Even though 2021 has brought many unique changes to the world, online poker continues to grow and gain new followers every day. From every corner of the world the enthusiasm for this game of skill (and a little bit of luck) is amazing. In this article we would like to give you some general information about online poker that should have you ready to make the most of what this game has to offer. And, of course, we’ll share with you the best online poker sites for you to enjoy your adventure.
When it comes to online poker and the best poker sites in 2021 (and beyond…), ThePokerAgent should always be the first stop on your journey – regardless of whether you’re just making an occasional trip to the virtual felt or are treating it a little more professionally. On our website you will find all the useful information you’ll need about the best Poker Rooms currently available, along with a variety of exclusive promotions, tournaments and, of course, the highest online poker Rakeback deals.
As we have always said, number one important thing in winning money playing poker in 2021 and beyond is…..
Game Selection for Online Poker in 2021
Alright, game selection or table selection, whatever you want to call it, is arguably your most important “skill” at the poker tables in 2021.
Game selection is a critical yet underrated poker skill. You should not put effort only into improving your technical skills and win-rate, but also into choosing the game with the highest expectation. You have to do this within the means of your poker bankroll of course. Choosing a game where you have an advantage over other players allows your skills to realize profits.While we can’t overemphasize the importance of game selection enough, many players don’t take advantage of all available options when looking for good games.
We have been preaching this idea to our friends and poker players from the longest time.
In fact, I feel like people must be just totally sick of hearing it by now!
But despite all this, it is pretty obvious to me that most people still choose to ignore this fundamentally crucial part of winning at poker.
Yes even still in 2021. And yet they wonder why they continue to lose?
Alright, so what exactly is game selection or table selection in online poker? It’s really quite simple.
It is playing in poker games that have at least one (although preferably multiple) really bad recreational amateur poker players. They are also often simply called fish.
You see, poker is a game that is played between people.
Your results in poker will always be directly correlated to the games you choose to play in. If you choose to play in tough poker games, expect poor results. If you choose to play in easy poker games, expect good results.
It really is that simple.
So many people over-complicate this game beyond belief. All you have to do is play against bad players consistently and you will win!
The reason why this is so important is because you are going to make the vast majority of your profit in poker off of the players like this.
As a 10+ year poker pro myself let me tell you that this is something that every single poker pro already knows these days.
Winning poker is:
- Game selection
- Game selection
- Game selection
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Now that you have learned the most important asset in improving your online poker winnings, lets talk about poker strategy. There are some easy to use pro tips, you can implement in your game right away.
If you apply this these essential tips correctly at the poker table, these tips will take your game on a higher level. Let’s dive right into the tips:
Play fewer hands, play them aggressively and preferably in position
Intuitively many new players come to the conclusion that winning more pots is better – the more pots you win, the more money you make in theory, right? Surprisingly, the biggest winners in ring games and especially full-ring, don’t win a lot of pots. Instead, they only play a solid selection of hands and win huge pots when they have the odds on their side. Mathematically it’s MUCH better to the favourite to win a few large pots, than to try winning many pots with disadvantageous hands.
The simple yet best approach in poker is to play a solid, rather tight range of hands aggressively. In poker you want to find advantages, and playing tight & aggressively gives exactly those: You usually have a card advantage when entering a pot and you have two ways to win the hand when playing aggressively: By making the best hand or forcing your opponent(s) to fold their equity. If you can combine these with the third advantage, being in position, you’re well on your way to maximizing your profits at the tables!
Know the real two reasons for betting (no, they’re not value betting and bluffing!)
Value betting and bluffing are the reasons for betting in poker according to old consensus, but these are not completely accurate according to game theory. The different odds around the game of poker have been generally common knowledge for quite some time, but the actual poker strategy has evolved a lot due to different computer simulations. In 2017 a poker theory expert named Matthew Janda published a book called ‘’No-Limit Hold’em for Advanced Players: Emphasis on Tough Games’’, where he explains the real two reasons to bet:
Reason 1. Building a bigger pot in case we win it
Reason 2. Preventing our opponent(s) from realizing their equity
These may sound similar to value betting and bluffing, but when we take a closer look, both conditions can be filled at the same time. Think about 3betting with both hands, A♠A♣ and 9♣8♣: You’re building a bigger pot when you 3bet in case you win it, with Aces having a high likelihood for winning and with 98s having a smaller likelihood of winning against your opponents hand.
You’re also preventing your opponent from realizing their equity – let’s say you opponent had J♣T♠ and would be forced to play the rest of the hand out of position if he calls, so he decides to fold to your 3bet. You prevented them from realizing their equity and winning against your Aces or your 98s – both of which will happen a certain amount of time if they called.
Some of the best situations to bet are those where both Reason 1 and Reason 2 are filled simultaneously – your results will be much better when you think your decisions utilizing these reasons than thinking in terms of value betting and bluffing!
Fast-play your monsters & semi-bluff with your draws
Slowplaying and generally playing too passively with your monsters and draws is one of the most common leaks among average players. This mostly comes from the belief of opponents folding to their aggression every time you have a strong hand. Of course it can be disappointing when you flop a great hand and your opponent folds to a bet, but the even bigger disappointment is missing out on the potential of winning a huge pot instead of one or being outdrawn by not betting aggressively enough.
There are some exceptions though. For example, on dry flops such as A♣9♠4♦ it can be okay to slowplay your strong hands, as your opponents might take this as a sign of weakness and try to bluff you off your hand. On this kind of boards, the bluffs of your opponents are quite unlikely to improve enough to beat your strong hands and it’s very rare they have a draw here. Let’s say you had pockets nines for a middle set on that flop – it would be actually great if your opponent hit trip aces holding one ace in his hand to lose to your hand that would be improved to a full-house, or otherwise improved to the second best hand, meaning they would keep betting more money into the pot. If he has the higher set with pocket aces, you will lose a lot, but that’s not our main concern in the hand since the probability of this set over set situation is really low – the most important point is think how to maximize your EV against the whole range of your opponent.
On a wet flop like J♣T♠9♣ it’s much better to play more straightforward with your strong hands, because many turn and/or river cards might improve your opponent to a winning hand or stop them from giving you action, if the board gets too scary for their second best hand to continue.
Fold when you’re likely to be beaten
Is folding a great hand fun when you know you’re beaten? Not at all. But is it profitable in the long run ? Absolutely. In any poker game, every dollar saved with a good fold is as valuable as every dollar won by betting. Making good folds is not the most satisfying experience in poker, but you would rather lose a small or medium pot than a big one.
Yet, laying down a good hand when you should is one of the hardest things to do, sometimes even for professional players. Human beings tend to be curious and you can’t win the pot by folding. Rest assured: You actually can outplay the other player by folding in a spot where he would pay you off, if the cards were reversed. You might lose an individual hand, but you will win the war by playing better than your opponent.
Realize tilt will only hurt you
Each player at the table will eventually run worse in poker than they imagined was even possible. For those unprepared for it, it will be a nightmarish experience that seems to never end – sadly, for many players the prolonged downswing will be the destroyer of their bankroll and possibly even their whole poker career.Once tilt creeps in, you’re no longer playing your A-game that gives you the edge over your opponents. Even though it might feel like a good idea to go after your opponents with a huge bluff with no outs when called, the only person that will get hurt in the process is you. Every minute you play when tilted can cause you to lose a lot of money that you worked hard for by playing disciplined, winning poker in a good mindset.First step is to learn to recognize when tilt arrives, and what kind of changes it causes to your thought process and mood when playing. Then you need to either take a break, call it a day or try to tame the tilt to continue playing – the last option is obviously the hardest one to execute in practice. Check out our article learn more about tilt control
Many factors affect your overall results and how much you win at the poker tables. Among them are your strategy and skill level, the games you choose to play and how well you can control tilt. Making money in poker requires a disciplined approach. No wonder poker is said to be a hard way to earn an easy living!
Poker pros who regularly make profits playing the game use the following strategies to win as often as possible:
- Play aggressively to both win large pots with strong hands and make your opponent fold a better hand when you have a weak hand
- Play passively to win with a mediocre hand at the showdown
- Game select the softest tables available at your stakes
- Participate in promotions, rake races and find new poker rooms to play at
- Study and improve your game regularly
With the advice provided in this article you will be well on your way to make some money playing poker online. Just select soft poker room, play disciplined and reap the benefits. Happy Grinding !