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If you are struggling to become a winning online poker player and are hearing and reading the stories of others who succeed in making ‘a little extra’s every month’ then you might be wondering: how do they do it? How do they consistently win in a game that is built upon suck-outs and coolers? What are their secrets?
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- Use Sound Bankroll Management
Many poker pros have wild swings and end up bankrupt. Correctly managing your bankroll is the most important skill in poker. Play lower limits when you lose and only attempt higher limits after a good run. Do not be afraid to change limit up and down as frequently as necessary. Always play in games that you can afford.
- Focus on Making Good Decisions
Good decisions in poker do not always lead to a profit. The statistical poker edge of a good decision is sometimes just a few percent chance, so that you will lose nearly as often as you win when following your decision. Do not let results affect you. Just focus on making the good decision and profits will follow.
- Raise or Fold, do not Call
This rule can be hard to follow literally, but it should be your goal to get as close as possible. The weakest decision in poker is calling, which is synonym with passive play. Avoid it like the plague. If your hand is strong you must take the lead by betting or raising. Otherwise, just fold.
- Make Continuation Bets
It is vital to make continuation bets otherwise it is like telegraphing that you missed the flop. Make your c-bets against solid observant opponents, but be more cautious against calling stations. The optimal c-bet rate is around 70-80%. A lower rate makes you too transparent whilst a higher rate makes you too much of an obvious bluffer.
- Make Value Bets
A lot of your potential profits come from value betting, especially river value betting. Value betting consists in making bets, hoping to get called by a weaker hand. It requires good hand reading skills and also courage because there is always the risk to be raised, check-raised, bluff-raised or shoved.
- Use Software Tools
Online poker is a very competitive game and you must use the software tools that your opponents are using. Poker tracker systems are mandatory. Odds calculator, online database and poker coaching tools can also help. Check our poker software reviews for a complete list of what is currently available in the market.
- Review Your Hands
After each poker session that you play, try reviewing your hands with a hand replayer software. Analyze your mistakes and determine alternative ways it could have been played. If time is short, focus on the biggest losses and profits of your session. Post your most confusing hands on online poker forums to generate comments or discuss them with your poker buddies.
- Don’t be Emotional
You must develop the mental strength necessary to always play analytically, and not emotionally. Your emotions are your enemies at the poker tables. Your emotions will almost never make you money at poker, but very often will make you lose money. If you take a bad beat and start tilting, just leave the tables.
- Use Position
Position is often more important than your hole cards. Make the most out of your position. Learn to bluff more in position and to fold more out of position. Steal aggressively from the cutoff and button. If in position, do not miss an oportunity to exert pressure on your opponents.
- Don’t be Predictable
Do not play predictably. This sounds like a truism, but you have to introduce randomness into your game so that your opponents can never put you on a hand. Always have a few ways to play the same situation. For example when you have AA UTG, you may raise 80% of the time and limp 20% of the time in order to induce raisers. Use the seconds of your clock to make the decision. If the seconds of your watch are between zero and 12 you limp, otherwise you raise. If this sounds like it may be a problem to you, then you may be better off playing blackjack where you don’t need to worry about being predictable or fooling other players.
- Get Rakeback
This 11th item complements our #1 item: bankroll management is the most important secret to get a better win rate, and the simplest first step to improve your bankroll is to get rakeback.
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