1| Start with low-stakes games: For novice poker players, this clearly makes sense, but this rule also applies to any player starting out online. Even if you fancy yourself as an expert in poker at the casino, you’ll want to play low-stakes game while you get used to the online game. Since the online game attracts higher numbers, your opponents might be tougher than you’re used to at the casino. By starting with low-stakes you can adjust with less risk.
2| Maintain a Distraction-Free Area: When you’re playing from your computer or mobile device, there are loads more distractions than there are in a casino environment. Minimise distractions like social media or television so that you can focus on the game. You wouldn’t want to make a careless mistake or miss a piece of information.
3| Software is Your Friend: The poker world is host to a variety of software that can help you improve your play. The extent to which these methods should be used is up for debate but most online sites already have a note-taking function which is highly encouraged. You’ll be able to write your notes down on the screen and have the tips during subsequent hands. It’s also possible on many sites to colour-code players to indicate their strength.
4|Take the Long View: As you plan your long-term play, you’ll want to make decisions based on Expected Value. Expected value, or EV, is the money that you could either gain or lose from a specific bet, or a move in poker. Positive EV (+EV) signals that the move will help you win money in the long term. Negative EV (-EV) means the opposite. As you plot your strategy, you should only make moves that are going to result in a positive expected value. This is the way you can sustain a winning record at the online poker table.
5| Play Fewer Hands: It’s tempting to play every hand you’re dealt, but realistically that’s not going to win you any favours. If we look at Texas Hold’em, there are 169 possible hands but statistically there are only 10 to 15 that are usually worth playing. There are five hands that you should always play if someone ahead of you hasn’t already raised: AK (Suited), AA, KK, QQ, JJ. It might seem a little boring at first, but in the long run you’re much better to err on the side of caution and only raise if the odds are on your side.