How to get Started in Online Poker
Poker is a game of immense skill and strategy, a game that separates the men from the boys. In poker you need to keep track of multiple things at every given moment — you’re spinning plates essentially, keeping tabs on your own hand as well as others, all the while keeping your poker face in check. To become an elite poker player, you need to be a cut above the rest. How do you get there? Try online poker for a start and Cozino should definitely be amongst the first casino sites to check out, either for table or online slots.
We understand that a lot of older poker players aren’t too keen on online poker as you play it on a computer instead of the traditional face-to-face style of playing. Online poker allows you to play whenever you like wherever you like — especially on mobile. There’s no greater training partner out right now than these online versions, trust us we know.
There’s never been a better time to get involved with online poker since there are so many options for punters to pick and choose from. All the best gaming developers in the world have their own version for you to play. The look of these games tend to change the most, but for the most part, it’s still just the same style of poker.
This article is meant for any player looking to get into online poker — or poker in general. We’ve been playing this game for the better part of a decade, and to be honest even we were sceptical about online poker, yet here we are, writing an article on it, so try to keep an open mind here, and you’ll definitely feel more fulfilled.
WINNING STRATEGY IN ONLINE POKER
The lessons taught in poker can be applied to most situations in everyday life, one needs to be patient, and they need to be calculated; pick your spots to shine, and the rest will fall into place. Being a great actor helps, but having the right source material (a decent hand) will definitely help you give the performance of a lifetime.
If you hope to come out successful on the table, then you should always be going in with a strategy of some kind. Right now, there are well over 50 strategies for players to implement, some a lot harder than others. If you want to find the best one for you then the best advice we can give is simply to try them out, and if you fail then you know it isn’t for you, or it simply requires more practice.
- Play Fewer Hands: A very simple yet effective strategy, one that comes with few downsides. Play as few hands as you can and play them aggressively, this will not only put other players on blast, but it will also cover you just in case you are in possession of a bad hand. It’s a win-win situation. If you have a bad hand, then you pretend like you’re in a position of power, whereas if you have a good hand all you’re being is honest. When you raise here, your opponents won’t know what to expect, which makes the gameplay a lot tighter and could force some players to fold.
- Don’t Be The First To Go Limp: For those that don’t know, to limp is to enter the pot first. Why you shouldn’t be first, comes down to the fact that you can’t win the pot before the flop and it could be raised. Another downside is you give players in the rotation the chance to stick around. In our opinion, the only time when limping is a good idea is when at least one other player has already done so. This is good since you’re almost guaranteeing good odds since there are fewer people involved on the flop.
- Semi-Bluff Aggressively: Bluffing is a poker players bread and butter, those that can’t bluff effectively just won’t be able to succeed. New players might not understand how to utilise their bluffs to help them out as they play, this is why you need practice — preferably against real opponents as you’ll be able to monitor your bluffs more. Try to let the cards you have dictate how you bluff, and bluff sparingly if you happen to have a decent hand in your possession. It can take you years to master the art of the bluff, which is why it is recommended that you practice as much as possible. Practice on as many hands as you have possible, and you’ll always be in control.
- Fast-Play Strong Hands: This is a great way of building the pot even higher and making more money as a result. If you are in possession of a strong hand, it’s best to raise the stakes at every opportunity and move on to the next hand. Yes, there is satisfaction in these victories but think about how it’ll feel just to dominate the rest of the field rapidly. There’s not a lot of downsides when it comes to speeding through a game — you don’t even have to bluff (unless you aren’t in possession of the best hands possible here). Your opponents will either bluff themselves or think that they’re in control, which is why the pot will increase.
- Defend Big Blinds: Having a big blind will put you in a very lucrative position, to begin with, hence why you should defend it at all cost. Whenever it’s your turn to raise your bet while in possession of a big blind, you will have better pot odds to call than any other position. The best way to describe this strategy is to liken it to a discount. In this position, you can call with a lot more hands than normal, although with that in mind, players who have terrible hands (like a 9 of hearts and a 5 of diamonds) should still raise when applicable, or risk in losing money where you’re trying to be too smart.
- Always Fold When Unsure: This is arguably the best strategy one can enforce when playing poker. All the best players in the world understand that to be the best, sometimes, you have to lose a few times to know how it feels; this is how you become better. We all play poker to win, we don’t care who you are or what you think, that is just a straight-up fact, which is why it pains so many players to have to throw in the towel — sometimes with a big pot in the middle. Egos are so fragile, which is why poker is a good way of weeding those sorts of people out. If unsure, just fold and save yourself for another day.
- Observe Weakness: In some occasions, players will make it abundantly clear that they’re bluffing and have nothing to show for it. Sensing weakness can be quite difficult to look out for, but normally when players don’t check their hands and still call bets until the last moment when they actually do check, this signifies a bluff of some kind. Think of yourself as a shark, one that smells blood in the water. If you know you have a killer hand in your possession, then you should almost always utilise a semi-bluff first and then follow-through with the pure-bluff (a bluff that is actually truthful). Your opponents won’t know what hit them.
BETTING IN ONLINE POKER
Like we mentioned above, poker is a game of skill and patience, like most live casino games. A lot is going on in this game to try to take your time with learning the fundamentals before you try your hand at bluffing or any of the other strategies we’ve mentioned above. There are many variations to poker, which is why it’s best you familiarise yourself with your chosen version as soon as possible.
The game of poker begins with two cards dealt face down. From here, each participating player must select two cards from a shuffled deck in combination with five shared community cards, thus forming a five-card hand. The player with the best hand (there are various winning combinations out there) will emerge victoriously and will have won the pot.
In total there are four rounds of betting in total, it’s during these rounds where players will be given a chance to stay, raise, fold or go all in. It’s during, and in between, these rounds where players will be given the opportunity to bluff — to bluff is to essentially lie to the rest of the table, luring them into a false sense of security only for you to reveal a killer hand.
Keep in mind that every decision you make in each round will also work alongside your bluff. To raise is to increase your initial bet. Raising implies that you have a good hand and therefore could win the pot, this can put other players under pressure. To stay can assert dominance too, suggesting that you are in a great position.
Going all in is to place all your chips on the table. Going all in could trick players in raising their bets when you have something hidden up your sleeves, although very rarely will you find people going all in, especially in tournaments. To fold is bow out, meaning you won’t have a chance to win the pot and will no longer be a part of the game.
ESSENTIAL POKER TIPS
We have already covered some of the best poker tips/strategies above, so if you want to learn more about those definitely go back and read that section, although here are some of the most important in case you needed a recap:
- Always Fold When Unsure: There is never any shame in bowing out of a game because you aren’t too sure about your hand versus some of the others out there. Yes, your ego might take a knock by doing so, but at least you’ll save yourself some money in the long run.
- Fast-Play Strong Hands: If you are in possession of a killer hand, you can trick other players to bet since they believe you to be bluffing. You won’t actually need to bluff if you have one of these hands, which makes it even sweeter.
- Observe Weakness: Weakness is what can cause many avid poker players downfall. Look out for sudden changes in their demeanour or how they hold themselves at the table and exploit it. Poker is a ruthless game when it wants to be, and we have no doubts that other players would do the same to you in a moment’s notice.
VIDEO POKER VS LIVE POKER
Video poker is a regular like poker only played on a computer screen against actual opponents — a hybrid sort of game that combines regular poker with online poker. Like we mentioned before, online poker makes it difficult to bluff since facial expressions and demeanour are two key components used, but that still isn’t to say that video poker isn’t a hell of a lot of fun; go try it out for yourself!
Video poker can take some getting used to since you have to manually input your options via a screen rather than placing them yourself physically. One of the best things about video poker is that odds are displayed on the screen for you, showing you which is the best path to take depending on the sort of player you are. There are more benefits to video poker, but we find that the best way to discover those is by yourself.
FREE ONLINE POKER
Most online table games like poker have free to play variants that you can check out that don’t require money to play! These sorts of games are the perfect training ground when it comes to taking your skills to the table; it’s free too, which is also great for obvious reasons. Right now, there must be over a hundred free online poker games available — some paid versions actually let you play for free too!