How to play Online Poker and become a Poker Professional?
Learn how to play Online Poker
If you want to learn how to play online Poker, first of all, you need to know all Poker combinations and Poker rules.
To tell the truth, Poker games are different when you compare them with each other – e.g. Omaha and Texas Holdem.
So you need to know the rules of a particular game that you want to play. This is the key thing if you want to start playing online, however, it can not guarantee you’re winning it.
Even though poker is a gamble, another thing that needs to be taken into consideration is that it is played against other people. So it should not be mistaken with other casino games.
You need to choose the poker room that you are going to play in as well. It might not seem that important but you can be assured that the right choice of the room and poker game is halfway to success.
The next step is understanding how money is earned in poker, and why some players win while others lose. You can read about it in this online poker guide.
How to Become a Poker Professional?
Work hard and become an expert
Becoming the shark of the field is the most difficult but in the long term the most profitable way in a poker game and its profit.
Players choose their favorite field – tournaments, cash games, SnG (Sit&Go) type which is currently rapidly growing in popularity. The idea is simple – to become an expert and be the best among all the players.
It is very important to understand that this is very hard and continuous work because such players need to improve themselves every day or they will be outrun by the others.
But once you reach the top, the payback is huge. In this case, you beat not only bad experienced players (poker fish) but also the good ones, the analytical players who play regularly.
In this case, we think that hard work is not enough. Because you need to have a package of qualities, which can help you to reach the top of your game.
Self-discipline and the right learning system
Let’s have a simple test. Take a look at other activities in your life, maybe you do some kind of sports? Do you invest? Maybe you play computer games professionally? You should really think if there is a sphere in your life where you have reached the top.
To put this in another way, you should evaluate your achievements in other fields of your activities.
If these are high achievements (for example European championship medals, winning a place in the world-class competitions, contests, being part of elite clans, etc.), this would be a proof, that you have a system in your head that leads you to be the best and that you have a lot of patience to do it.
This leads to the assumption that by using the same learning methods and unbeatable patience you can also reach the top results in Poker.
However, if you do not have such high achievements, you can learn the successful learning system. But it will require twice as much work compared to the people that we mentioned above.
In this case, you will not only need to master all the small subtleties of poker, but also learn the right learning system, develop attention, discipline, patience, etc. For most players, this option is not appropriate because they do not have the patience to reach the top of their field.
Does that mean that they should not play Poker at all? Read more about it in the next paragraph.
Hunting the Fish
There is a much easier way to make a profit than described earlier.
The logic behind this is rather simple. We usually go fishing in places that have a lot of fish. If the number of fish reduces, we go to another place. We do the same in case more “good fisherman” come.
A lot of good players act according to this approach. For example, they start playing one table SnG tournaments, they learn the specifics, start earning money and make living out of it.
They are not the best of the best, but their knowledge and skills are enough so that they can have a decent profit from playing Poker.
However, as time passes, the game gets more difficult and their profits decrease.
Then they change the game field because this is easier than increase their skill level. This is where instead of playing SnG, they swap to MTT (multi-table tournament) or one poker room to another one. So let’s say when the players’ field gets stronger at 888poker they might migrate to weaker rooms such as UnibetPoker.
This is not necessarily a bad game strategy. But it is different because it is not based on continuous self-improvement.
It is based on the ability to adapt to the changes and ability not to get too attached and involved with the favourite game.
If you have ever had a chance to analyze the statistics of good players, you should pay attention to the fact that for example in 2010-2011 one player was very profitable. But as time passed by, the profit was constantly decreasing and in 2015 he generated a loss.
This usually indicates that the field got stronger and the player got too comfortable and confident with his success.
He did not choose the first option and was beaten by the other players in the field. What is more, he was too attached to his game place and style instead of making some changes and searching for other fields with more poker fish.
An extraordinary opportunity to become a poker professional
It is worth pointing out that currently there are so many poker strategy pages, various poker schools, that every newbie has great chances of becoming both: the first or the second-level professional.
The only thing that really matters is your attitude towards hard work.
Every Poker room invests a lot in order to attract poker players.
For example, telecommunication companies in order to compete with one another offer customers cheaper mobile phones or cheaper contracts. The same goes for poker rooms. They offer various bonuses, new players premiums so that everyone chooses to play in their room.
Consequently, already a while ago players noticed that it pays off to come to one poker room, use the bonus, play a little bit and then move on to the next one and do the same. The organizers of poker rooms are not stupid. They have additional terms so that the players could not take advantage of them. But even with these additional conditions, the bonus hunting is a very profitable business.
Which players can get the most profit out of it?
The cash game players.
Because they generate really high rake flows – pay a lot of money to the poker room while playing. So they can meet the additional conditions very rapidly and then cash out and go to a different poker room.
But do not think that you can fool people who work there. Please make sure you read their additional terms and conditions. There are big sums of money that are flowing there so you can not trick them.
This method is a little bit similar to bonus hunting. The difference is that there is no need to invest the money, however, the winnings are several times lower.
How does that work?
Again, one of the poker rooms competing tools is freeroll tournaments. Poker room sets up a tournament that is free of charge to participate in and provides real money prizes that can be won by any player. By doing this the poker room aims to attract new players to its network.
How to earn from it?
You need to register to many poker rooms (10, 20 or even 30) and constantly track available freeroll tournaments. To make this easier there are special programs designed that track and provide you the list of all freeroll tournaments.
For which players this method works the best?
This method is usually chosen by the new players who do not want to invest their own money and want to try earning money while playing poker.
The main disadvantage of this method is that it is highly time-consuming and that there is no guarantee that you will get lucky.
Therefore, our online casino experts team recommends you to use this time for learning instead.
First, learn poker rules and combinations, then move onto poker strategies and soon you will be able to play online poker real money and make a way bigger earnings than freeroll hunters will ever make.
Poker advice for Beginners
Find a poker coach
Trust our online casino experts team, you will save tons of your time and nerves and avoid one of the biggest threats at the beginning – learning to play incorrectly. It will be extremely difficult to change and fix the bad habits that have been developed at the very beginning.
If you can afford it, you should buy individual lessons. They are not cheap, but it is definitely the most effective way of learning.
If you have a lower budget, you should then register to an online Poker school. There are plenty of them available, especially, if you understand English or Russian. For several dozens of dollars per month, you can get access to databases with thousands of videos and articles. Here are some of the biggest online learning websites:
Focus on one game
On the contrary, if you choose several games, you will notice that you can only achieve average results. It will take much more time to achieve good results if you are unstable – it is the same as trying to be successful at baseball, football, and basketball at the same time.
For beginners, it is highly important to play only one game as it will help to make the right decisions to ensure the winnings.
Set analyzing targets and limits
The right proportion for playing and analysis is 80/20. For every 4 hours that you spend playing, other hours need to be dedicated to analysis.
You pay the most attention to the time that is spent at the poker table because real money is in play. Poker is the game with the target of winning against other players. Winning is the skill that is being developed while you compete.
Be patient and start with the bets that are suitable for you
Remember – this is not Las Vegas. If you have ever played poker in Las Vegas you probably know that 1$/2$ NL is the lowest buy-in and that players who play there do not really know what they are doing.
However 1$/2$ NL game tables online are as difficult as higher stakes tables – it is the same as playing 25$/$50 NL live. Vegas tables and online games are completely different.
You should treat poker as a business. Once you put money into your poker account, you invest the primary capital into a small business. When you make the first “sale”, you reinvest your money into your company. Do not hurry to buy something cool once you win your first big pot.
Again, this is not Las Vegas where everything is about fun. If you really want to live off poker, you should treat it as a serious business.
Use additional poker programs
Use additional poker programs such as PokerTracker, HoldemManager or Jivaro.
These programs will enhance your game at the poker table.
You can read more about the programs on their websites or consult your poker trainer.
Poker training – is it really needed?
Nowadays poker can be compared to a professional sport. If you really want to achieve the highest results, it has to be treated the same way as a serious sport.
Can you imagine a basketball team without a coach? There is even more than one coach. There are physical preparation coaches, main coaches, secondary coaches, masseur, and others. Each one of them has his functions and they work together so that the team achieves the best results.
The same goes for poker – you must have a trainer, sometimes even several of them.
How to choose the Poker coach?
How do you choose other trainers or specialists? The first thing that I always take into consideration is their experience. How much time has he or she been in this field? New teachers with great accomplishments appear quite often and they really want to share their knowledge.
But playing poker and teaching poker are two completely different things.
Usually, good players struggle to teach others because they lack the educational knowledge. The things that are a piece of cake for a professional player might be rocket science to a newbie, in order to understand that the new player might need several lessons.
First of all, you should check how long has the person been playing poker and teaching others to play.
How can you evaluate a basketball coach? Probably by his team results.
However, we need to be really realistic – even if the Football Federation hired a really good coach for its national football team, it would be naive to think that they will win the World Championship. On the other hand, if he can manage to get the team to the World Championship while working with the current team lineup, that would be a great achievement.
It is similar in poker as well. If a broken poker player who has serious psychological problems start working with a poker coach, he will stabilize his mind and game. But the player will not become EPT champion right away. However, he stops losing money and even makes a profit of several hundreds of dollars every month.
This player’s achievement can be treated as the great work of poker coach.
How can you find the achievements of the students?
You should ask the poker coach directly about the people he taught, what are their nicknames and when did they have the lessons.
Their results can be checked via internet programs such as Sharkscope and similar ones.
Also, you should approach the people who were taught by a particular poker trainer and get their feedback. Did the trainer meet their expectations? Did the trainer dedicate enough time for them? And did he answer all their questions?
These are very important factors because you really want the poker trainer not only to be a good player, have teaching experience but that he can also have enough time that can be devoted to you.
If I need to see a doctor, I always check if he specializes in the field that I need an expert of. For example, if I stretched my leg, I will not go to an eye doctor no matter how experienced or good he is. The same rule applies to poker.
You need to choose what you want to learn – tournaments, SnG or cash games. Do you want to play online or live?
Believe me, these are different things and different training is needed. Newbies usually do not see the difference. But every professional poker player will tell you that specialization is very important and each poker player has to select it.
It can be compared with the foreign languages (for example Spanish and Portuguese) that are very similar to us from the first sight. Imagine you going to a Spanish language teacher and asking him to teach you Portuguese. The same is in Poker.
You should always pay attention if the poker trainer works with new players or already advanced ones. Or maybe poker professionals?
It is like English language learning levels. If you just started learning about poker and play micro limit tournaments, do you really need a poker trainer who plays 500-1000$ tournaments every day? Maybe you start with more basic things at first.
How does Poker training work?
Usually, when we speak about poker learning, we have online poker in mind. In most cases, the poker lessons are held online by using additional visual transmission aids such as TeamViewer, for example.
With the help of these tools, you can see the computer screen of the poker teacher or vice versa. He can connect to your screen and watch you play, evaluate your game and give some tips.
We live in 2023, so all good poker coaches record their poker lessons so that they can be sent to students. They can be reviewed at any time if some information is forgotten or not clear.
If your poker trainer is currently not doing it, you should definitely recommend it to him. Because we need to use technology to our benefit as much as possible.
This would also allow you to ask the trainer to send you other students lessons videos and it would be a win-win situation for everyone. It allows the teachers and the students to work efficiently while using the videos.
Combining different materials
It is very important to understand that our brain works differently. Some people tend to memorize visual information, others remember what they hear and for some people it is communication. So what is the best approach? The most effective is to combine different information methods.
For example, read a good poker book, watch poker tutorials, work with a trainer and to make it even more serious – make notes and summarize all the information.
❌ No. Online poker is not rigged.
If it was rigged, then every player who’s ever won was in on it, and there have been a lot of winners. To rig a system means altering the algorithm that makes it run. This will result in every player experiencing the new pattern. However, that’s not to say that every poker site is 100% legitimate. Many players have fallen victim to exploits such as collusions and bots.
✅ Yes. Though the percentage of players who make money playing online poker, or poker in general, is bitterly small, it’s still possible.
You have to be willing to play the long game if you want to ever profit from poker. Luck can get you by in the short term, like a quick fix. To be truly successful playing online poker, prepare to spend a lot of time studying and practicing.
Playing online poker is the same as offline poker, except you don’t have the luxury of reading your opponents’ body language and facial expression. On top of that, you have the turn clock putting pressure on every turn’s decision. As if that’s not enough, there’s also an inherent risk of lag and misclicks. Placing the wrong bet in an online poker hand isn’t uncommon.
Some key points to keep in mind for a successful online poker session:
- Start small. It doesn’t matter if you used to play $200/$400 at the Bellagio before lunch, online poker is a different animal. Try to get used to the new environment before buying in big.
- Play timed games or free online poker. You need to adapt to the turn clock and the tremendous pressure it has on your decisions. Puzzle apps and social casino games can help with this.
- Create the right environment. Distraction plays a huge role in your downfall as an online poker player. Nobody is waiting for you to take a bite out of your sandwich before making a call. Not to mention, you have to read numbers on the screen. Free your mind from the attachment of social media and other noises.
- Enhance your bluff. Some players have problems concealing physical tells when bluffing. Online poker is where they shine. Without direct interaction, your opponents have to rely on stats alone. If you’re a better cruncher, you’ll almost always win.
- Keep track of other players. One of the biggest and most common mistakes amateur players make, is to play for themselves. The best strategies won’t get you far if you don’t know what your opponents are doing. In online poker, it’s best to keep track of the average time it takes other players to respond to a bet/raise/check at which point of the board (flop, turn, river). Knowing this allows you to apply pressure at the right time.
Poker tournaments are the higher stage of the game. It requires a deeper sense of resource management than when playing cash. On top of applying core strategies, you need to always keep an eye on your stack and the blinds.
Here are some tips that help with your BRM (bankroll management):
- Exercise your deep stack. When you’re running deep and have a lot of chips behind, it’s time to put them to good use. This is when you start targeting smaller stacks. It becomes critical when nearing the bubble, as you want to extract as much value as possible. Players with fewer chips are either preserving their resources to get in the money or waiting to go all in with a marginally made hand. When calling against them, your equity is often much higher.
- Abuse the clock. Sometimes, when getting close to the money, you can use the turn clock to your advantage. This strategy works well for small to medium stacks. You want to stretch the level as much as you can. Use a time card if needed. It cna often result in a fold, but that’s a lot better than calling a monster and losing the race.
- Learn to multi-table. When playing online tournaments, it’s often more profitable to play more than one table within the limits of your bankroll. Instead of playing one $50 event, play five $10 events. The investment is the same, but you will lessen the effects of variance.
- Let go of unpromising tables. Let’s say you’re playing five $10 tables with $600 GTD each. You’re in the money on two of them for $60 each table. At this point, it doesn’t matter what’s going on in the other events, shift your focus to the winning tables. You’re guaranteed $120, so it’s pointless to waste time on the other $30 that might not even make any money.
The simple answer to this is, you can’t. Poker is a game of skills, but it’s also a slave to variance. Probability forms the cogs and gears of poker. When you’re subject to chance, you’re bound to lose at some point, regardless of how good you are.
Some players can have long running streaks for months, even years, but variance dictates that they will lose that streak. While you can’t win every time, there’s a way for players to stay more consistent.
One strategy is learning to quit while you’re ahead. Once you know you’re on a winning streak, play as many games as possible. After the first loss, start playing shorter sessions, but still as many games. That would buy some time until you start winning again.
Considering the massive amount of media flooding the internet every second and how much of it is the same, your best bet is YouTube.
There are hundreds of poker “training” sites, and everyone claims to be the best. Unfortunately, it comes down to how much you’re willing to pay for their services and attention to your progress. As the old saying goes, “the best advice is the one given freely.”
You don’t want to invest in something without first seeing what you can achieve without it.
You can find tons of good poker channels that give great advice, from basic to advanced, on YouTube. Some of them do sell online courses that provide more in-depth tactics. If you applied their free advice and saw results, it’s a good idea to enroll in their classes.
When choosing an online poker site, look for the ones with high user ratings and positive reviews. Some websites specialize in reviewing poker hosts and casinos. Rely on those rather than the poker sites themselves as they only post positive feedback.
A good online poker host also provides its players with attractive benefits, including free chips and cash back. Having more payment options is a plus, but not too many are necessary. The most common methods are Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal. If a site has too many payment methods, it could be a sign of a low player base.
Here are some top sites, in no particular order:
- Governor of Poker 3
- Celeb Poker
- Live Hold ‘em
Online poker is illegal in Australia. It survived the Interactive Gambling Act in 2001 since Australia did not regulate offshore operators. By 2017, an Interactive Gambling Amendment bill was passed. This bill specifically banned online poker and all offshore casinos. Sites like 888poker and the likes took the hammer.
All that did not improve the online gambling situation in Australia, though. If anything, it started a whole underground market of online poker. Players found their ways around it. Private poker apps like PPPoker started popping up. The sites that had been banned before came back with mirror links and alternative payment options. Everything went back to the way it was. You can still play online poker in the country, but prepare to face substantial risks.
Depending on the state you live in, online poker may be illegal. There are currently only four states that allow online gambling, and poker stays within this premise. If you’re in New Jersey, Delaware, Nevada, or Pennsylvania, you’re good to go.
Even when it’s legal, you can only play on certain platforms. In Nevada, the WSOP Nevada is the only recognized legal online poker site. Anything else falls in the gray area. Pokerstars NJ operates as New Jersey’s legal poker platform. 888poker serves Delaware players, and Pokerstars PA is the only legal site in Pennsylvania.
There are only four states in America that have legalized online poker.
❌ New York isn’t one of them.
If you live near the New Jersey border, you could drive a few miles to the state and play.
❌ Online poker is not legal in Texas.
Internet gambling, in general, isn’t allowed in the state. If you want to play online poker in America, go to Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania. Those are the four states that allow online casinos and poker.
Playing poker is like bodybuilding – there’s no hacks or shortcuts to get to where you want. You will have to feel a lot of pain and soreness before the muscles start to show.
To make a living doing anything means you need to be better than everyone who does it for fun. In poker, that’s a staggering number. There’s a painful majority of poker players who fall in the “casual” category. You need to beat every single player in that category at any given time to even barely scratch the “professional” surface.
Here are a few solid principles to live by if you plan on making a living playing poker online:
- Manage your bankroll. Even the best players sometimes fall victim to bankroll mismanagement. Archie Karas was famous for turning $50 into $40 million playing poker in two years. What he was much more famous for, however, was how he lost it in three weeks. It may seem unlikely when you’re at the top of your game, but sometimes, all it takes is a few loose bets. Keep track of your money, and only play what you can afford to lose.
- Take advantage of the small stakes. In poker, you want to eventually move up the ranks. For an average player who started out playing with one or two dollars, it’s not unreasonable to aim for $100 or $200 in the long run. To get there, though, you need a massive bankroll. You can’t get that without having dominated the stakes you’re at currently. Don’t be ashamed to keep playing the “kid” tables. Winning small is still winning. It’s much better to comfortably play low stakes with 100 buy-ins than struggling at the “big boys” table with one or two buy-ins.
- Respect the variance. Regardless of how good you’re running, you’re bound to face a losing streak at some point. When this happens, understand that it’s temporary. You can take a long break or continue to grind. Most professionals would choose the latter, as they don’t want to miss out on the action.
- Invest your winnings. What good is money if it doesn’t multiply itself? Many pro players ended up broke because they didn’t put their winnings to good use. Whenever you win an event or crush a cash game, set aside a specific percentage of it for investment. You should stick to this number every time, no matter how big or small the winning is. Also, the money should not go back to your poker bankroll. If you happen to lose what’s left of your winning, work and build your bankroll back up.
- Accept backers. Almost every professional poker player does this. It’s always good to have someone who supports you financially. This not only protects your bankroll, it builds relationships with wealthy gamblers who don’t have the skillset, but still want the action. You can even get into high-stake games with a backer who believes in your ability.