Practice makes perfect - Online Poker
New players often get the advice to start playing poker online, get some experience, acquire poker skills and then start playing casino based or land based live poker. But how much of live poker skills can be gained while playing online poker, what are the differences and similarities between live and online poker? And, at the end of the day, one can ask which one of the two has more advantages? This article will shortly present a possible answer to these questions from two main perspectives: calculating your chances, and observing your opponents.
The basic rules and principles are the same in both kinds of poker, but there are, undoubtedly, many differences between the two, and consequently there are different strategies to follow. In this article I will try to answer the above questions focusing on the differences between the two kinds of poker outlining the advantages of online poker versus live poker. The article is applied to poker in general, and just to a particular poker game of course, this implicitly means that the characteristics and advantages mentioned do not cover all the characteristics and advantages of all poker games; a general overview is undoubtedly limited.
Lets see some of the differences between live poker and online poker. In live poker there are tournaments that can last for a whole day or even more days. If you cannot play through the whole tournament, you have lost. In online poker promotions all these decisions belong to you. You decide how long you want to play for, including when to start and when to stop. There are set rules in both kinds of poker, and there will be no debate among the players regarding the correctness of the poker games. The bad news is that there is no possibility for bluffing when playing online however thats a bad news only if you are very good at it (at bluffing, I mean).
In the same way you are in control of your betting. You can study the situation of each player you are going to play with and decide how much you want to bet. However, once you have decided on the amount, it stays the same size. There are also different methods to calculate how much you should bet in order to become and stay above profit line, and these calculations are called the pot odds but this is not the topic of discussion of this article.
You may as well choose whether you want to play with real money or virtual one. If you do not want to play on your money, you can download and install software and create an account and then log in. You will receive free chips to play with. Even if you are playing for free, you can still win real prizes with the so-called freeroll tournaments. The advantage of these games is that you learn to play without risking your free money, the disadvantage is that people usually tend to play looser than at real online tournaments. If you want to learn, play as if it were for real. Make your chips important to yourself and dont call every hand down just because other players do. They would also act differently if their money were at stake. However, these tournaments offer you a good possibility to gain experience.
In online you may access or calculate information that are hidden in live poker, for instance, how many cards are still in the deck, and you can also calculate quite accurately which ones are those. Whenever you are in the situation of calling a bet you should count the remaining cards, and your odds of hitting a card. Dont forget that the money in the post is not yours anymore, and it has nothing to do with pot odds calculation.
An important issue in poker is the opponent player. Whether you are playing face to face with other players, or you are only facing your computer (but with real players at the end of the line) it is very important to know your opponents and build up your strategy according to their weaknesses. You have to observe the skills of your opponents and their style; a good player will probably play aggressively and will try to dominate the table. Also make sure that there are always a few weak players at the table you choose to play at.
But how can you successfully observe your opponents? I will not talk about the strategies you can use to observe your opponents when you are playing live poker and when you are facing your opponents, as this is another piece of cake. My intention is to show you how you can observe your online opponents, people that are unseen but playing against you. The observation of each kind of player has its own tricks.
It is often recommended to take notes. The more you play the more you realize how valuable these notes are. Some websites offer you a helpful tool: a tool that marks the player you have written a note on. You can mark the players with letters or numbers that will remind you of the style of that player, and learn to classify your opponents: tight player, passive player, aggressive player, and so on. The tight aggressive players are considered to be the most dangerous.
You need to recognize certain betting traits in your opponents and note them. This way, when you run into a player that you have already played with you just take a look at your notes. If he/she still follows the same principles, you can read him/her all the way if not, adjust your notes. The more information you have on a player the more power you have and the more control over the game. It depends on you how you use the information and how you use your power.
My answer and the conclusion to this article would be that the safest way to acquire poker skills is to start playing online poker without money, in freeroll tournaments. Then you can use your experience to play online poker with money. Then, if you would like to, you can move on to live land-based poker bonuses. You can make use of the strategies you have learned as an online poker player when and if you decide to play land based poker. Though, the differences between the two games that I have tried to reveal are definitely in the favour of online poker, and this is why I focused more on strategies that can make online poker profitable. You are the owner of this information now and it depends on you how you master it. You have learned to calculate your odds and observe your opponents. Use this in practice. Good luck!
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