The Ultimate Online Poker Strategy Guide

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Basic Poker Strategy

Odds and OutsKeeping NotesTournament Play

Odds and Outs in Poker

Know Your Outs:

The rule of four-two is an extremely easy way to figure out basic poker odds for most situations where you know your outs. This method is not 100% accurate but it will supply you with an idea of your chances for making a decent poker hand. Here is how it works:

With two cards to come after the flop you multiply your number of outs by four. With one card to come after the turn, you multiply your number of outs by two. This will give you a quick figure to work with. If you have a four-card flush after the flop you have nine outs. With two cards to come, you multiply the nine by four and you get 36 percent chance of making the flush. The chart shows the true odds at 35 percent. With one card to come you multiply nine by two and get 18 percent. The chart shows that the true figure is 19.6. It is not completely accurate but it is pretty close, and it is an easy calculation to do in your head.

Poker Odds Calculators:

Poker and Pot Odds CalculatorIf you are not an “old school” sort of guy and think you can handle your own when it comes to Online Poker. Step into the 22nd century my friend and try out Automatic Poker Odds Calculators , or Poker Software.

What these 3rd Party Programs AKA Poker Software do for you is automatically determine your odds of making a hand by reading your hold cards and the board cards. Don’t worry – this isn’t cheating!

Click here to read our reviews on automatic odds calculating programs and what they can do for your poker game today!

Keeping Poker Notes:
Advantages To Keeping Notes

The reason why Online Poker can be more profitable (to the user) than live poker is simple. There are many features that a user can utilize that live poker never could offer.

For instance, some advantages that online poker has over live poker is the ability to have multiple windows open, taking player notes, and advice from friends or experts.

The advantage we are focusing on here is taking players notes.

Taking detailed notes is EXTREMELY important. WHY? Because, if your serious about playing online – YOU MUST KEEP DETAILED notes on players. Plain and simple, you will encounter the same player again.

It’s so important that we have dedicated a whole section to teaching you how to keep details notes.

Click HERE to read the Players Notes Section.

Programs That Keep Notes For You

Lazy, Aye?

Check out our 3rd Party Programs Section.

There are a number of programs that will either take notes for you, or take detailed statistics on your fellow players.

IE) Poker Office, Poker Edge, Etc.

Tournament Play Strategy:

Basic Tournament Strategy

* Play Less Hands (Common Sense Rule #1)

The less hands you play, the more money you keep. This doesn’t just go for tournaments but for poker in general. Play only the best possible hands you can! Meaning, only play the hands that will give you the best return on your investment. Duh!

* Use Your Mind (Common Sense Rule #2)

Think through every hand. The pro’s get to the final tournaments because they think through every hand and every move the person made. Think HARD! What hand do you think they have? What hand do you think they just made? Why are they betting this much? Are just a few examples of questions you should be asking yourself.

* Switch Up Your Play (Common Sense Rule #3)

Just Bluffed a big hand? Consider showing your bluffed hand to the table, then next time you have a huge hand bet really strong – you might get a few people who still think your bluffing! Alternate your play in a non-predictable manner but try to keep your betting rhythmic and predictable no matter what hand you have!

* Feel Out The Situation and Bluff HARD (C/S Rule #4)

Poker bankrollDon’t bluff when you have Two Pair and a flush draw on the flop? No one betting, but you have position? Make a smart-bluff at the pot. Make a bet that you think that is big, but callable. Like you want someone to call you. If no one has anything watch them all fold like cowards.

Don’t be scared if you get a caller, REbluff him on the next card – IF you don’t think it helped him.

If that fails, don’t hesitate to fold

Taking Notes In a Tournament

A very valuable skill in an online tournament is taking notes.

A good player (in a multiple table tourney situation) will be watching multiple tables and taking notes on each player — knowing he will shortly encounter that player. However, focus more on the players play, than taking notes itself. By this I mean watch the players play, rather than focusing on trying to keep up with typing notes about him.

The advantage is he will now know for the most part exactly how he plays. His bluffs, his tells (if any) and his betting structure.

Taking notes during a tournament not only keeps you alert and busy but, it keeps you from playing the hands that will bust you out of the tournament quick.

3rd Party Programs In a Tournament Situation

Using a program such as Poker Office, a tournament player can gain an advantage very easily.

By monitoring his/hers own play – the player can find the mistakes they are making and quickly remedy them.

Programs like Poker Office, also watches your opponents. Giving you a great idea of their play style. IE) loose, reckless, aggressive, etc.

You should step up to a program such as Poker Office and see your tournament play increase almost instantly.

Advanced Strategy

Basic and Advance Strategy – Betting Structures

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FullTilt Four Colored DeckUse A Four Color Deck:

This might seem basic, but, its actually quite advanced. In a recent survey, 6/10 people actually refuse (or don’t know how) to change their options to 4-Color Decks.

Its fairly simple and seemingly obvious, just go into the options section and click the Four Color Decks. You now have an advantage over many mistake making folks out there!

Everyone who has played long enough has probably misread their cards at some point or another (usually after a long stretch), especially flushes. Using a four colored deck makes it much easier to identify flushes (and more importantly flush draw threats) and enables you to use your brain powers elsewhere.

Waiting For The Blind:

By waiting a full rotation before posting you are allowing yourself a huge advantage. You get to watch how everyone plays/reacts etc. before you even spend a penny. So unless you are familiar with the players do yourself a favor and sit out until the BB comes around.

In the meantime be taking notes on each players actions, or use a 3rd Party Program to do so.

Learn To LEAVE!

Not only is this a great tip for poker players – but gamblers in general. However, this rule is often overlooked, even by professionals.

There is a simple rule of thumb, when your up LEAVE! Odd’s are that you can only go down from here. So, do yourself a favor and listen to the voice of reason nagging at you in the back of your head. It’s there for a reason.

Another huge advantage to Online Poker is that there is always another table just waiting for you, so if you’ve experienced 5 bad beats in a row at one table. It’s quite simple – just get up and leave.

You might be wondering why this rule is in the ADVANCED strategy section. Quite simply, its what sets apart professional gamblers from amateurs. Professionals know when its time to walk.

Aggression is the name of the game. Bet, Bet and Bet some more – even when your beat you have to keep betting. Bet the good hands, Bet the bad hands. Every hand will start off by someone raising and then someone either calling or three betting.

From there the person with the last raise preflop has the initiative and they will keep betting until someone takes the initiative away from them. Slow playing will not work in a game like that. You won’t get enough cards to compete with them blinding you to death. You’ll need to mix it up with them.

The first concept you need to understand is that you aren’t playing a numbers game anymore, it is a person game. If you check, they bet. That means that you aren’t concerned about odds; you’re only goal is to beat the person you are in the pot with. If a hand is almost worth a call, then it is definitely worth a bet in shorthanded play. Always be the bettor or raiser. Pay attention to who you are playing and try to get a handle on what they raise with and how they play their hands after the flop, on the turn and river. Will they raise from late position everytime and bet religiously unless you reraise? Will they check raise on a bluff? Will they raise or reraise with no pair on the flop or draw? These things help you out a little; you’ll be able to save a few bets.

Next, expect some fluctuation in your stack. That’s normal. You’ll be winning and losing a lot of hands. You will inevitably pay off some good hands but you can’t let that stop you. How loose you play post flop depends on how loose the other guy is playing. If he is betting nothing you may raise even bottom pair. You’ll go farther with your overcards and you need to be capable of a check raise bluff or semi-bluff on the turn card. That’s a very powerful move in shorthanded games. Occasionally check raise with middle pair on the turn. It only costs you another big bet or two and you’ll get much more value on your next hand when it is a monster.

Lastly, for hand selection you’ll want to play middle cards, pairs and above. Avoid hands with low cards like 2, 3 and 4 (unless with an A). You want to be able to draw to either card and hit a pair to win. Hands like J8 and T7 are playable against really aggressive loose players. You’ll also throw in hands like K6s Q5s etc. You’ll also be raising a lot from on the button as well as reraising with the hands above. Remember it only costs you one more small bet preflop but then you have the initiative.

Playing poker shorthanded is nothing like in a full game. Many of the moves you do at a table with 3 or 4 people would be totally wrong at a full game. Short handed games are fun because you get to play way more cards and it is a much faster pace.

Buy-In More Than Necessary:

There are more than a variety of reasons for buying in more than necessary at the poker table.

Intimidation Factor

Reserves

Having “THE NUTS” and not being able to raise.

Although, the minimum suggested 20times the big blind is hardly what people buy-in with to this day. I would recommend a buy-in more on the lines of at least 50times the big blind.

After you start doing this – you will notice people respect your raises/play more. You will always have the opportunity to raise (not be the person who flops a boat, and is out of cash). And will always have a cash reserve after a bad beat.

Betting Structure:

This section is different from others, in that it ONLY has external links… The following links will take you AWAY From Tips4Poker.com (because we lack the information your seeking.) Here are a few articles on Betting Structures:

* How To Bet (definitions of betting)
* No Limit Betting Amounts (no limit betting)

Tournament Play Strategy:

* Basic Tournament Strategy
* Taking Tournament Notes
* 3rd Party Programs In A Tournament Situation

Basic Tournament Strategy

* Play Less Hands (Common Sense Rule #1)

The less hands you play, the more money you keep. This doesn’t just go for tournaments but for poker in general. Play only the best possible hands you can! Meaning, only play the hands that will give you the best return on your investment. Duh!

* Use Your Mind (Common Sense Rule #2)

Think through every hand. The pro’s get to the final tournaments because they think through every hand and every move the person made. Think HARD! What hand do you think they have? What hand do you think they just made? Why are they betting this much? Are just a few examples of questions you should be asking yourself.

* Switch Up Your Play (Common Sense Rule #3)

Just Bluffed a big hand? Consider showing your bluffed hand to the table, then next time you have a huge hand bet really strong – you might get a few people who still think your bluffing! Alternate your play in a non-predictable manner but try to keep your betting rhythmic and predictable no matter what hand you have!

* Feel Out The Situation and Bluff HARD (C/S Rule #4)

Don’t bluff when you have Two Pair and a flush draw on the flop? No one betting, but you have position? Make a smart-bluff at the pot. Make a bet that you think that is big, but callable. Like you want someone to call you. If no one has anything watch them all fold like cowards.

Don’t be scared if you get a caller, REbluff him on the next card – IF you don’t think it helped him.

If that fails, don’t hesitate to fold

Taking Notes In a Tournament

A very valuable skill in an online poker tournament is taking notes.

A good player (in a multiple table tourney situation) will be watching multiple tables and taking notes on each player — knowing he will shortly encounter that player.

The advantage is he will now know for the most part exactly how he plays. His bluffs, his tells (if any) and his betting structure.

Taking notes during a tournament not only keeps you alert and busy but, it keeps you from playing the hands that will bust you out of the tournament quick.

3rd Party Programs In a Tournament Situation

Using a program such as Poker Office, a tournament player can gain an advantage very easily.

By monitoring his/hers own play – the player can find the mistakes they are making and quickly remedy them.

Programs like Poker Office, also watches your opponents. Giving you a great idea of their play style. IE) loose, reckless, aggressive, etc.

You should step up to a program such as Poker Office and see your tournament play increase almost instantly.

Site Specific Tips (Party Poker)

* Add fish to your Buddy List
This is a pretty popular tip used by many of the good players on Party Poker. By checking your buddy list off and on, you can see when your favorite maniacs are logging on to play. Though you are unable to see exactly which table they are seated at, you can manually search through the tables to look for your target.

This tip is mainly useful if you are adding maniacs to your buddy list, as maniacs tend to create table dynamics that are much better for you than say, a calling station. With a maniac at the table and five calling stations for example, there will be serious pots being generated, so you can score big if you hit your cards. At the same token however, with so many drawers in the pot, your chances for getting outdrawn are very high. Just remember that.

Click between game tabs to refresh your table listings
This trick is useful mainly for SnG (sit and go / single table) tournaments, which are notoriously quick to fill up. Many times, you’ll see “Wtng for 5 players” as the table status, but when you click on the game, it will have already started. This is due to the table status not updating quickly, which you can force by clicking between tabs. Of note however, is that Party Poker has recently upped the refresh rate of the tables substantially, so this isn’t a major issue like it used to be.

Get hand histories when players don’t show their at the river:
Great Poker Party trick that I’m sure many people have figured out. Many times on the river, only the winning hand is shown – but you are very interested in seeing what the loser was holding too. Simply click on the hand number at the top right of the screen and request the hand history for that game.

Scroll to the bottom of the history and you can instantly find out what the other player was holding. I normally do this in conjunction with player notes, to get me a good idea of what a player is willing to play with on a river. Showdown information is always the most critical, as you can analyze their decision making process from the ground up.

Turn on your sound, turn down the music:
It’s no secret that us humans work better using more of our senses, otherwise we wouldn’t have been born the way we are. Yes, it may get annoying to hear the dinks, beeps and chip sounds of the game after awhile, but hearing those audible cues are vital to your play. You are much less prone to make mistakes when you can hear and see what people are doing, as opposed to just seeing it. For me, I notice it helps my timing when I am trying to figure out if I am onto a online tell or not, based on the delay during the other person’s actions.

Show the avatars (people in chairs), but don’t stereotype them:
This is probably the most debatable tip I’m guessing, because if you’ve turned them off, you probably really don’t like the avatars to begin with. And if you do like avatars, well, they’re probably on already. I just want to get my two cents in about this Party Poker tip by saying that even though avatars are computer graphics, it’s again human nature to easily identify faces. That means we can more easily associate a personality to a face, so it makes it easier to remember how someone is playing when we can attach a face to a playing style.

Move out of the $5 tournaments ASAP:
This isn’t as much a trick as it is advice. The $5 sit and go tournaments on Party Poker are cheap, but at a price. With a $1 entry fee, this amounts to a 20% rake, which is no light task to beat. If you are good enough to win enough $5 tournaments that you can beat this rake, you are good enough to be playing at the $10 tournaments. There really is no difference between the two; and in my opinion, the $10 tournaments might even be easier because you don’t get filled out tables of nothing but calling stations. Try as you might and throw the book of poker at me, but there almost nothing humanly possible you can do at an entire table of maniacs or calling stations. The game makes more sense at $10 and even more sense at $30.

* Protect your computer!
This may sound like some paranoid or strange advice, but it never hurts to take extra precautions when it comes to protecting your computer and poker information. Anti-virus software of course is nice, but in reality isn’t as much a threat as spyware or Trojans. I recommend getting Ad-Aware 6, which is a very popular (and free!) spyware killer that will thoroughly clean your system out of tracking junk on your computer. Firewall software is great too and highly recommended. Windows XP comes built in with it’s own firewall that you can enable, but other software like BlackIce defender are even better. Chances are nobody will be coming after you for your poker passwords, but why chance it?

Poker Tournaments

Playing Poker Online

Since it’s inception over 10 years ago, online poker has seen a lot of different obstacles. Tips4poker.com has been online since 2004 helping players not only find the right online poker room to play at, but also provide strategy on how to win. The landscape will continue to change as we move forward into the gaming future. We plan on being here for the long haul helping one player at a time.