The game of poker has long been a staple of smoky bars and casinos but as the internet has evolved secure online sites have emerged that allow players to wager real money against other players. These websites have spawned an entire new breed of poker player and have taken the game to a whole new level.
Many people have jumped into the fray with great success, but for those who are just beginning their online poker adventure here are some tips to help make the transition as smooth as possible.
First and foremost, pick a reputable site. This means ensuring that the site is licensed by your state gambling regulator and that its software is regularly audited to ensure there are no security issues. Choosing a reputable site also helps you to avoid any fraud or collusion by fellow players and other bad actors.
Once you’ve chosen a site, take some time to familiarize yourself with the interface. Most online poker sites have a fairly intuitive layout but it’s still good to spend a few hands just getting used to the way things work. You’ll want to know where your chips are, how the raise buttons work and how to chat with your opponents. A few minutes spent learning the interface will speed up your play and possibly prevent you from making a mistake.
Another important aspect of online poker is position. Generally speaking, the earlier you act in the hand, the more likely you’re to be raised or re-raised. This is because other players will have a better idea of how strong your hand is and can adjust their bet sizes accordingly. On the other hand, if you’re last to act, you may be able to steal a few blind bets from the other players by calling their bluffs with a cheeky raise of your own.
A solid understanding of the rankings of starting hands is also key when playing online poker. You’ll need to understand how a pair of 8s with an ace kicker ranks against a pair of kings or even a full house, which could be your best poker hand. If you don’t have a good understanding of how starting hands rank, you won’t be able to make the most out of your opportunities.
Finally, if you’re a newbie to the game of poker it’s best to limit your tables to one at a time until you get used to the pace and environment of online poker. There is a lot to see and process when you play at multiple tables and it can cause sensory overload which can interfere with your ability to make sound calls.
Don’t be afraid to move up in stakes if you’re feeling comfortable with the pace. However, if you do lose a few games it’s fine to drop down and grind it out before trying again. This is how most winners view moving up the stakes and it’s a great way to develop your game without risking too much money.