5 Golden Rules of Online Poker

Online poker games are running 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so no matter when you find yourself at a loose end, and whether it’s for five minutes or five hours, there’s a game out there for you.

No matter whether you’re playing a quick cash game, a sit n go, or a tournament, there are some golden rules we all need to bear in mind in order to maximise our profits and steer clear of disaster. After all, we’re usually only one click away from shifting all our chips into the middle, and poor timing could lead to a sharp exit.

Stick by these golden rules though and you won’t go far wrong:

1. Choose a site you win on

It sounds obvious, but whether it’s the software, graphics, or style and ability of opponents, some sites will suit you better than other. Moving sites every now and then, facing new opponents in your regular games who don’t know how you play, can prove a useful tactic too.

2. Select the right game

Whether it’s a cash game, SNG or tournament, choose the games you have the most chance of winning. If you’re suited to deep stacked games, leave the turbos well alone, but if your skills lie in knowing when to push or fold, quicker games will suit you. Also note what kind of sessions suit you best, what time of day, and how long is your optimum playing time. After all, we all get mentally tired and mistakes creep in at some stage.

3. Always play within your bankroll

While the old rule of thumb of having 100 buy-ins may be a little on the safe side for some, it will make sure you never go broke, as long as you’re prepared to move down in game size if you’re on a bad run, as well as up when things are good. Keeping a separate poker roll and ‘life’ roll is a very good idea.

4. Think ahead

Make sure you have a reason for every move you make. Why are we betting, are we bluffing or value betting, do we want a call, fold, or raise? If we get raised what’s our plan then?

5. Never tilt

Easier said than done of course, but in the cold light of day we all know we don’t play to our full capability when tilted, so get used to going for a walk away from the laptop for five minutes or even switching it off. Pretending your mum’s in the room helps you bite your lip and keep the language down! Never forget, playing poker is supposed to be fun.

Remember everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes it’s how you deal with and bounce back from those missteps than can shape your results.

Whether you are playing online poker as a hobby, a bit of fun, or with designs on moving your poker further, perhaps playing as a full-time job, or with a view to moving into playing real life poker in a casino, playing within your means, in the best games on the best sites at the best time and making the best decisions possible will see you reach your goals.