Tips and tricks are all well and good. However, studying your opponents is how you will find out how they play online poker, respond and react during a hand. Even if you fold out of the game, you can still watch the remaining players to see what decisions they make. Discover if they:
- Fold more often than call or raise
- Frequently bluff
- Check/raise or check/fold often
The more you watch your poker online opponents the better you will be at player profiling, which is a skill that takes time to achieve, especially online as you will rarely play the same players over and over again. Once you are able to distinguish the type of game your opponents like to play, you can then slot them into one of these player profile categories:
The aggressive player will try to do all he can to psyche you out and get you to do what he wants. He will be the player who chooses to raise over folding, putting pressure on the other players to either fold or muck their hand at showdown. The really talented aggressive player has a lot of confidence and it shows. They make the other players feel uneasy, often causing them to second guess their position in the game when the stakes are high. If you don’t see him coming, a good aggressive player will take control over the way you play poker, and con you out of the pot.
If you want to stand up to the aggressive player you need to show him you have a backbone, and that his strategy isn’t going to work on you. Know your cards and have the courage to give the overly aggressive player a taste of his own medicine.
A tight player knows the rules of the game inside and out, has an excellent memory, as well as a talent for analyzing the skills of other players. Therefore, when he does achieve a strong starting hand, he’ll surprise all the other players and snatch the pot. A talented conservative player is an extremely tactical opponent. When faced with him, you will find that he will generally fold or call, instead of taking risks. Thus, be wary of this type of player, for although you may think he is passive at first, he could very well be waiting for the opportune moment to take the win. Be on the lookout if he is still in the hand in the later rounds, this usually is a sign that they he has a strong hand.
The loose player is carefree, and is more likely to fold or call more often than raise or bluff. He rarely wins frequent pots, and treats best online poker more as a fun pass time than as a serious money-making sport. If you find yourself up against the loose player, you can gain the upper hand over him by playing a little more aggressively, and intimidate him into folding early, so he doesn’t get the chance to obtain a stronger hand.
The straight player is one who is robotic. He rarely takes risks, unless he has a really strong hand. Often, he is a beginner and is only following the advice of a program such as an odds calculator. You will discover that the more you watch him, the more you will be aware when he has a strong hand because he plays more aggressively and raises. This is a good indication that you should fold!
The immature player is one who is generally the easiest to recognize. His online poker real money style is often cocky, rude, careless and thoughtless. Rarely does he win big pots as he takes foolish risks and is the first to lose all of his money. Immature players are not respected by other players, because they don’t take the game seriously. It is easy to take advantage of these players, so use them to put more money in the pot early on in the game. The faster these players are out of the game, the quicker you will increase your winnings, and have more of a budget to play with.
Remember, even if you have profiled the players you are up against, you should never underestimate any player at any time. Letting your guard down cold be the end of your game.