Ever since the online poker boom of the 1990s, Poker, or specifically Texas Hold’em Poker, has been one of the most popular forms of testing your skill and luck online. While the poker boom may have slowed in recent years, it is still a massively popular online hobby for many and there are still plenty of fantastic poker rooms you can play at online.
The UK online poker scene is still very much alive and well and in addition to signing up at a quality online poker site (bet365 Poker is the one we’d recommend and part of the reason is their great value bet365 Poker New Player Offer that is currently available) there’s not an awful lot else you need other than a willingness to play and cash in your account to get yourself started.
However, if you want to avoid some of the common teething troubles that many new poker players face when first venturing out online, then it may well be of use to read through this article and use the six top tips we have provided below to help you get your online poker career off on the right foot and avoid that dreaded feeling of going busto just a few short minutes after making your qualifying deposit.
Here’s six ways you can prepare yourself better for online poker with the aim of giving you a chance of keeping your bankroll intact and hopefully, even adding some profit to it in the long term.
- Be prepared for the difference when playing for real money
If you have come over to play poker for real having enjoyed success playing a social media poker game, where you may have enjoyed great success earning pretend virtual currency, then it is tempting to think you can turn that into tangible real-cash success in a poker room. However, there is a HUGE difference between playing for virtual cash and real cash. Playing for pretend money will see players play far more loosely, take more risks because if they lose, then they lose nothing other than pretend cash, which they can easily win back.
Playing for real cash is very different, players play far more professionally than in social media poker games and with real money on the line, if you lose big, you can lose a good chunk of your bankroll. So if you are a millionaire in virtual bucks playing poker online on Facebook or similar, then don’t expect to enjoy anywhere near that amount of success at a real cash poker table.
- Always read up the rules on the game you intend to focus on
Most people assume that one game of Texas Hold’em is the same as the next, but there are many different versions of poker you can play at a top class poker site like bet365. The rules that govern one of the sites games may be slightly different to the rules in play in another. As such, don’t assume that all games of Texas Hold’em are the same as the dynamics of a game are very different.
For example, if you play Twister Poker at bet365 Poker, then you will likely adopt a very different strategy than if you entered one of their massive multi-player tournaments with thousands of other players. This again will be different if you want to put your skills to the test at the cash tables, rather than in tournament play.
- Budget sensibly and affordably per poker session
Players that go bust quickly are not necessarily bad players, but they may well be bad at budgeting their bankroll. The gods of fortune can be fickle at times and you need to ensure that when luck isn’t on your side, you have budgeted sensibly so you can be dealt in again at another time, without it costing you money that could be spent elsewhere or worse still, that you cannot afford.
You should only deposit cash which you can afford to lose and then you should budget for a poker session and stick to that budget using a fraction of your bankroll. I personally wager no more than 5% of my total bankroll in a single session, even if that means playing micro stakes.
- Cut your teeth playing simpler and easy to follow and cheaper poker games
Everyone dreams of earning a fortune from online poker, but the fact of the matter is only the very, very best ever do. For the vast majority of players, it is about small profits, small losses and most of all enjoyment. Learning how to play online can be expensive if you risk too much on the wrong type of games against the wrong type of players.
As such, good advice is to stick to lower priced, quick-fire games. I recommend Twister Poker for novice players, especially at the smaller buy ins as these games are quick, you play randomly selected players at the table and you can easily control how much you pay and win.
I also recommend any Free to enter tournaments that you can get at your chosen poker site as of course, these are free to play and they can be very useful for players to get the hang of how the site operates at no risk to their bankroll.
- Track your profit and loss
Good players always know how much they have made or lost in a single sitting and across the years and they do this by tracking their poker performance. You can use a number of tools to do this online, or even just keep track of your expenditure yourself on a spreadsheet.
By keeping track of this, you have a handy evaluation tool of your performance. You may feel you are a strong poker player, but if your dwindling bank balance is telling you otherwise, maybe you should do something about it.
- There’s never enough you can learn about Poker
Some sites such as bet365 have a number of extremely useful instruction articles and videos about how to play the game and the subtleties that are inherent within the game of poker. I strongly recommend you go through every single one of these articles in detail, several times over in necessary, to ingest and devour the information contained therein. So many mistakes rookie players make can be avoided by simply reading up about the game.
Even as a more experienced player, it can be handy to have a quick read of these as a refresher to sharpen your game up, or to perhaps identify a weakness that has become apparent in your game, allowing you to try to rectify the problem.
By following these six simple tips, you can enhance your prospects of not only enjoying poker online, but avoiding the many mistakes new players make and perhaps, cut down on those sessions that end in a loss and perhaps have a few more that turn out a profit.