The Hot Streak

How to Win at Online Poker

While it requires the same basic game knowledge as in-person poker, there are some wrinkles to playing online.

April 2, 2024

With advancements in the online gaming industry, online poker is becoming increasingly popular in the United States. This is good news for experienced players and newcomers to the world of poker, as it is now easier to access and enjoy this iconic card game.

Online poker requires strategy and discipline—through careful study of mathematics, statistics, and table dynamics, a diligent player can increase their chances of winning. 

Although playing poker in person may be intuitive, online poker requires a greater focus on the game’s fundamental mathematical and strategic elements. We’ve created this guide to help you understand how to win online poker games and level up your poker skillset.

The Basics of Online Poker

Online poker adheres to many of the same conventions as in-person table poker, with the added convenience of being accessible from anywhere at any time. As a registered NJ online casino, Tipico offers various online poker options, from table games with automated opponents to live casino games with real dealers

Texas Hold ‘Em is one of the most common types of online poker; however, other variations available include: 

  • Three Card Poker
  • Four Card Poker
  • DJ Wild Stud Poker
  • Casino Hold ‘Em
  • Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em
  • Casino Stud
  • Mississippi Stud

If you want to learn how to win online poker, begin by developing a deep understanding and memorization of poker hand rankings. In most variations of the game, the best hand is the royal flush—A, K, Q, J, 10 of the same suit. The weakest hand is usually the highest one card with no pair or other combination. Always check the rules and hand rankings associated with whichever variation of poker you are playing. 

In competitive online poker, gameplay is often fast-paced and requires quick thinking and decision-making skills. With limited time to consider the strength of your hand, the potential pot odds, and possible betting actions, focus, knowledge, and experience become considerable advantages. 

The anonymity of online poker, compared to in-person tables, adds an extra layer of challenge and excitement. However, it also means you can’t rely on reading your opponent’s body language. That’s why it’s vital to familiarize yourself with online poker strategies if you wish to learn how to win online poker games or tournaments. 

Elements of a Successful Online Poker Strategy

Like learning how to play blackjack successfully, playing online poker requires a comprehensive understanding of odds, betting dynamics, and personal management principles. To become a winning poker player, it’s best to practice and internalize these strategies as much as possible through practice and repetition. 

Position Play

Position is among the most critical factors when deploying a successful poker strategy. When playing against multiple opponents, position refers to your place in the betting action. You will need specific tactics depending on where you’re “seated” at the poker table compared to the dealer button. 

Adopt a tight strategy when playing out of position or in an early position — otherwise known as the seats to take the first action in a game. Middle positions require a certain flexibility in strategy, while a late position is the most fun, and you can play looser. If you’re close to or in the dealer position, you are in place to play the most hands. 

Starting Hand Selection

Acquiring the skill of knowing which hands to keep and which ones to fold is crucial when playing poker online. It helps you avoid difficult situations after the flop with weak cards and allows you to make the most out of your strongest starting hands. Mastering this skill will help you maximize your winnings and minimize your losses.

The strength of your starting hand depends heavily on the type of game you are playing and your position on the table. In Texas Hold ‘Em, an example of a strong starting hand is a pair of suited cards from 7-7 to A-A, which is considered playable from any position on the table. 

 

Another combination, such as A-9, K-9, or Q-9, may only be playable from a middle or late position on the table. Hands such as 9-3, 7-2, or J-2 are considered unplayable from any position. The bottom line is this: it’s a better strategy to fold weaker hands early and often. 

Reading Opponents

It’s possible to determine an opponent’s betting strategy by analyzing their patterns of action and making adjustments accordingly in your poker play. Playing poker online becomes a bit more challenging since you can’t rely on physical or verbal cues from your opponents. While some online poker players implement tracking software to analyze opponent strategies, this tactic isn’t possible at anonymous tables.

This is where deep knowledge of mathematical odds comes in handy. Statistically speaking, even players with a strong hand will miss the flop approximately two out of three times—meaning you may end up with the better hand or have the chance to scare your opponent into folding their better hand. 

Even if it’s hard to read your opponent, be aggressive in your play. If you have a playable hand, it’s best to give people a reason to fold. You can achieve this by agreeing with yourself to almost always come through with a continuation bet. 

Bluffing Tactics

Bluffing is a commonly used tactic in both in-person and online poker to make your opponents fold. It involves betting or raising with a hand that you believe is weaker than your opponents’ hand. The aim of bluffing is to win the pot by convincing your opponents that your hand is stronger than theirs.

There are two types of bluffs: pure bluff and semi-bluff. A pure bluff is when you bet or raise with a hand with no chance of winning if the game goes to a showdown. On the other hand, a semi-bluff is when you bet or raise with a hand that has decent potential to improve but is still likely weaker than your opponent’s hands. 

Do not overbluff recreational players while playing online poker. While it may be tempting to bluff a novice player — often referred to as “the fish”— it’s important to remember that just because a player isn’t experienced doesn’t mean they can’t get lucky and win a hand. Not to mention, these players may be inclined to duke it out to the end just for the thrill of it, which could cost a lot when they do get lucky.

Bankroll Management

When engaging in any type of gambling, whether playing online poker or through online sports betting, bankroll management cannot be overlooked. Only play with money you can afford to lose, and always keep in mind the principles of variance and the psychological effects of tilt. 

 

Variance is the natural fluctuation between bad and good runs of cards and is an undeniable part of the game. Variance can cause significant ups and downs in your profits and losses, making it crucial to choose your limits carefully. 

Tilt is a term used in poker to describe a player’s emotional response when they begin to play poorly and make suboptimal decisions. To avoid tilt, it’s important to have a few strategies in place. You can start by setting limits on the amount of money you’re willing to lose in a single session, taking breaks when you need them, and keeping a clear head. 

Tips for Online Poker Success

Once you have grasped the fundamental strategies of how to win online poker games, it’s time to dive in and start playing. As you explore various types of poker and levels, remember these ten essential tips:

  1. Learn the fundamentals of the online poker table 
  2. Master and perfect your skills on smaller stake tables first 
  3. Learn and play in position 
  4. Consider your starting hand carefully (and play fewer hands) 
  5. Be aggressive with your good hands to build a big pot 
  6. Make a continuation bet most of the time
  7. Don’t bluff recreational players 
  8. Manage your bankroll effectively  
  9. Be prepared for variance and tilt 
  10. Get in the zone and stay in the zone

The mental game is a significant aspect of poker. To win online poker games, prioritize your mental game and focus. Avoid distractions such as other apps or tasks while playing online poker games. Keep a calm mind by taking advantage of breaks or listening to relaxing music. Don’t look back on previous hands or try to analyze previous plays until your session is over. 

Conclusion

Online poker is the ideal version of the classic strategy card game because you can play anytime, anywhere, and there’s a broader variety of games and stakes available. However, great online poker players are not built overnight. To win online poker, players must learn fundamental strategies such as position play, effective bluffing, hand selection, and bankroll management.

Tipico’s platform provides a user-friendly interface to explore if you enjoy playing online poker. In addition to offering several different types of online poker tables, there are also a variety of other games available. If you want to learn how to win at online roulette or how to win at slots, our blog features all the best resources for your gaming needs. Just remember always to play responsibly and have fun!

Alura Penny
Alura Penny is a freelance writer, editor, and multi-disciplined creator. She learned to appreciate card games from her maternal grandmother, and has been perfecting her table etiquette and strategy ever since. She is based in Oregon, but you’ll likely find her working from various corners of the world.
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