Position is key in poker. Far too many players forget this and go headfirst into daring bluffs or raises without realising that three or four big stacks are yet to act.
This can lead to disastrous consequences for many poker newbies and is something that can be learnt relatively quickly from the various poker training programs and apps that exist on the market today.
Employ Strict Bankroll Management
Once your confidence is up and results are beginning to go your way, the temptation can be to move up in stakes as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, this would be a bad move, because just as a fleeting upswing in fortunes can come your way, so too can a run of bad beats.
These are the ups and downs that make poker such an enthralling game, but to ensure you do not get caught out by what is known as ‘variance’, you should choose a realistic bankroll management plan and stick to it.
Challenge Yourself by Multi-Tabling
With a few tournament podium finishes in the bag, you may want to start filling those long time gaps where you have to wait for other hands to act.
A nice little challenge to set yourself is to see if you can play at two tables simultaneously, then three, and then four, until you cannot fit anymore poker action on your screen.
This is known as multi-tabling and is a great way of practicing having to act quickly under time pressure. To help you do this it can be worth investing in a widescreen monitor or combining two standard monitors to work in tandem.
Watch Online Streaming Maestros for Tips and Pointers
Last but not least, one of the best ways to get better at poker is to watch how the best in the business approach the game.
There is no shortage of top players who stream high stakes tournaments via platforms like Twitch, so why not seek some out and see what good tactics you can pick up from them?