What sets good online poker players from bad ones? They know how to adjust their game to the internet so they can play better poker. Here’s how:
Distractions
You have fewer distractions to contend with in an online casino than a live one. The sounds, lights and booze, are all absent. But there are still potential obstructions to your game that you ought to watch out for.
Since playing poker online is so convenient, it’s easy to do other things while playing. Avoid this. Do not chat when playing online. Do not read or watch TV. If you live with family, close the door and don’t let yourself be disturbed. You’re playing with money and for money. Take it seriously.
Observation
Online poker has very few tells. But you have to make the most of what little clues are there if you want to have an edge over other players. Keep an eye on these when playing poker online:
Betting Patterns. This is the most obvious tell of all. Who raises or folds preflop? Who is the calling station? Does a player limp through the rounds? Or do they bully others with many raises? Who check-raises and who check-folds? Who sees the river all the time?
Showdown Hands. Showdowns give important clues about players. Note what hands they play. Do they play only the choicest hands? Or do they play even with marginal hands? Were they bluffing? Did they lose the hand because they played “trap” (second-best) hands?
If you can remember which hands they play and how, who is a rock and who is a maniac, it will help you in later games. For example, if there’s a frequent aggressor who turns out to be bluffing at the showdown, you can wait for a premium hand and then challenge them with it. On the other hand, if someone calls and checks all the way o the river, and wins with a monster, you’ve got a rock in your hands. Respect them.
Player Profiles. Based on your observations above, classify your opponents into tight & aggressive, tight & passive, loose & aggressive and loose & passive. Tight means playing only a few good hands, loose plays even marginal hands. Aggressive and passive refer to how a player bets: bets and raises are signs of aggression; calls, checks and folds are passive.
Tracking. Keep track of who wins and with what hands. If a player got a trip in the last game, it’s almost certain they don’t have one in the present game. If they won big in the last game and are playing again now, they must have a big hand. Unless they are loose, players aren’t eager to play another hand after a huge win.
Discipline
Just because no one can see you curse, cry, jeer and groan, that doesn’t mean you should. Be a disciplined player. Not a couch potato just looking to pass the time with online poker.
The disciplined player must, above all, have control of their emotions. Practice being sill and calm even when they can’t see you. Sit up straight, spine erect, your face calm. You’d be surprised at how much correct posture influences your mental attitude. You’ll notice the difference in your mind immediately. Good posture means a steady and focused mind.
Be patient when waiting for a good hand. Don’t let your mind wander. Pay attention eve when you’re not in the hand. Don’t be intimidated by other players. Be positive and cheerful. And have confidence in your skills. These are the hallmarks of a good poker player.