playing multiple sites
One of the really cool things that you can do as an internet poker player is to play multiple sites. It's like living in Las Vegas and getting to choose your casino every day. Whether you play two tables or more or just one, every site has its pros and cons and you should tend to play in sites that offer the best games in your field of expertise.
taking quality notes
One of the great improvements over the past years has certainly been the ability to take notes on your opponents. Almost every cardroom has added that feature since PokerStars introduced it when they launched. It's an awesome tool and you should use it; your opponents are using it. When you play against an opponent, your notes are stored on your computer. No one except you can see them.
Having good quality notes on your opponent can make a big difference in your hourly wage. Say you sit down, get dealt AQ and a player open-raise. Wouldn't it be nice to know how he plays? Is he tight or loose? Is he aggressive or passive? Well, maybe you played against him 3 months ago and had you noted his game style you would have known that this player is a solid rock. Suddenly, your AQ doesn't look so good. Or maybe you would have noted that he often raises with crap and therefore you should probably three-bet him with your AQ. What a difference a simple note can make!
Plus, taking notes will make you pay more attention which can never hurt.
Here's a quick tip. When you spot something out of the ordinary, make a note of it. Note the game (Hold'em 10-20), and your overall impressions (tight-passive). Then, you can note some precise things like: he open-raised with K9o when UTG. Don't note that he raised from middle position with aces, everyone does that.
One of the major differences between Brick & Mortar and Online poker is the ability to request hand histories. Every 100 hands you play, simply request them and they will be sent to your email address. Some pokerrooms also let you request them per time played (ex: for the last 3 hours). But double-check with them what is the maximum amount of hands they will send. Some sites have a maximum of hand histories they will send even if you have been playing for 4
hours and request your hand histories for the last day. In any case, most sites will send you your complete hand histories if you make a request to their support.
Your hand histories in hand, you can analyze them to find if you made a mistake in a hand. And it makes it easier to ask for a comment if you decide to post your hand on one of the discussion forums. If you are going to post your hand history on a forum, however, it is better etiquette to remove the names of the players and replace them by "player 1-10".
In the software section, there will be a discussion of two softwares that use hand histories to help you improve your poker.
taking advantage of promotions
Most online cardrooms have multiple promotions you should take advantage of. Some offer first time players a bonus of $25 when you sign-up. Others will offer a percentage (usually 20%) of your first buy-in. Why not make some quick cash simply by depositing? You can make some easy money this way. Usually, there are some restrictions, such as playing a minimum number of hands before you get your bonus. But it's certainly worth the time and effort.
Some of the online cardrooms offer daily bonuses to their players. For example, at Ultimate Bet, the highest hand of the hour receives a cash prize. And at Party Poker, they have a high hand jackpot that could make you thousands simply by playing at their sites.
Available to you here in the Online Poker Starting Guide are the following promotions:
PokerRoom (Play Poker no download)
• Get a 20% bonus (max $100) using this Unique PokerRoom link.
Gaming Club Poker (Part of Prima Network)
• Get a 20% bonus (max $200) using this Unique Gaming Club link.
Pacific Poker (Runned by Casino-On-Net)
• Get a 25% bonus (max $100) using this Unique Pacific Poker link.
Finally, when a key milestone hand, like the 100 millionth hand is due to be dealt, there will usually be a huge prize for the winner and the players dealt in the hand. Make sure you are playing at that site when it happens. Luck could strike.
When you are playing in a live game, you can always go back to the ATM should you lose the money you are carrying. Online, it's a bit more complicated as you have to process a new transaction in order to get funds in your player's account. When you get used to it, it's really no big deal and it just takes seconds.
But it's something you might want to consider if you'd prefer not rebuying. For example, for a 5-10 game, you usually sit down with $200. If you'd like to be sure you won't need to rebuy then you should calculate your standard deviation to figure out how much you should have. However, a safe number would probably be around $4000. It's more than in live games since you are getting dealt more hands and so the swings are bigger. And this is for one table. Of course, if you don't mind rebuying, then you really don't need as much.
Online tells do exist but they are not as obvious as some of the live play tells. Sometimes, it's the time spent to act that's a giveaway. Some players will press the raise-any button to appear to be strong when they are actually weak. Others will sometimes wait a good 20 seconds before raising, usually a sign of a strong hand. However, you must be cautious. Due to internet connections, it is very possible these delays happen simply because sometimes our connections are low. But against some players they are reliable, just make sure you notice them a couple of times (and make a note of it) before you act on them.
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