It goes without saying that understanding the game of online poker is crucial to playing it well. Many beginners assume that understanding the game means understanding the cards.
This is certainly a part of it, but far from all of it.
Limiting your study
Limiting your study of poker online to card combinations and odds may make you a good player … but it won’t make you a great player and it won’t save you from the players that have honed all of their skills. You won’t win many poker hands without careful consideration of your own cards but you won’t win any poker hands without considering your opponents’ cards too.
Your cards and their cards are closely related because the value of your hand and your ability to win the pot depends on the value of their hand and how they will play it. It may seem impossible to make a fair assessment of your opponents’ cards, but in truth, it becomes easier the more you play the game and especially the more you play the game with the same opponents.
Careful observation will yield clues as to whether their hand is strong or weak. Armed with this knowledge, you are better prepared to play your own hand accordingly. Most players still underestimate the importance of playing themselves against their competitors vs. playing their cards against their competitor’s cards.
There are many advantages to this strategy, not least of which is protecting a good hand and playing a bad hand to a win. Alternately, the reverse is also true … after reading an opponent, you may choose to fold a hand that you would otherwise have played.
It is often repeated that the point of poker games online is winning. While this is true, it is far too simplistic to be practical. The point of real poker playing is to win more than you lose.
Sometimes losing is good
Inevitably, you will occasionally lose, but by having a good win to lose ratio you always come out ahead. When you alter your strategy to include the clues you get from other players, you lower your risk of losing big.
This goes back to folding on a good hand. It may be hard to put your cards down but a good hand is only valuable when it wins; if your assessment of another player leads you to believe they have a better hand, it’s better to fold than to pump someone else’s pot.
Ultimately, a good
the strategy is comprised of playing your cards, playing your opponents and betting accordingly. You cannot master the game on cards alone.