Basic Online Poker Strategy
Unlike many games of chance in any casino, online and off, poker requires understanding very specific game strategy. Luckily, we at OnlinPoker.ca have developed a page to help you create a better online poker strategy so you can improve your chances of winning.
Here are a few things to consider:
The easiest of all of the common games when it comes to developing strategy for online poker games is Texas Hold'em. Beginners should probably start with that and work their way up to more complicated games like Omaha and Stud once you've mastered the basics.
Beginning Poker Game Strategy
Every poker game begins with the hand rankings. Let's look at the winning hands, in order of importance from worst to best:
It is important to memorize the rankings of online poker strategy because these never change, no matter what version of the game you are playing. The points of poker strategy that do change when moving from game to game are the ways you can bet, and how you can win.
Learn the Odds
Whether you're playing Texas Hold'em or Five Card Stud, it's vital that you get even the most basic grasp of odds. For example, in Hold'em, if you're waiting on that miracle spade to complete your flush you need to know what percentage of the cards remaining in the deck could be that spade.
It could be worth trying to hit IF the pot odds are big enough. What are pot odds? Well, if the odds of hitting your card are 4/1, but you stand to win 6/1 on your money if you hit, it's probably worth going for. Learn to master these odds and quickly calculate them in your head, and you'll be on your way to becoming a better player through good online poker strategy.
Luckily, with advances in technology available to Internet poker players, you can access odds sites quickly and easily. There are even software programs that you can have running over the top of your Hold'em games that show pot odds on-screen to make it easier for you. The tools of the trade are there for online poker players in Canada – you just need to find them and learn how to use them.
Learn the Rankings of Hands
A basic part of learning poker is knowing which hands are the best. For new players, this can seem daunting - so to make things easier, we've made this free poker hands chart for you to download. Feel free to print it out and keep it by you when you play online for easy reference.
Click on the chart to the left to open a larger version, or
Download our free printable poker hand chart as a PDF
Bluffing and Tells in Online Poker Strategy
One of the biggest differences between offline and online poker game strategy is the greater difficulty in bluffing and spotting tells. Since other players cannot see your face, and you can't see theirs, there are no physical "tells" that can give away information about players' hands.
That doesn't mean psychology can't be used in online poker,however. One good way to use bluffing in your online poker strategy in games such as Texas Hold'em and Omaha is to use the "slow play." If you have an excellent hand, use up as much time as possible when making a decision to make it look like you're struggling to know what to do. Other players will see this as a sign of weakness and pounce, but they'll simply be drawn into your trap.
There are some online tells to look out for in other players. Here are a couple of the most obvious.
Whenever you play poker online, you will notice that there are a number of boxes that you can check in the table window to predetermine the play you intend to make before the action reaches you (Check, Fold, Raise to Bet, etc).
It is fairly easy to tell if an opponent has used one of these check boxes because they will instantly check, call or raise as soon as the action is on them. If you notice a player is frequently using these check boxes, we can tell that they have decided their play even before that action gets to them.
Why is this helpful? Well, if a player instantly checks, you can be fairly sure that they are disinterested in the hand. More and more these days, online players are multi-tabling a few games at once, and don't have time to focus solely on one hand. If they're ‘auto-checking' they're probably not paying attention. And if they're not paying attention, their hand is weak.
You could spend a lifetime learning poker strategy and still not figure everything out. Nail a few key strategies and your online poker will go a lot smoother.
There's always more to learn about poker strategies - this PDF has a bunch of handy hints and is well worth checking out.