It’s unsurprising that with a game as popular and complex as poker, there are tomes and tomes worth of articles, strategies, and tips floating around out there for players to soak in. Some facets of poker, and particularly playing styles, are fiercely debated as to which is the best method. Other facets of the game have met with almost unanimous viewpoints by many of the game’s top players. In this article, we’ll pass along some of the best and tips and tricks for mastering online poker.
Tip #1 – How Many Tables Sir?
Where online poker differs most notably from live poker is in your ability to play at multiple tables at once. Most online poker clients allow for multi-tabling, usually in the range of 4-12 at once. Coupled with the ability for you to play at multiple sites at once, you could literally play hundreds of tables at once if you had the capacity. Of course no one could handle hundreds, but where should one draw the line?
Many top players advise against multi-tabling at all, especially in the case of newer players, who should be focusing intently on studying the players at their table, and paying close attention to everything that happens. Others feel that if you’re good enough, you should be able to take multiple rooms for a ride, even with just your partial attention.
How many you play will ultimately be up to, your perceived ability, and your comfort zone with playing at multiple tables while not being able to fully follow the action at any. In general, one table should be more than enough though. Games can occasionally drag when people are playing slow (probably because they’re multi-tabling themselves), but with an alert group, games will zip by in the blink of an eye, leaving you hardly wanting for more action.
Tip #2 – Mind Your Hand
A common error of most new players is playing far too many hands. One of your first orders of business should be to get a poker hand odds calculator, which will help you determine the odds of your hand winning based on the number of players at your table. It can also help you later on in the hands you stick around in, updating you as table cards begin appearing. These tools can help you avoid playing futilely weak hands (such as suited or straight draw hands, which often suck in weak players), and increase your odds of playing your hand the right way as the hand draws out.
Tip #3 – To Muck or Not to Muck
Another oft-debated facet of the game, most players would agree that mucking your cards is the way to go under all circumstances. Giving away your hand information gives players information about your playing style, in relation to the type of hand you had, which can only help them. Sure, you could try to set up a false show, were you played a hand differently than you otherwise would, with the intention of bowing out and showing your cards, but even that practice should be used sparingly, if at all.
These tips and tricks should help you analyze your game in a different light, and make you take pause to consider the next time you’re faced with some of these dilemmas during a go-round of online poker.