The online casino industry has soared in popularity over the past few years. Currently, it’s worth more than $306 billion in the US alone, with one of the most popular online casino games being poker. From the basic poker rooms of the early 2000s to the multi-feature poker apps available now, online poker has grown to be as big, if not bigger, than live poker.
While online poker is easy to play it is much harder to master than live poker. The lack of human interaction takes away a bit part of the physical games, making tells much harder to spot and bluffs much harder to catch. If your poker playing has plateaued here are a few ways to get much better at online poker.
Start with low-stakes games
Even if you’re used to medium to high-stakes live games, it’s best to start off with lower stakes when playing online poker in order to get used to the game and the different tactics you need. Micro-stakes tables can be as low as $0.10/$0.25, which means you can play and lose many games without taking a financial hit. Micro-stakes are the perfect way to learn how to multi-table, or even multi-tournament, which is one of the most effective ways to generate a profit playing the online game.
Invest in poker training
Online poker covers many different areas and one that is increasingly popular is online poker training. While learning by yourself provides invaluable immersion, being able to learn from professionals with a plethora of experience can significantly improve your plays. Many pros are willing to share their poker tips and have set up dedicated sites or apps to help. Examples include Chance Kornuth from Chip Leader Coaching, Doug Polk from Upswing Poker, and Jonathan Little from Poker Coaching. There are also apps available where you can play a game of poker and get an immediate response from a poker pro on how you can improve.
Master how to bluff
A key indicator of a great player is the ability to bluff. Bluffing is much more common in online poker compared to live poker because a player doesn’t need to worry about giving away a physical tell. Online bluffing is more about being consistent throughout a hand and knowing when to aggressively raise at the right time. Due to the faster pace, and often lower stakes, of online poker you are also more likely to be called out on a bluff. This is why you should consider semi-bluffing, which is when you have a potentially strong hand. This provides you with a better chance to win once you get to the river, especially when you force weaker players off a pot.
Use poker tools when allowed
Depending on the poker site, some may allow you to use tracking software and heads-up displays (HUDs) to give you invaluable information on your opponents. You can observe real-time statistics to improve, such as their pre-flop raise percentage or the number of times they fold to a raise. You can input this information into the note-taking feature to aid you should you experience another game with the same opponent.
Through these tips, you can enrich your poker skills and get better at the game. When starting out with online poker, the quick decision-making process can get overwhelming, so it’s good to first develop the necessary skills of the online game first. Through practice, you can work your way up to higher-stake games and win big.