Playing online poker has a lot of similarities with playing poker in real. The rules are the same and of course the ultimate goal is to win. However there are differences, especially concerning the strategy you use online. In short, these differences are:
- No visual poker tells, you can’t see your opponent physically
- Does the ‘big blind’ check his hand directly preflop?
- Online poker has a great amount of tables to choose from. How to choose the right one?
- Online poker can have around 100 hands per hour, whereas this is ‘only’ 20 hands per hour in a casino
1. No visual poker tells
The biggest difference is that with online poker you are not able to see the face and facial expressions of your opponent. This makes it harder to judge whether his/her hand. In this case you can look at the speed with which he is placing bets. If he makes bets quickly, you can assume he has a better hand, than when it takes more time before he places a bet.
2. Use of Autoplay buttons
The use of autoplay buttons (where you can select your first action before it’s your turn) can also give away something about the hand of your opponent. For example, when the big blind checks his hand directly preflop, you can assume that he selected the check/fold button, indicating not willing to call any raise with this bad hand.
On the other hand, a player who selects the ‘any raise’ button seems convinced about the cards in his hand.
Last but not least, following the chatbox of the table can also give you an idea of the emotional state of the players, like when a player gets more active or stressed.
3. Online poker has a great amount of tables to choose from
A big advantage of playing online poker, is the huge supply of tables to choose from, meaning you can be very selective in which table you want to play. Many players will choose the tables with the highest average pots, thinking they can win most money there. Unfortunately big average pots mostly contain many players who will stay in the pot until the showdown. Bluffing is not gonna work then, and you really need to have the best hand to win.
The best size of a pot is mostly around 8 – 10 times the big blind. So for a $0,30 or $0,40 table, that’s about $3,00. Preferable you would want to have 1 or 2 loose players on the table, and 1 or 2 tight players. This gives you more opportunities to vary your strategy.
4. More hands per hour with online poker
Something many players have to get used to, is the speed of the game with online poker opposed to offline poker. While, on a table in a real casino you will see about 20 hands per hour, this can go easily till 100 hands per hour online. The advantage of this is that you won’t get bored quickly while waiting for a good hand and you won’t be lured into calling with average cards, just to get some action.
The possibility to join multiple tables at the same time increases this advantage, especially if you play tournaments or sit & go’s where a smart selection of the hands is the key to success. Pokerstars might be the best room to play on multiple tables. Not only because of the great supply of tables and variants, but also because of the good software offering you the possibility to play as many tables at the same time as you can handle.
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