Starting your online poker journey is exciting. But, before you start your journey, do go through our ultimate guide - How to Play Poker Online. This will get you started and refresh the basics of poker.
Whether you play poker online for free or put in real money, there are a few things you must keep in mind before you start playing online. In this blog, we cover everything you need to know before starting your online poker journey.
When you play online poker for free or for real money, it is essential you do the following five things - it enhances your poker skills, knowledge, and edge!
Understand the different poker variants
There is more to poker than a 2-hand variant. As of today, there are different variants and poker game types apart from Texas Hold’em poker. The most common ones are:
Pot-Limit Omaha (4-card)
In 4-card PLO, each player is dealt 4 cards as opposed to the 2 cars dealt in Texas Hold’em. The community cards displayed on the table are the same - five cards. In this variant, players need to make the highest-ranking hand using exactly two hole cards and three community cards.
Pot-Limit Omaha (5-card)
The rules and goals of a 5-card PLO are the same as a 4-card PLO with a slight change - that makes all the difference. Instead of 4 cards, in this variant, players are dealt five cards each.
Do your research and build your strategy
You must always have a strategy before starting your poker journey. Even if you play poker online for free, a strategy is the best way for you to turn into a professional player.
You can have an aggressive or a passive approach - your strategy will depend on your bankroll. Bankroll is the amount of money you can invest when playing online poker.
We talk about this in detail below.
Here are a few tips to create your custom poker strategy:
Pay attention to bankroll management
One needs to have a solid understanding of bankroll management before approaching the game, especially when you’re playing with real money. Without a good understanding of how to manage or strategize your funds, there's a good chance that a player at the initial level may go broke easily. So, poker players must have a defined strategy for their daily investments or returns to be able to manage things more sustainably.
Observe your player.
In an online game, it is hard to read players as you’re not physically present with them. However, their call and bet patterns can give you a rough idea about their game strategy, tendencies, etc can be observed. This way you can note the personality of a player - whether they are a:
Tight - A very conservative player, who only plays very good starting hands.
Loose - A player who hardly folds any hand.
Passive - A player who keeps calling every bet and hardly ever raises.
Aggressive - A person who is always raising and playing more than a reasonable number of hands.
Tight-Aggressive - A conservative player who selectively gets aggressive when they feel they feel the moment is right.
Loose-Passive - They play a lot of hands and don’t really have a strategy to play their game in a profitable way.
Fish - A beginner, who doesn’t really understand the game well. A Fish is more likely to be loose or loose-passive.
Shark - They are usually aggressive or tight-aggressive, and are usually the most experienced and to-be-feared players on the table.
Whale - This could also be a fish, but these are usually those players who have a lot of money and don’t care a bit about winning or losing. They are here for fun!
Maintain and healthy diet and routine
Sleep properly, eat clean and exercise as the sessions can get long and challenging, you need to have your mind and body in perfect control.
There is an element of risk involved, proceed with caution
Everything that glitters may not necessarily be gold. The same can be said for poker given the right context. It’s important for players to understand the nuances of the game to a point where they can decide for themselves whether or not they can handle things like tilts, and variance, as they are all a part of the game.
Check out videos from the pros
Learning the game from experienced players is best to get a head-start in your online poker journey. Jonathan Little, Benjamin Rolle (BencyB), Doug Polk, and Daniel Negreanu are a few extremely talented poker players who post a lot of guides and videos.
Choose well-known, secure poker apps
When starting your online journey, it is crucial to do your research and shortlist apps/sites that you find secure. You can read our blog Best Websites to Play Poker Online Games to make the decision on your own. A few things to look out for when researching poker apps are:
Check our blog Best Websites to Play Poker Online Games to make an informed decision and choose the right platform for you.
Choose a good rakeback platform to sign up
Make sure that your hard-earned money reaps a reasonable return while you are playing online. Rakeback is the money you get back from an operator and it is based on the money the online operator has made while facilitating the online gaming services. Many companies like Whispering Shouts offer amazing offers and rack-back deals that enable you to maximize your ROI.
Let’s Start The Journey!
Alright, champ! You’re ready to play online poker (free or real money!)
Go through our Ultimate Guide to Learn Online Poker and revisit the rules, if needed. Best of luck at the tables!