While Poker has always been a well-known game around the world, its popularity has reached incredible highs in the last few decades. Poker has featured in countless movies, celebrities have revealed their passion for the game, and live tournaments are now regularly broadcasted or streamed for fans to enjoy. And while the arrival of the pandemic put a damper on in-person poker, it only served to strengthen the booming online industry –– to the point that web-based tournaments have been breaking records in prize money.
To that last point about online poker growing even larger and more influential, we’ve seen a lot of people taking up the game for the first time these last two years or so. And while it’s easy enough to get involved on a surface level, we thought it would be helpful to provide a few specific tips for those getting into online poker.
1. Set Up A Proper Game Room
If you are a beginner, you may find your first games a bit frustrating. In poker, the better you get, the more fun you have. However, this requires spending a lot of time studying and practicing the game, so you should consider constructing a game room you’ll be comfortable spending time in. A nice chair and desk are essential, as they allow you to maintain the right posture and rest your arm, preventing the emergence of chronic pain issues. Throw in a few added comforts (easy temperature control, nice speakers or headphones, etc.), and those long learning and practicing sessions will be a pleasure.
2. Don’t Bet Real Money from the Beginning
The first assumption a lot of people will make before starting to play poker online is that they need to spend money. The truth however is that there are different apps that allow users to play without having to spend a single dime until they feel ready. For example, apps like PlayWPT and World Series of Poker allow you to play against human opponents in real time, but give you free chips with which you can simulate cash games without actually spending anything. It’s a great way to practice, and some prefer to play this way even once they develop some skill.
3. Take Advantage of Sit & Go Games
Anyone who plays online games knows how hard it is to find the time to practice, what with home- and work-related issues. In part for this reason, research has actually shown that broadly speaking, gaming can actually improve time management skills (whereas most would probably guess the opposite). When you’re just getting into poker however, and you’re not really designing a schedule around it, you may only have a short time to play now and then. In these cases, apps with “sit & go” options are your friends. These games allow you to switch tables more or less as you please, rather than having to stay in a game that’s going slowly (or poorly). You can fit more gaming into a short period of time.
4. Choose the Right Platform
There are multiple ways to play poker online: from games with unlockable maps and complex storylines to realistic and elegant simulations, and even VR apps. However, you should first focus on finding a reliable platform, given that uploading personal information is a normal part of the sign-up process for playing poker. Ask friends for recommendations, and research whether the platform uses data encryption (which protects your information) and a random number generator (which ensures the odds are not being manipulated against you).
Learn Some Common Strategies
The basics of poker are relatively simple, but expert players can develop fairly complex strategies over time. It’s not enough to know the hand rankings; you will have to learn how your betting strategy has to change depending on your position, develop the necessary discipline to cut your losses after betting high, and avoid any psychological tricks the other players might try on you. This may sound a bit daunting, but you’ll progress in these areas over time, and your game will be better for it.
Playing online poker can be a very rewarding activity. It allows you to develop your skills and experience the satisfaction of overcoming tough opponents; sometimes you even earn a bit of profit. And by following these simple tips, you will ensure that your online games are safe, fun, and interesting.