Online poker takes the same basic concept as traditional live poker and cranks it up to a whole new level. It allows players of all experience levels to play for the smallest stakes imaginable (literally pennies) and it offers satellite entries into the most amazing live poker tournaments in the world. The game can be played on a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or phone and players can play for real money or simply play for fun.
First-time players to poker online may be a bit overwhelmed by the sheer volume of hands that are dealt. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can be an adjustment for live players who are used to having a set amount of time to act on every hand. However, the good news is that it’s quite easy to adjust to this speedy pace. Simply make sure that you’re focusing on the table and aren’t getting distracted by other games, social media, etc.
Many new players will also be surprised to learn that the bluffing tactics they are used to using in live play don’t work quite as well in the virtual world. This is because the action happens much faster, especially in turbo Sit ‘n Gos and fast-fold cash games, and players can easily get tempted to keep playing weak hands when there is another one along in a minute.
Bluffing can be a useful tool to have in your arsenal, but it is important to use it carefully and only when you can afford to take a hit to your bankroll. In addition, you’ll want to be keenly aware of the player type on each table and only target players who are prone to folding to 3-bets. This is an area where a HUD can really come in handy as it will highlight players who are weak to the bluff and you can quickly adjust your strategy.
When you’re ready to start playing for real money it’s a good idea to choose a site that uses secure connections, has an easy-to-use interface and offers a variety of payment options. It’s also worth checking that the site is licensed and regulated by an appropriate gaming authority, has a history of customer service excellence and is regularly inspected for security issues by a third party firm.
It’s also important to remember that poker is a game of skill over the long haul and it can be a very expensive game if you’re not careful. This is why the best players spend as much time studying the game and networking with other professionals as they do playing it. If you are prepared to work at improving your skills, stick to a solid bankroll management plan and only move up the stakes when you can comfortably afford to do so, then it is possible to be a profitable online poker player. This is a game of ups and downs, but if you can handle the swings and avoid going on monkey tilt then it’s definitely a game that can be played for life.