Online poker guide for beginners
As contradictory as it may seem, I won't talk to you about a certain set of qualities and skills which are a must for someone aiming to get past the "fish" phase and start earning money in online poker. That, of course is also extremely important, probably more important than what I'm about to discuss in this article, but you need to be aware of the fact that there are more subtle things that determine whether or not you become a successful poker player.
I'll discuss the "skills" matter in another article, for now, let's take an in depth look on some other factors involved.
Table selection. You've probably read about table selection before, and you probably think you know all about it. The thing is, however, that most articles I've read about table selection focus on one thing and one thing only: the opposition you'll come face to face with. They usually go on about how you need to avoid tables where sharks reside and right they are about that. Position at the table is also important but you already know that...
What I found made a whole lot of difference (and found that out the hard way) was the type of poker game you choose and the stakes involved.
Rakeback is a set percentage of the rake you generate. Few people know however that they generate rake even on hands that they do not win. Sometimes you generate rake even on hands you do not actively take part in. Rakeback or rake rebate is basically free money in this case.
Once you're in an online poker room and you make your first deposit, (you get your bonuses sorted and everything...) you hit the "tables" button. Most beginners figure, that since they're not exactly sharps, to say the least, they need to do some training before actually getting into the money. This is what play money tables are for, but on second thought, play there gets chaotic more often than not and as such they're not exactly fit for simulating real-money poker situations. Even if you're lucky enough to find a table where everyone tries hard to 'keep it real' the reactions players will have to certain actions you undertake, will differ completely from those you'd get in response for the very same actions at a real money table. Soon our "fish" will realize this, and he'll understand the only real training there is, is over in the real money section of the room.
Given the fact that his deposit is not really a substantial one (he only intends to play poker for fun anyway...) he'll decide to play it as safe as possible. He'll pick a micro-limit Texas Holdem table and he'll start playing.
This is where the problems start for our rookie. You see, you need to understand a thing about poker: you'll lose more times than you'll win. This is a fact. What you need to achieve is minimize those losses and maximize your winnings.
The few times you decide to commit on a hand you need to make sure you win. You have to win the overwhelming majority of such hands otherwise you'll soon run out of money (tuition fee, that is) On micro limit tables you'll win many such hands but taking 35-cent pots will not do much for you in the longrun. This way you need an almost 100% efectiveness in order to move your game forth, and that – with your skills at this stage – is quite impossible. (again, just to make things clear: 100% effectiveness here, would mean that you'd have to win all hands you take down the stretch) Add the bad-luck factor to your lack of skill and you'll see why you'll never make any money this way.
This is not where the money is for a player of limited skills. For that, you'll need to move over to a low-to medium stake, no limit (NL) table. Yeah you heard me right... this is where you'll probably score your first successful poker game.
If you’re a tight passive player, make sure you sign up for a rakeback deal which features a dealt rake calculation method. This way, through the rakeback you earn, you’ll have the maniacs at your table working for you. Check out our rakeback information section for more details.
Because of the bigger blinds, you'll naturally play it tighter and that's ok. Here you can afford to do this, and take very few good hands all the way. You'll still lose many more times than you win (especially on the blinds as you'll have many of those stolen from you) but the single time that you do win, you'll win big. As a matter of fact, because of the NL nature of the play, you'll win more that one time than you have previously lost on all stolen blinds. Again, you won't be able to constantly win hands (like some skilled players do) but those rare wins have the potential to not only keep you afloat but to squeeze out a bit of extra money for you every now and then.
Add a little bit of that other type of table selection I spoke of in the beginning of the article and you have everything tuned to your skill-level, to boost your chances and to cut the tuition you've been paying so far to zero.
- by Jim Jackson