Online poker is one of the most popular games today, and enjoying it is very simple: all you need is a smart device or a computer to start playing and develop new skills to improve your game and qualify for bigger prizes.
However, as online poker has grown in popularity, it has opened up to an audience that is inexperienced in poker-related matters. Therefore, these are users who require training because they have had little or no previous experience with the game.
Online poker, a more accessible game but just as complex
While the online side of poker was not very popular in the beginning, over the years it has become the predominant type of game for thousands of users around the world. The ease of access, the variety of games and the maintenance of the essence that made poker such a special game have won over even the most purist and traditional poker-table-loving public.
Despite having tried to train himself, a novice player lacks almost everything it takes to be considered a good player. Practice, as well as discipline, is essential to develop new skills as a player. What else do experts say is needed to take the first steps in online poker, with the perspective they already have?
1. Position at the table and studying your opponents
"The most important thing of all is to be aware of your position at the table," explain the poker experts. "You play very differently if you are UTG or dealer, so knowing this is essential.
Knowing your opponents is another requirement for gaining experience and being able to improve your game. "Although online poker has the handicap of lacking a face-to-face view as in physical poker, it is possible to get to know the opponents through the way they play, the times they mark in their turns and their statistics, which can help to identify them better", they explain. And despite the fact that in online poker you lose the ability to read body language live, the way an opponent plays can say much more than their own body.
2. Not playing every hand
Another aspect that should never be forgotten: the number of hands played should be low. In fact, a good player knows which hands to play and which ones to hold back on so as not to jeopardize his stack.
"Playing all hands is suicide, as it will cause you to lose all your chips in record time," explain the poker pros at EasyPPPoker, one of the leading platforms that is home to some of the best poker clubs on the scene today. "Good players are likely to play between 10 and 20 percent of the hands, to put that in perspective," they say.
Poker, a game for patient and methodical players
3. Avoid sudden reactions and impulsive actions
Impulsive attitudes aren’t good in poker. Getting carried away by a bad streak is dangerous, and can lead a player to ruin. That is why discipline is so important: it is essential to put emotions aside and rationalize the results, study the causes of a loss and analyses the plays to identify possible areas for improvement.
The same is true in the opposite direction, since a rush of euphoria can blind the player and make him believe he is unbeatable when, in reality, luck can fail him at any moment, as can his skills.
"Poker is a game for patients, for those who analyses, observe and calculate their moves," explain some professional players with extensive experience playing poker in clubs. "Serenity is not synonymous with victory, but losing it condemns you to the most resounding failure," they state forcefully.
With regard to the different types of poker, the experts insist that it is important to maintain consistency during learning and play the same type of poker, at least in the first few weeks, to understand its dynamics and not to play different types of poker in a row, which could make learning difficult for some specific players.
In this sense, training and dedication are fundamental. Learning to play poker is not a one-day affair, and it is essential to create a routine in order to allow new knowledge to sink in, to test what has been learned on paper and to discover new ways of winning.
Texas Hold'em is the most widely played type of poker in the world, but there are other variations to start with.
5. Continuous training
Studying is essential to broaden one's horizons of knowledge. "When we talk about discipline, we don't just mean keeping to a schedule and dedicating a certain amount of money to poker: it also means making an effort to read, learn from other professional players and discover new aspects of poker that were previously unknown," explain the experts.
Even professional players continue to educate themselves. Poker is a game of great complexity, with many layers to be discovered, and it requires dedication to unravel all it has to offer.
"It is essential to have intellectual curiosity to train in a measured but constant way in poker; only in this way is it possible to improve and become a better and better player," they say.