Understanding Variance When Playing Online Poker

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When playing poker online you need to understand that variance exists and that even your best hands can lose. This is why it is so important to play within your bankroll and always be sure to manage your losses. This is one of the keys to long term success in any form of gambling.

When you are new to poker it is important to start with a small stake and gradually work your way up. Many online poker sites offer a practice money option that allows you to learn the game without risking any of your real cash. This is a great way to get comfortable with the software and learn the rules before moving to a real money table.

It is also helpful to stick to one type of poker when starting out. This will help you understand the nuances of the game better and increase your chances of success when you finally decide to move up the stakes. Many professional players stick to one type of game until they master it and then slowly work their way up the stakes as they gain confidence.

One of the most difficult things to get used to when playing poker online is learning how to read an opponent’s tells. In a live game you can see your opponent, chat with them and pick up on the subtleties of their body language. When you are online the only information you have about your opponent’s cards is their bet history and betting tendencies.

Understanding the ranking of hands is another important aspect of online poker strategy. Having an understanding of how to rank your own hand and the ranking of your opponents’ hands will make it easier for you to decide whether or not to call a bet. It is also important to be able to read the board and make predictions about what your opponents may hold.

Lastly, it is vital to be able to control your emotions when playing poker online. This is one of the biggest challenges for any player and can be especially difficult when you are running bad. However, if you can remember that losing days are part of the game and that you should never let your emotions dictate your decisions you will be much more successful in the long run.

There is no doubt that poker can be a very lucrative game when you play it correctly. By starting low, managing your bankroll, playing aggressively and understanding variance you can pave the way to online poker glory. Just be sure to stay focused, take breaks, and think in ranges, not hands, and you will soon be reaping the rewards of your hard work! Good luck at the tables!