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5 Tips for Success in Online Poker



With no sports events to anticipate during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Europeans played more online poker to relieve their boredom amidst stay-at-home and social distancing measures. The US likewise experienced a similar surge in online poker during 2020, which is considered as the second boom period for the game.

Between 2003 and 2006, poker surged in popularity after amateur Christopher Bryan Moneymaker won the main event in the 2003 World Series of Poker championships. With the COVID-19 pandemic, online operators noted an increase in players due to lack of entertainment options. Even with the gradual reopening of brick-and-mortar gaming establishments and card rooms, online poker revenues have yet to see a dramatic drop.

Online poker is appealing for a number of reasons. Not only is it a safer choice than playing in-person during a pandemic, but it is also considered more fun as the games are faster, less risky, and quite accessible. The rules are still the same, and you can play all variants of the traditional card game — with Texas Hold‘em reigning as the most famous one — with players of different experience levels from all over the world. Once you’re ready, follow these five tips for online poker success:

Review different strategies

You may already know the basics of the game, but to become a serious online poker player, you must recognize that poker is a game of skill — where you need an effective strategy to win. Thanks to popular culture, non-players assume that the main requirements for winning poker are the ability to read body language and be good at bluffing. However, poker is a game that rivals chess in strategy. Professional players have to look ahead and consider all possibilities using statistics and game theory, because they only have partial information to work with. For instance, no-limit Texas Hold‘em can have 169 starting hands, each with varying risks and playability depending on the variables that dictate your actions.

This is why poker players have to study a lot, whether it’s their own results or a specific strategy. Each game should let you walk away with new insights, even if you lose a few chips. There are endless resources to study poker with: books, online training, poker coaches, YouTube hand reviews, and more. Experts even memorize poker charts, where computers calculate every position on the table and the corresponding chip stack size. It’s important to follow new trends and evolve your game, because your opponents are likely training hard as well.

Study basic poker terms

Poker is full of terms known only to those familiar with the game. Sure, you know what it means to go “all-in,” and you’re confident you can pull off a great “bluff.” But what about terms like “pocket pair” (when you’re dealt two cards of the same ranking in your starting hand) or “bad beat” (when a hand that’s a big mathematical favorite ends up losing)?

Taking the time to learn common poker terms will help ensure that you don’t end up at an unnecessary disadvantage when you join a live, online poker game for the first time. Otherwise, it can be quite a setback to find yourself in the middle of an online tournament and realize you don’t understand everything being said. On top of familiarizing yourself with features unique to online poker like bonuses and rake-back offers, be sure you know how to “speak the language” so you can maximize the information available to you.

Begin with smaller stakes at one table

In brick-and-mortar games, you only get to play at one table — so one hand is all you have to worry about. Playing poker online, however, allows you to play multiple tables simultaneously, which can be tempting if you’re looking for fast-paced action. The downside is that multi-tabling can hurt your ROI because you’re rushing your decisions in between tables. It’s better to add more tables after you’ve mastered maneuvring one.

And even if you’re used to playing high-stakes cash games, starting with low-stakes in your first sessions can better familiarize you with the environment of online poker. Playing with micro stakes isn’t a bad idea; these games are designed for ultra-casual, amateur players who want to play for money but don’t want to worry about their mortgages. A smaller bankroll lets you focus on improving your game so you can eventually work your way up to higher stakes.

Manage your emotions

Your emotions are your worst enemy at a poker table. While you may feel angry or sad when you lose during play (and you definitely need to deal with those feelings), starting a game when you’re tired, angry, or upset can make your bad mood worse. Playing emotionally can cost you a lot of money because your judgment is clouded. To play in good condition, prepare yourself mentally and emotionally a few minutes before starting a game. Accept that losses are inevitable, and keep a level-head even if you win so you can gauge risks correctly.

It’s important to note that even high-level online poker can be boring at times, and players are often distracted by the things going on around them. Being a good poker player means giving your full attention to the game, so challenge yourself to keep your eyes on the prize all throughout.

Find experts to learn from

In our highly connected digital world, gaming influencers are becoming increasingly prevalent — usually with regards to conventional video games or eSports. Content creators cater to a huge following of viewers, who are engaged, impressed, and entertained by an influencer’s game skill and knowledge. There are plenty of online poker influencers to learn from as well. Famous pro-players such as Daniel Negreanu and Phil Ivey provide tutorials in various forms online, so you can up your game with expert tricks.

For more useful lifestyle articles, be sure to check out the lifestyle section of our site regularly.


I'm Nikos Alepidis, blogger at motivirus. I'm passioned for all things related to motivation & personal development. My goal is to help and inspire people to become better.

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