When you play poker or blackjack online, your adrenaline will jump up and down as the game progresses and this is expected. What is critical is to keep in mind the basics so that you can avoid losing money and be ahead of the curve in terms of winning most of the time. So let’s get to it, here are the fundamentals that you need to know by heart:
- Do Not Bluff Inferior Opponents
If you happen to play against an opponent that you have confirmed is worse than you, try not to bluff especially if you notice that he makes a call on most of the bets. For players like these, they always think you might be faking, so they call, hoping they can get lucky. Not good. This will result in you losing money.
- It’s OK to Go All-In Against Superior Opponents
If you think the odds are in your favor, go for it, as what you see all the time in the World Series of Poker at Binion’s!. It sure beats a war of attrition that can go on for hours, and against a superior opponent at that.
- Do Not Insist on Winning Every Hand in Heads-Up Play
You do not have to win every single hand. You do not have go all-in every time you think you have a strong hand. When you play heads up, the whole point is to chip at your opponent slowly (pardon the pun), so do not go for the nuke option to get all his chips in one shot. Slow and steady is the key. Remember that you do not even have to win most of the hands anyway, just the important ones. However, if you luck out on a really excellent hand, don’t place a humongous bet right away to start, place an amount that your opponents can call but make it large enough to get the most of your good fortune.
- If Your Hand is Weak, Drop It
Sometimes, you will get into this streak where you get one mediocre hand after the other and it really becomes tempting to play them. Take a deep breath, count to ten, and hold off. Be patient since the reverse is also true, when a streak of good hands that you can maximize, will follow.
- Be Patient and Take Your Time
Online poker on the web is usually much faster than regular play, which can impact your ability to make the right call. So those beeps and annoying flashing things, just ignore them and focus on making full use of your allotted time.
- Do Not Give Up Prematurely
When your chips start really going down, you will be tempted to make the large bets in an effort to catch up, and you start really calling long shots. Cut it out and do not panic.
- Play Only When You are in Shape
If you are sick, then do not play. Simple eh? Online gambling will always be there waiting for you, 24X7, so only play when you are in great shape.
- Watch Out When an Opponents Style of Play Changes
If your opponent has played according to a pattern for most of the game, then plays totally differently, you must pay attention. You are potentially being lured into a trap. You will see this in players playing safe the whole night then all of a sudden doing all-in, or betting the minimum after raising big all night, or even taking a bit longer when calling or raising on a big bet. If your gut tells you something is not right, trust it, then fold.
- Do Try to Be Unpredictable
In the online world of poker, patterns of play are easily detectable, which opponents will take advantage of since you have made yourself predictable. So learn how to mix it up, like alternating flat calling and variable raising a big blind pre-flop in Texas Hold ‘Em. Keep them guessing but do not go crazy by playing hands that can easily be beaten.
- What the Hell Happened? (Aka PostMortem)
It does not matter whether you win, lose or draw. You need to learn from all of them. Be critical of what you did good, what you did that is bad, and what you can do to fix the bad part. Also make a note of what your opponents did that you can learn from, also on both good and bad moves. This is the best way to learn and improve your game. As in any postmortem, write it down for future reference, or even better, record it electronically on your computer. It makes it easy to dissect later.
Daxx is a retired who used to work in public schools as a teacher. In an effort to relieve his boredom, while at the same time make some money on the side, he has gotten into IM, setting up a varied collection of sites such as the Bellagio Hotel Las Vegas where he hangs out when he has enough money, or at the Imperial Palace Las Vegas where he goes when the budget is tight.