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Anyone can learn to play and win online poker. All you need is a basic understanding of the game and a good online poker strategy.
You don’t have to be a mathematical whizz or have extensive knowledge of percentages to learn a basic poker strategy to play poker online. However, if you are a complete amateur and are new to playing poker online, it is critical you do some research and learn a few online poker tips and tricks before you start playing. While you can learn the fundamentals of poker within minutes, it can take years to win at online poker consistently.
With that said, if you have wondered how to play poker, what all in free poker means, or what makes a top poker hand, we’ve got you covered. This online poker strategy guide covers the basics, with the odd poker tip thrown in for good measure.
New Players: Learning The Basics Of Poker
It is now legal to play poker online in five US states: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada, and Delaware. This means players can play MI online poker or visit NJ poker sites to play for real money. The good news for players is that there is no need to visit the local casino to enter a poker tournament, as there are numerous poker tournaments and live games available on poker apps.
This added convenience means you can choose from a range of friendly stakes. Additionally, the best sites will have bonuses and promotions to boost your bankroll and give you a bigger budget. With the advent of online poker, there are now numerous online poker strategies, online poker tournament tips, and cash game tips. However, before delving into how to make money playing poker, it is vital we cover the basic poker rules.
The most prominent form of poker is Texas Hold’em, so we will use this poker game as our example. For a game of Hold’em, each player receives two cards face down at the start of the hand. First, there is a round of betting before a “flop” is dealt. This involves three cards referred to as ‘community cards which everyone around the table shares.
Next, another round of betting commences then a single “turn” card is added to the flop. This leads to a further round of betting before a final “river” card is added to the turn. The principal aim for all poker players is to create the best 5-card poker hand from your two hole cards and the five community cards.
All winning hands follow typical poker rankings and are listed below from best to worst:
- Royal Flush
- Straight Flush
- Four of a Kind
- Full House
- Three of a Kind
- Two Pair
- One Pair
- High Card
Now that we have listed the best hands that work for any poker system let’s get into the details of what you need to learn to make money playing online poker. There are no poker tips from pros here; after all, they wouldn’t want to give away their secrets!
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Poker Strategies & Tips To Boost Chances Of Winning Cash Games
If you consider yourself a decent poker player but want more tips for playing live poker and making some more profits, we have laid out some recommendations for you to put into practice below. Here is an online poker cash game strategy that can transform you into a profitable poker playe.
1. Learn How To Bluff
The best online poker strategy will always include a section on bluffing. If the top players didn’t bluff, they wouldn’t win many pots. You will miss the flop or turn too many times, so understanding how to bluff is an excellent way of forcing players to fold. The best players know how to bluff, so they make better hands fold. A perfect place to start would be by learning the continuation bet (c-bet). This is a bet made on the flop after you have led the betting pre-flop.
It makes no difference whether you have hit the flop or not, as a c-bet will keep everything going. Additionally, if you are coming across as aggressive to the other players, a c-bet is good for disguising your made hands. The opponents at the table may believe you are just trying to buy the pot while you actually have a good hand.
2. But Don’t Overdo The Bluffing
Although bluffing is a fantastic poker strategy to learn and develop as you grow as a player, it is important not to get too attached to the idea of constantly bluffing. There is no need to bleed chips by playing your marginal hands a lot, especially if you run into a situation where you are calling a lot, and the opponent doesn’t respect your plays.
It is also worth noting that you can use semi-bluffs. A semi-bluff is where you have a drawing hand that has the potential of improving into a strong hand. If you are playing tournament poker online and not sat at an actual poker table, it’s a lot easier to bluff.
3. Be Careful With Your Starting Hands
When you are a new player, you may be tempted to play every hand. You may think it isn’t much fun to keep folding while you watch others collect all the chips. However, you must be selective with your starting hands. More often than not, your hands will be behind on the flop, so you will just be throwing money away.
Good poker intelligence is about choosing the right starting hands, passing on a marginal hand but being confident and aggressive on a big hand. Select a couple of premium hands to raise in late position, and make sure you fold a lot of your rubbish hands pre-flop.
The best starting hands are listed below grouped together, with pocket aces:
- A-K suited
- A-Q suited
- A-J suited
- K-Q suited
Any of the above hands should be raised if you are in a late position. Specific hands, like A-A and K-K, can also be raised if you are the first to bet post-flop. Don’t get too confident with pairs like 2-2 and 3-3 and only play them to extract value on the flop.
4. Learn What Hand Rankings & Odds Mean
Although having a decent grasp of starting hands is a good poker tip, understanding the rankings is even more vital for online play. For example, if you are dealt A-7, and the flop comes K-7-2, you know you have a pair of sevens with an ace kicker. However, that is being beaten by a pair of kings, and maybe a set of 2s or 7s.
So the thought process from here is what needs to improve? You may be thinking another seven to give you three of a kind, but remember that may give the opponent a full house. An Ace would be welcome as that would give you two pairs and put you in a commanding position. However, if there is a raise pre-flop, does the opponent hold A-K?
You need to be aware of the odds of hitting a winning hand. This means understanding the following:
- Hand Odds
- Pot Odds
The outs signal the number of cards in the deck that can improve your hand. If you can calculate your outs, this means you can calculate the odds of your hand. You can then check the amount of money you need to put in the pot to call and compare the two figures.
For example, your hand odds maybe 6/1 after calculating the number of outs, and the pot odds are 12/1. Essentially, you are being paid 12/1 to make a 6/1 call.
5. Develop A Brave & Aggressive Nature
We don’t mean to be angry with everyone at the table! We mean be aggressive in your style of play. It defeats the object of the game if you’re not willing to bet a lot of chips and force players out.
Consequently, a good poker tip to be tight and aggressive by choosing a few hands to play and going at them with force. If you are against players who tend to fold a lot, you can also be aggressive with small pairs. This means you can hide the true strength of your hand.
6. Don’t Be Scared To Fold
It is vital when playing in cash games to learn to fold hands. One of the great things, when you play online poker, is that you are dealt a considerable number of hands. The pace is relentless, especially when playing Sit ‘n Gos and fast-fold cash games. This means there is no need to play every hand as another one will be along instantly.
We understand it could be a boring and mundane experience sitting at your laptop and folding terrible hand after terrible hand. But this doesn’t mean playing bad hands just because you are bored. With that said, you also need to learn to fold when you think you have a good hand. If an aggressive player is re-raising on a flop of A-5-10 and you have a pair, it’s time to hand in the cards.
There is no shame in saving your money for another hand. If you are ever unsure, the best advice is to let the hand go and re-group.
7. Don’t Spend More Than You Can Afford
Legal poker apps in the US offer a wide range of games and stake levels. Players can choose from $0.01/$0.02 Hold’em cash games, or if they are feeling confident, enter high-stakes tournaments costing $500+. Although it takes seconds to register for a sit-down at a cash table, always be aware of your bankroll level.
For example, if you $100 to play cash games, the best thing to do is start playing 0.05/$0.10 games and reserve some of your roll for rebuys. An excellent tournament strategy is to spend 5-10% of your bankroll for a single entry.
Additionally, don’t just look at the financial figures. Because you have allocated $100 to spend doesn’t automatically qualify you to play at $5/10 or $100 buy-ins. You need to ensure you are comfortable at the level and have gained enough experience before moving up. If you are consistently winning on your stake level, consider moving up.
8. Protect Your Blinds
In the past, basic poker tips would suggest that you should fold most of your hands in the small blind and big blind. However, these days the typical thinking is that you should defend your blinds at every opportunity. When you are the big blind, you’re already invested. Additionally, when the flop comes out, you are the second in line to bet. You will have no information on most of the table, so why do you need to defend this position?
The answer revolves around post-flop betting. In a scenario where you are the big blind, you are the last act. You can call, raise, or check if there has been no pre-flop raise. Being the last to act means you can gain a lot of information pre-flop on your opponents. If you pay attention, you can use this information and call the big blind with a range of hands. Additionally, you may get a good price to see a flop.
The above comes with a caution, though. Always be wary of re-raised pots and look at the amount of players in the hand. Furthermore, always defend with a hand that plays well in different ways, such as premium pairs and suited connectors.
9. Understand Your Table Position
Understanding where you sit at the table is a vital aspect of learning any poker strategy. In an early position, where you are the first to move, you could be facing a raise of a re-raise. On the other hand, you will know more about what your opponents have done in a late position.
The importance of position is crucial. It informs the hands you will call or raise with and dictates the tempo you will play at post-flop. No matter if you are a newbie to playing, a recreational player, or a pro, there is always something you can learn.
You may also want to read: Strip poker guide & Hottest Female Poker Players
As online poker and online casino gaming become more popular in the US, we expect more states to offer iGaming in the next few years.
10. Play the Player
This is a common poker tournament strategy you can implement in your gameplay. Every player, even the most professional ones, has behaviors or habits you can exploit. The trick is to pay attention to what your opponents are not doing right and leverage them.
If a player tends to call your bets using numerous holdings, don’t bluff him. However, if you notice a passive opponent only raises when he has great hands, you may need to fold.
11. Get Rid of Distractions
It is important to focus on the game in progress to get the best outcome when playing on an online poker table. This is particularly important when playing on live online poker sites.
This is because you get dealt numerous hands every hour, and the slightest distraction may result in a mistake that opponents can capitalize on. Moreover, paying attention also allows you to get critical information from your opponents, which can improve your chance.
Some of the things you can do to avoid distractions include:
- Don’t respond to messages or turn off your phone entirely
- Don’t multitask while playing online poker games
- Find a quiet spot where nobody can interrupt your game
With these tips, you can pick all the information you require from your opponents – and capitalize on them for larger wins.
Can online poker be profitable?
Yes, online poker can be very profitable as long as you are willing to put the work in. You must do your research and understand how the game works online.
Can online poker be rigged?
As long as you sign up and play at a legal, regulated online poker site, the game cannot be rigged. The poker sites need to adhere to strict rules to continue operating and wouldn’t risk the penalties they would face allow anything dodgy.
Can you consistently win at poker?
You can consistently win at poker at the lower stakes, but you will sometimes lose regardless of your poker skills.
Are there poker strategy tips that can always ensure you win the pot?
Like all casino games, you sometimes win and lose when playing poker. It is a scam if anyone promises you a winning poker strategy that always lands you the winning hand. Most beginner poker players tend to fall into this trap, so its best to avoid it.