To be a successful poker player, you are going to need to be plenty observant as there are ample scenarios to watch for in the game. This is especially true in online poker as staring down your monitor is much different than staring down your opponent.
While your surroundings may not be the same when playing online, there are still tells to pick up on and situations to avoid, just as if you were at the felt.
Being able to identify these situations is critical to your success as an online poker player, as well as your overall bankroll. Not to worry as we are here to help. So, before you play your next hand of online poker, be sure you watch for these five things to improve your odds of walking away a winner.
A Good Site
If you are playing online, you’re going to want to be logged in to a strong online poker site. The internet being what it is these days, your options are limitless when it comes to online poker.
There are so many sites, games and tournaments to choose from, and, unfortunately, many online poker players do not adequately research this factor. There are many things to look for on an online poker site.
You want plenty of player types, a fast interface, and promotions and bonuses. It’s easy to find some of these things but can be tougher to find all three at one time.
Be sure to read plenty of online reviews and research all the bonuses you can before jumping in with both feet.
A Weaker Opponent
Now that you’ve found a good site to use, you are going to want to find some weak opponents. After all, you aren’t going to make money betting against better players. You need some lower-level players in the mix.
Remember the old saying, “If you can’t spot the sucker in your first half-hour at the table, then you’re the sucker.” To be able to identify weaker opponents, it is going to take some time because it is simply a matter of checking your ego.
Know how much you are winning and losing. Track who is beating you consistently and who you are beating consistently. Once you’ve found a level you are comfortable in, stay there and pound weaker opponents.
Poker isn’t about winning accolades; it’s about winning money. If you aren’t playing weaker opponents, you aren’t going to be winning any money.
An Erratic Opponent
One type of player you will find in spades while playing online poker is the erratic opponent. Now, an erratic opponent is not necessarily a weaker opponent, although they are destined to lose their stack.
These are players with big bankrolls, making crazy plays, and constantly forcing the issue. They go all-in often. They bluff more often. They’ve seen too many movies.
That said, there is something to be said about being a fast and loose player. However, an erratic player is much different and much more dangerous.
The best advice on how to deal with an erratic opponent is to not even get involved with these players, especially when it comes to a showdown.
They have the habit of winning when they shouldn’t even though they will eventually lose it all.
Online poker play invites a whole new type of trickery and deception. First, it is important to know that multi-account users are not as much of a problem as they used to be. However, that does not mean they still don’t exist.
Many moves have been made by the online poker platforms to limit or eliminate the advantages a multi-account user can have. However, if you ever suspect you are at a table with one, get out of there in a hurry.
The easiest way to detect this is to look for games with four or more players. Multi-account users’ real advantage comes when they are playing against one person, maybe two.
If you are at a table with four or more people, you’re probably in the clear.
Just as with in-person poker, stack size means a lot. Just by carrying a big stack, you are at a distinct advantage. Of course, since this is online poker we are talking about, stack size can tell us something about our opponents.
You’ll want to note the size of buy-ins available as you can tell what type of player you’re up against just by seeing their stack size. If a player has filled up their stack with one of the largest deposits, more often than not, this is a serious online poker player looking to play for some time.
If a player has a small stack size with an unusual amount of money in it, this is more often than not a recreational player jumping in for a few hands.
Again, knowing who you are playing is of the utmost importance, and stack size can tell you plenty about your opponents.
Post-flop Bet Size
Easily our favorite wager, the post-flop bet is a tell-tale sign and another easy way to spot recreational players. Most good online poker players will rarely bet less than half the pot post-flop in any cash game.
However, many weaker, recreational players will frequently bet much less, sometimes even just making the minimum bet amount. This shows a complete lack of understanding of the math of poker and is typical of players who are only playing the game for fun.
A good saying to remember: A good poker player plays to win, a weak poker player plays not to lose. The easiest way to tell if someone is simply protecting their stack is with the size of their wagers, and their post-flop bet size is the best indicator you can find.