You Too Could Lose Money with Online Poker!
Winning at poker isn’t about winning the most pots, its about winning the most money. You can do this by winning more and bigger pots and by losing less money. Here are a few tips on how to do both:
Don’t call with any old cards!
Some people will call with anything, with the belief that any two cards have the same chance of winning. This is essentially true, but some are much more likely to get you the pot than others – why waste money time after time calling to see the flop when you might hit a straight? Save that money and watch as other players waste theirs! You’ll be ahead just by not calling! See the section on starting hand ranking for good starting hands. Remember that checking’s free, so unless you’re playing speed or turbo hold ‘em, always check, no matter what the cards.
If you are playing speed or turbo and you don’t have many chips left, its probably best to fold bad hands rather than checking, so you can get better hands in before the stakes are raised.
If the flop doesn’t fit….
If you decide to call and the flop doesn’t fit (if the flop doesn’t help your hand), fold.
Don’t call with the hope that you’ll hit that third ace on the turn, you’ve already seen three cards and it didn’t turn up, so what makes you think it will turn up when just one card is dealt? A good starting hand doesn’t mean a thing if the flop doesn’t improve your hand! Also remember that calling the flop gives you three cards for the price of one.
Let’s say you had two aces (say diamonds and spades), then the flop comes, and its something like 2 clubs, 7 clubs, 8 spades. Someone on your table could have flopped two pair, or be one away from a flush or a straight. There could be someone with a pair of twos who’s itching to take your money after he flopped three of a kind!
You don’t have to defend your small blind!
When you pay the small blind, and then you get the opportunity to call, don’t think of it as only paying another 50% to see the flop. Its actually an opportunity to save 50% on bad hands. Fold if you haven’t got a high ranking pair of cards. You’ll soon see your chip level increase.
Bluffing won’t always work!
Don’t bluff thinking that you’ll always scare the other guy away. I’m not saying don’t ever bluff, just be wise about it. If the flop’s three diamond cards, and you’ve got two spades, chances are someone’s flopped a flush. And if you bluff that you’ve got the same by raising huge amounts, you better hope he doesn’t have an Ace of diamonds in his hand because he knows he has the nuts, and it won’t matter to him if you’re bluffing or have two diamond cards – he knows he can’t be beaten!
Of course this also works the other way: say three club card are flopped, and you suddenly go from checking the first hand to going all in, people are going to assume you’ve flopped a flush, and most will fold.
Or, say you check the flop, and your opponents check too – this indicates that all have bad cards. Then the turn is revealed to be a king, you could raise at this point, pretending to have a pair of kings, or three of a kind, and the others might fold. Another good time to go “all in” is when a pair is revealed in the flop. This might hint to people that you have three of a kind, maybe even quads or a full house.
You can also bluff to improve the pot. Imagine you have Ace, King spades. Don’t raise, just call (check if given the opportunity). Imagine the flop is three spade cards and you now have “the nuts” – the best possible hand. By checking/calling you will have made sure that you don’t force anyone to fold and some may now have the confidence to raise you, thinking they can push you out of the game. If this happens you could keep calling them or raising them with small amounts. This will ensure that when you win the showdown you will have a lot more money in the pot!
Figure out if your opponents are good or bad players
Don’t raise or go all in with bad players, unless you have a good hand! They tend to call anything thrown at them, and so can’t be bluffed!