Online poker is quite different from playing with your friends or in poker tournaments. It has some marvellous advantages over traditional poker. You can ‘sit’ at a table at any time and more importantly you can leave at any time. Your opponents will be from a pool of many thousands of online players who ‘sit’ at tables at random. Sometimes you will see the same ‘faces’ i.e. their pseudonyms. It is totally impersonal. In traditional poker you can actually take a dislike to some players because of their mode of play or their expressions etc. but in online poker you leave all those emotions behind you.
There is a notion out there that playing online poker exposes you to fraud. I think this is false.
The people at your table do not know you and it is unlikely you know them. Two people cannot play from the same computer. The exchange platform will not allow it. You are playing for yourself only. I think it would be impossible for two people to ‘rig’ a game. Assume two people were in contact by mobile phone. What information can they give except what is in their own hands. They cannot see yours or anyone else’s. If they attempted to raise the stakes that could be their undoing if someone else has a red hot hand! And then think of the cost of the phone calls.
Online poker (or any poker for that matter) is not for fools. You must concentrate on what you are doing. If you are in a penny ante game (and there are plenty on the betting exchange) learning how to play poker then treat that game as if you were in a ‘big’ money game. The rules are exactly the same and the strategies that work in small games will work in big games.
Texas Hold ‘Em
The most popular game is Texas Hold ‘Em. As you probably are aware you are dealt two cards and after the first round of betting three cards are flopped by the computer. Everyone uses those cards in conjunction with their own to make the best five card hand. After the first three cards are flopped by the exchange computer there is another round of checking or betting. Then another card is flopped and another round of checking or betting follows. Finally the fifth card is flopped by the exchange computer and the final round of betting or checking takes place. The best hand is the winner. The best hand is determined by using one or two cards from your hand and three or four cards from the table. In some cases the cards on the table constitute the winning hand on their own and the pot is divided by the players remaining in the game.
When should you play or not play.
Let’s assume you know the general rules of poker e.g. the rankings of hands – best hand a Royal Flush (10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace of same suit) down to one pair or if there is no pair then the hand with the highest ranking card from the Ace down. In Texas Hold ‘Em I feel you should not play unless you are dealt a combination of cards from the 10 to the Ace or a pair. Of course if you were to rank those sets of two cards the best set would be two Aces, then two Kings down to a pair of deuces. After them an Ace and a King are the best and then an Ace and Queen, Ace and Jack, Ace and ten. If you have an Ace and any other card they too are worth playing with. But if you want to be clinical about this game don’t play at all until you get a combination as described above Pengeluaran SGP . Do not be tempted to play with two of a suit unless they are one of the combinations described in this paragraph.
Bluffing is part of poker. There is no doubt about that. But I think it is less important in online poker. The reason I take this view is this. In the traditional game of poker you played the other players as well as playing the game. You read their expressions and their body language. You could sense if a player was bluffing. This is not the case with online poker. There are no faces and no body language. I have found that when people bet, and more importantly when they look at a bet, they usually have strong hands to back up their actions. You might occasionally try the short corner – if everyone has checked and there is only you and one other person left to check or bet then you could try a bluff. You only have one person to fear because the other players would have bet if they had anything worthwhile. Of course this is not always the case and people who check might just be waiting for a bluffer to operate. The only way you will find out is to try a bluff.
Assessing the value of your hand
The value of your hand depends on the value of the other hands at the table. Your ‘run’ may not be worth a fig if another person has a ‘blue’ or a ‘house’. You must look carefully at the cards on the table. If there is a chance that any of the other players has a stronger hand than you then you would be better to check. If you have a run and there are three of the same suit on the table then you must assume that someone might have a blue. My advice is play with extreme caution. I was caught recently with a top blue – Ace, King, 10, 5, 3 of Spades. I could not see anything on the table that would suggest there was a better hand out. But there was. On the table at the end there was 10S,3S,5S,5H,8D. The betting was hot and I was beaten by the last card – the 8. My opponent had a pair of eights in his hand and a house of eights at the finish. He bet his entire bank and I looked and lost. A tough but valuable lesson. In a situation like that ‘die’. The clue was there in the pair of fives. I was too impetuous and did not think it out.