When you are new to internet poker, you will tend to feel pretty hopeless when you first begin playing. At first, internet poker can seem like it is a lot easier than live poker; however, over time, it really can get quite confusing. This is because the strategies you learn in a live poker game do not work in an internet poker game.
When you are playing online, you have your own pace and time to adapt to. A big part of playing online is knowing when to fold – and when to stay in. However, if you are learning how to play internet poker, there is a big difference between the soft sell and the hard sell. There are certain times for certain hands, and certain hands at certain times.
When you are playing live poker in a poker room with real people, you are forced to adopt a strategy based on what the other live players are doing. As you see other people play their hands, you can tell when they are bluffing. This happens when the other live players’ raise or re-raise a bet based upon the fact that they haven’t raised or re-raised before you do. You can tell when someone is faking by the speed and thickness of their hand movement – when they put lots of little finger flicking motion on the cards while they are checking or raising. This is a great way to determine when a person is just trying to steal the blind from you with smaller hands.
The biggest issue with playing pre-flop is being able to identify when a player is throwing money out of the pot with pre-flop plays. This happens quite often in six-max games where the player has an exceptional flush but is throwing money out of the pot because they have missed their first three bets. I find it amazing that a person would place so much faith in pre-flop plays when they are making no money outside of their two highest bets when they look at the board after the flop.
Therefore, I always try to identify this situation and either play my five-card draw or try to migrate as much as possible. If there is an opportunity to win a pot in preflop, I will usually play poor hands and hope for the best. However, if I am on the flop and don’t have a high hand, I will often stay in and play strong. It may not seem like much of a difference when we compare a preflop winrate with playing a good hand against a strong player, but it really is a big one.
When you are playing multiple tables at once, you need to take advantage of the size of your opponents. The size of your opponents can make a huge difference to whether you are able to win more pots or whether you are able to stay in and fold. For instance, if you are playing two small opposition players preflop, you are probably going to be dead on both flops and they won’t likely raise much. However, if you are playing against a full table of opponents, your chances of winning increase because they are all larger players.
Also, you need to know when to fold if you are behind in the preflop or if you aren’t hitting the flop at all. A lot of poker players are okay with playing multiple tables when they are behind in money, but those same players become too aggressive and fold preflop when they are behind. Therefore, if you know that you aren’t going to hit the flop and you want to keep your hand size small, you should fold preflop to several smaller opponents and then continue to play strong the rest of the game. If you are dead on the flop and have raised a couple of opponents, however, it is often a good idea to continue to play strong, because it shows your opponents that you have some strength even though you are weak. Once you have advanced to multiple tables, however, you can begin to use the above method against more difficult players.
The final part of our tutorial explains what we call the upswing lab. It is basically a tool that allows you to monitor how other players play out in the poker game. This is important because it gives you an idea of what type of hands you should be raising and lowering when you are in the preflop, and also what type of hands you should be folding if you are behind. If you can learn how other players are playing out, you can get better at making decisions based on what they are doing, and you can develop a better poker game by studying the way that other poker players make decisions.