When you play poker online, you have options available that you don't have at the card room or at your regular home game. Taking advantage of these extra options can improve your online poker results. Let's take a look at some things you can take advantage of when playing your poker online.
1. Choose the Right Site- Simple, huh? Play at a site where you feel comfortable. Find a site where the competition is soft and plentiful. Find a site that offers the games or tournaments you are looking for. Finding the right site is a matter of personal preference. Check out several sites and find the one that's right for you.
2. Choose the Right Game- Take advantage of your online poker room's lobby. Most lobbys list such basic information as flop percentage, number of hands played per hour, and average pot size. You can scout the different tables from here. Also, if you have a buddy list; you can search for players that you know to be weak.
3. Have a buddy list- If you play regularly, you'll see some of the same players again and again. You should quickly be able to tell the tendencies of many players. When you find a player whose game you can exploit, put him or her on your buddy list. You'll find plenty of "buddies" if you pay attention.
4. Pay Attention- When you play online it's easy to become distracted. Very easy. Let's see... there's e-mail, the baseball game you're watching out of the corner of your eye, the phone, the kids, the dog. And, since all you have to do to play online is to just fire up the computer, it's easy to play when you are distracted or tired.
5. Play Only When You Are Prepared and Rested- Imagine what an advantage you would have over your average opponent if you just followed this rule. Many players play online on a whim. Maybe they've been online for hours and just impulsively click on their favorite poker site just to unwind. Likely the only thing that will be unwinding is their bankrolls. So give your playing sessions a little bit of thought before you play.
6. Play for only a Set Time or Specific Number of Hands- Don't fall into the trap of "just one more hand" syndrome. Before you start determine a specific time limit or hand limit to give your game focus. Playing for just one more hand has a way of turning into many more hands. And, if your playing with a just one more attitude, I doubt if you're paying much attention or taking any notes.
7. Take Notes- This is a great way to keep your focus when you're not in a hand. Develop your own shorthand for keeping notes. For instance, I might write, "CC w/ junk" (cold calls with junk) if I've noted a player who continually comes in for two bets with hands he shouldn't.
8. Use a Four Colored Deck if Available-Why wouldn't you. The online card icons are much smaller than real world cards. It's easy to mis-read a club for a spade or vice versa. If changing to a 4 colored deck saves you from making one mistake, it's well worth the time it takes to change.
9. Adjust the Chat Feature- Make sure this is set to your preferences. Maybe you like the chat. It keeps you involved and you pick up tells from others chat. Great, leave it on. But if you find yourself in anyway distracted, turn it off. Many sites also let you turn individual player's chat off.
10. Avoid the Auto Functions- If you sometimes use the auto buttons to "Raise Any Hand" when you're strong or "Call Any Hand" when you have a good draw, good observant players will pick up a tell on you. Best practice is to always wait for your turn and try to take the same amount of time to make your play.
There you have ten tips to help your online poker play. Some take a bit of effort. Some just require a one time adjustment of your options. All are pretty simple. But I believe if you follow them, it will help your online game.
Chip Westley regularly posts tips for improving your online poker play at Home run poker, http://www.homerunpoker.blogspot.com/. For More tips, check it out.