What’s more fun than winning online poker games? Winning poker tournaments online where the stakes are higher and the pot is bigger.
There’s no question that playing online poker is not just a game for some. It’s a battle of will, wits, and a bit of luck. If you possess all three, then you’re in prime position to join big games with even bigger stakes.
There will be moments in the game when you will have the highest stacks among other players. However, it’s much more difficult to maintain your position as the chip leader than to chase for it. Therefore, you need to develop online poker strategies that will keep you on top of the food chain and not let go of that position.
Having the three aforementioned factors to winning online poker doesn’t matter if you don’t develop a strategy that plays to your strengths. Setting up a plan is crucial especially since most of the people joining in poker games are much better and have more experience than you. However, it should not deter you from challenging yourself to play against the best and win.
Therefore, below are online poker strategies that you need to consider using if you want to emerge on top and victorious in a poker table.
Conservative is key in the early stages
At the start of the game, chip leaders such as yourself will use their position as leverage to force the hand of players with fewer chips. The only thing players with fewer chips need to do is to be patient and take your losses during the first few rounds. However, don’t take their restraint as a sign of weakness. In fact, your unfounded aggression will come back to haunt you especially if they let hubris get the best of you. Conversely, folding if necessary can help you make money in the long run.
Other players will need to find an opening to strike and make you pay. They will most likely play after the flop if they’re comfortable with their hand. If you are sensing a bluff, throw you off by raising the chips. The lesser player will fold and foolish ones with play to your hand.
Therefore, be cautious by bidding big before the flop because you give away your position and force other players to fold. At the same time, use your position to drive out passive players and take their chip.
Go for blind steals
The number of chips a player has will dictate his or her strategy.
For players with the shortest stacks, they make decisions off the cuff because they are aware that they might be booted off the table anytime else and need to make a big move. Players with medium stacks are less unpredictable and can afford to fold or go in from time to time. Also, medium stack players will be much more aggressive towards short stack players and not so much against chip leaders.
Therefore, you want to take a cue from medium stack players by putting pressure on players with the shortest stacks. Their decisions at this point of the game are borne out of survival and not dictated by their hand. By blindly stealing on the weak, you risk medium stack players to have the shortest stack.
Start pulling back from your bets late in the game
As the game nears its end, expect to be called often especially when players with the shortest stack are blessed with killer hands and go all in before the flop. You might lose some chips in the process, which is why you need to pull back from some of your bets at this stage to offset your losses.
Once you potentially have the winning hand, turn the tide on them by attracting them chip by chip before going all in before the river card. Playing the river is a tricky proposition, so you need to be comfortable with your hand before rolling on with your decision.
Since you will have lots of chips, it’s best to maintain restraint and not call other players just for the sake of. Players are sharper at the point in the game and are not afraid to call you out on your bluff.
Playing to win, not to survive
As the chip leader, you need to factor your chips as leverage when using the online poker strategies above. As mentioned, you need to play to your strengths, which is the number of chips you have, to force players to make decisions out of survival or confusion. Doing so allows you to maintain pressure against other players throughout the game and put you in a good position to win.