Poker is often lumped in with “gambling” but poker is actually a game of skill that can be beaten over the long run. Skilled poker players win a lot of money at both live casinos and online poker rooms. With the right skills and strategies, anyone can learn how to become a winning online poker player.
1. Learn the tight-aggressive poker style
The number one most important tip for winning at online poker is to learn the tight-aggressive poker style. The tight-aggressive (TAG) playing style is absolutely crucial to winning at poker. A tight-aggressive poker player is selective in choosing starting his hands, he does not chase draws and he bets aggressively when he catches a strong hand.
New poker players constantly lose money because they make too many loose calls and fail to bet aggressively with strong hands. The TAG playing style takes the opposite approach: it requires you to make few calls but to make lots of bets any time you have a strong hand. It’s a straightforward playing style but it gets the job done.
Read everything you can about the tight-aggressive playing style and apply that style to your game. If you become a TAG poker player, there is no question that you will make money with online poker. All you have to do is be willing to fold weak hands and be quick to bet with strong hands.
2. Stop playing every hand you get
This tip goes along with the first tip in this list. If you want to make a steady profit with poker, you need to stop playing every hand you get. Most poker hands are complete junk and should be folded. Yes, any two cards can win, but trashy starting hands don’t win often enough to make up for all the money they cost before the flop and for all the difficult / expensive situations they get you into after the flop.
Most winning poker players play somewhere between 18-25% of their starting hands. The other 75% or so poker hands get folded before the flop is even dealt. The idea of folding so many starting hands bores most players but that’s why there is always money to be made in poker. If you have the discipline to play a tight preflop game, you will make money with poker.
3. Stop chasing every draw
Chasing too many draws is an expensive habit. Many new poker players can remember the times they hit draws but they don’t remember those times when they called a few bets and had to fold on the river. This results in poker players chasing draws left and right, even when the odds are not in their favor.
The only time you should chase draws is when you are getting the right pot odds to do so. If the pot is large in relation to the size of the bet, you can then consider chasing your draw. But make sure you only chase draws that are to the best hand possible. There is nothing more wasteful than chasing a draw to a second-best hand.
4. Avoid tilt
Tilt is an expensive habit that catches even the best poker players from time to time. It’s important that you learn to avoid tilt because it quickly depletes your poker bankroll and leads to even more tilt. Any time your emotions affect your play, you are officially suffering from tilt.
There is no simple way to avoid tilt other than to not play when you’re suffering from it. As you get more experience at the tables, you will find it easier to avoid tilt in the first place. But still, tilt gets everyone from time to time. Any time you feel that tilt coming on, just log off and come back another day.
5. Study poker strategy constantly
Finally, remember that it is important to continue studying poker strategy. Even the best players in the world study poker strategy on a regular basis. Nobody will ever play a perfect poker game and everybody can improve in some way. If you study poker strategy constantly, you will improve your skills, move up in stakes and make more money.
Mike Wittmeyer is an online gambling affiliate.