Michael McKean is an experienced writer with a portfolio that includes work on the subjects of sport, gambling, travel and finance. With a background rooted in journalism, Michael first ventured into the professional writing world based in Switzerland, where he wrote for a number of language and travel sites and magazines before moving into the world of sports writing and gambling sites.
As an avid soccer fan, who follows everything from the Scottish lower leagues to the European elites, he has earned himself a solid reputation as a reliable football betting tipster and predictor. Outside of work, Michael has always gotten involved with grassroutes football everywhere he has worked and lived - UK, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Brazil - and still isn’t shy when it comes to pulling the boots on himself. As well as soccer, he has also developed a love of North American sports, particularly ice hockey - a love which began in Switzerland and saw him venture across the pond to follow the NHL. Moving away from dry land, he’s also a keen longboard surfer and is happiest when writing with a view of the ocean.
You've decided to try online gambling. You probably started out with the slots but now you want something more. Well, poker has been around for decades because it's fun and can lead you to big winnings.
That said, poker is as much a game of skill as it is of chance, which makes it different from slot machines. How you decide to bet, fold and check has a huge influence on how much money you will make or lose.
Luckily you're playing online. This means you don't have to worry about your facial expressions or mannerisms giving you away. So it's just a straight game of skill where you don't have to be self-conscious.
But you do need to have some skills. Don't worry too much, however. Most people are not grand champion poker players. Of course, you will be playing poker with real money so you do want to up your chances of winning as much as possible.
In this article, we at captaingambling are going to discuss some of the best online poker strategies that can help you to win. They should help you take your game to the next level.
Poker Tutorial For Beginners
Learn how to place your bets
Discover when to fold
Understand what the other player might have
Know when to walk away with your winnings
How Do You Play Poker?
Since this is a poker for beginner’s guide, we'll start out with the basic rules. Everyone is dealt two cards face-down. Then the first round of betting begins. Once all the bets have been made the first card in “the river” is dealt face up. The river is sometimes called “the flop.”
All of the players can combine that card with the two cards they have. Then another round of betting happens. Next another card is turned face up. Again, the players can combine the two cards with their poker hand. This goes on until all five cards of the river have been turned up. What follows is a final round of betting with whatever players are still left
You then compare the hands you have. A royal flush is the best you can have followed by a straight flush, four of a kind, full house, flush, straight, three of a kind, two pair and a pair.
This game is called Texas Hold 'Em. There are other varieties of poker out there, but this is what you will be playing 90% of time when you play poker online.
Is Betting On Online Poker Legal?
To be honest that depends on where you live. Several states have legalized online gambling over the past couple of years. More are intending to in the future.
The online gambling site you go to should recognize where you are from and only allow you to play if it is legal in your state. You can also check our constantly updated link to see if it is legal or not in your state.
Poker Tips #1 – Don't Fold Until You See The First Card In The River
Many players look at their first two cards and despair. They get something that doesn't look good like a 2 of clubs and a 7 of hearts. The instinct is just to give up and wait for the next hand.
Don't do this. Instead, wait at least until you see the first card in the river. In the case above it might be a two or a seven and give you an immediate pair. Then you can wait and see how others react and decide whether or not to stay in based on their reactions.
If the first card is another dud card like a 4 of spades or a 10 of diamonds, you can then easily fold and not have to worry about investing more money into this hand. The key though is to understand that each and every hand will come with a nominal cost and that it's worth that cost to at least see if the first hand on the river is going to help you out or not.
Poker Tips #2 – Be Willing To Fold A Good Hand If It Looks Like Someone Has A Better One
This is the hardest rule of all for poker players to master. Here's how it generally happens. A player gets a great first two cards down – maybe a pair of kings or a pair of aces.
They are convinced they are going to win, so they stay in. But then they are trounced at the end and lose a lot of money.
You have to pay attention to both the flop and what other people are doing. A pair of kings may end up just being a pair of kings. Other players might have a straight or a flush. Are there three cards of the same suit in the river and is another player betting high? He probably has a flush and you should just walk away.
Is your hand getting better? Did you get another ace or a king in the flop? Then you might want to stay in. But if the money starts getting heavy and you have a sense that the other player has a strong hand you don't want to just end up giving him or her your money.
Know when to simply walk away from a hand even if it started out strong. This will save you a lot of money in the long term and make sure that you still have money to bet with in the next hand.
Poker Tips #3 Pick A Strategy And Stick With It
As you play poker, you'll start noticing what makes you win and what makes you lose. This is different for everyone. But over time you will be able to figure out a strategy that allows you to win more often then you lose.
That's good. But what often happens is that when the pressure is on – particularly in a tournament – people will ditch their strategy. That's not good.
It can be tempting to try to bluff the other players by switching it up because you are paranoid that they are on to you. Or you may feel like you are on such a winning streak or in a losing rut that you have to mix it up.
Don't do that. Stick with the strategy that has helped you win in the past. Over the course of time, all losing streaks end. So do winning streaks. Your strategy should be able to accept that.
It's fine to refine your strategy over the course of time. You can always get better. But to just check out of your strategy because of your feelings is not a good idea at all.
Just stick with what has worked for you in the past – it will pay out over time.
Poker Tips #4 – With A Good Hand Bet Consistently
If you end up with a great hand you are going to be tempted to check. Your thoughts will be “If I bet I'll scare people off and get less of a pot.”
But here's the thing. If you and everyone else checks the pot isn't going to go up at all. And when you place a big bet towards the end everyone is going to fold – leaving you with a winning hand but not much money.
If you have a great hand the key is to bet consistently. Don't bet huge or you will scare players off. But make reasonable bets. Sure you might lose one or two players but the other players will stay in.
Keep making the same bets until the last card is turned over. This is when you can bet big and see if the other players think they can beat you. But at this point even if they all fold you'll still collect the chips from your earlier bets and still take home a good pot.
So, don't be so afraid of other people folding that you keep them playing for free. If you have a good hand, make bets and keep building up the pot and you will see yourself with much better returns at the end of the day.
Poker Tips #5 – Think About What The Other Player Has Had In The Past
This is a hard one for people who are beginners at poker. They always just see the hand they are playing at the moment. What they don't understand is that you have to look at the entire day's worth of games to understand what's really happening.
With each hand you play, your opponents are going to be holding their own possible hands. It may vary in a given hand from “only having high card” to “having a flush.” The odds of only having a high card are much higher than them having a flush. But them pulling a flush will happen once in a while.
When deciding whether to check, bet or fold, think about the possible hands the other players may have. Then ask yourself what they have had in previous hands. If for example, they got a flush one or two hands ago that increases the odds that they just have a high card now.
On the other hand, if they have been getting bad hands all night that increases the odds that this hand will be better. If they've been on a winning streak that is the time to stay in. If they have been on a losing streak and are suddenly betting heavily, that is the time to get out.
We know that sounds counterproductive but over time it will happen and if you understand that you can make more money playing poker by the entire game and not simply based on the given hand you are playing.
The Best Online Poker Sites
The truth is that every player will find their own best casino to play at. Every casino is different and so is every player. So there is no one casino that is going to be perfect for everyone who wants to play.
Some people are attracted to bonuses. Some people like tournaments. The way people play at different online casinos will be different. This is why when you start playing poker you should sign up for several different casinos.
Try them all out. Are people too intense at a given casino? Go to another. Are people too lax? Again, find another. Look for an online casino that has an attitude that matches your own. Then you'll be fine.
It's ok if it takes you a couple of weeks to find the perfect casino. You'll be playing for years so that's really not that much time at all in the long run. Just explore your options and eventually, you'll find your perfect place to play poker.
Most online casinos also offer mobile apps to play on. This means you are not tied to only playing online poker when you are at home.
You can take the game with you when you are commuting back and forth to your office or if you are stuck in a train station or airport. That gives you more time to gamble and have fun.
The vast majority of the online gambling sites we've suggested also have mobile apps. And those apps are available for iOS and Android enabled devices. You just have to go to the app store and download them. They should be free of charge to anyone who wants them.
All of them work exactly the same way for poker as they do on their sites for laptops and desktops. If you want to play poker on the go just download them and get started.
No. While poker is a game of skill there is also an element of chance to it. Even the best players lose hands, games, and tournaments. What these tips can help you do is improve your chances of winning so that over time you make more money. There is no system at all that will guarantee you a win each and every time.
Is Playing Poker Online Legal?
That depends on what state you are living in. Check out our link to find out if you can play poker online in your state. In addition, the gambling site you go to should not allow you to play if it is against the law in your state.
How Do I Create My Online Poker Strategy?
This comes with time. Simply keep playing poker for a while and pay attention to what seems to cause you to win and what seems to cause you to lose. As you play you will start to instinctively come up with your own strategy. You'll notice patterns to your wins and losses and will gain an insight on when to bet and when to fold. Over time your strategy will become more refined and improve. As with any game of skill, you will get better the more you play.
If I Get A Good Hand At The Start Why Not Just Make A Huge Bet?
Going all in our making a large bet early in the game is a bad idea. Other players will notice and probably fold out. This is particularly true if you are usually a low better. By far the best thing to do is to but an average amount consistently until you get to the last round of betting. That is when you want to make your big bet and see how brave the other players are going to be. That gives you the advantage of building up the pot with the extra chance of getting a really big score at the end.
Is Playing On My App Really The Same As Playing On My Laptop?
With the exception of screen size, the experience should be exactly the same. The app is simply getting information from their server. That server provides the same information to both the laptop and the phone version. The other difference would be if you are traveling and moving in and out of a good phone signal. In that case the app might lag when you are in a low coverage area.
It's Hard To Fold When I Start Out With A Good Hand. What Do I Do?
We understand that when you get a good hand at the beginning of the game it can be hard to fold if it becomes obvious that someone else has a better hand. But you have to unless you want to lose your money.
This skill will come with practice. Start forcing yourself to fold and over time it will come to you naturally. We had that problem too when we first started playing poker and over time, we got over it. Just keep it in the back of your mind for now.