Poker is not entirely a game of luck, but rather a game of skill and how you can take the cards you are dealt and make them win. This requires knowledge of odds, bluffing, and the general rules of the game not to mention the other cards opponents have showing. So, if you are interested in playing poker online you can really learn how to play well and win money. It's not just about what you are dealt, it's how you play the cards you are dealt so focus on learning rules and strategy before you begin playing poker online for money.
Learning how to play poker in a real casino or with other people can frequently be intimidating and your nervousness and anxiety will take over making it more difficult to think and play your hands efficiently. Of course, in time, this wears off as your confidence builds, however there is a way to avoid this situation altogether and that is with online poker. You can easily enter an online poker room and start practicing and learn how to play. Also, most of the top poker sites have poker rooms where you can practice and play for free, so take advantage of this situation and log some hours in the practice poker rooms. You will build your knowledge of the game as well as your confidence and once you have become good enough you can give a paying room a try. You wouldn't enter a marathon without training and you should not enter an online poker site without practicing if you do not want to lose your money.
Strategy Strategy is important and this is the key factor that will help you win many games even if the cards did not fall just as you were hoping. Also, many players lack strategy and are too cocky to think they need it, so simply do some research on the strategy for your preferred poker game and implement these as you are practicing. The more your practice the easier strategy will become and before you know it your brain will simply be thinking in a strategic way. This is important and it will train you to become a really great poker player.
Of course, the online free poker games seem silly to many and just a way to pass the time like Solitaire or any other computer game. However, if you are truly interested in becoming a better player all you have to do is really focus on the practice games as if they were real games and the money was real as well, implement the strategies you are learning, focus on mistakes and why certain moves did not work, and you will really become a better poker player. When you are a better poker player you may begin playing for money online and will be prepared to play against the many talented card players that are in the online poker rooms.
Keep in mind, however, that the play tables are not as well laid out as the money tables, so after a few hands you should be able to learn and start winning a few hands. However, if you are not winning with the play hands after a couple hours of playing then you either play poorly or are not implementing the strategies you have learned, and likely a combination of both. Remember, if you are losing on a regular basis in the play tables then there is no reason to enter the money tables because you will lose again and this time real money. So stay focused when you are learning how to play and understand that if you can't win at the free tables you will never win at the pay tables. Once you have played the free games for a while and start winning some, then you should move on to some of the cheap real games. There are games for one cent and two cents online, so you should consider playing those as your second step in the quest to become a good poker player. While the free games will help you learn how to play the game and the basics, you must take a step up every once in a while to challenge yourself and to learn more in order to become a better player. As long as you continue practicing and moving up a step at a time you will become a great poker player and win a lot of money. However, if you try and join the professional players when you still are learning the rules of the game you will simply lose money and your self esteem. Don't let this happen and take it one step at a time.
Becoming a Player Now that you know how to become a player you need to start practicing. Check out some of the top 10 poker room sites on the Internet and then start playing the practice hands. By doing this you will be able to learn a lot faster and save your embarrassment for a bad move because you are in front of your computer screen and nobody can see you. In the past, learning to play poker took a lot of time and guts because individuals had to endure playing with those better than themselves and individuals who would surely beat them for some time. However, you can avoid this situation altogether by simply playing the free games online and taking advantage of all that is made available to you. Then, when you finally do make it to the money games you will be able to hold your own and will likely win which is a ego booster and will only help you to continue playing well. Don't think the free online poker games are a waste of time, but rather utilize them and make them teach you the ins and outs of poker so you become a truly great player.
About The Author
Jeff Dragt has been writing for a variety of poker websites and has been playing poker online for over 5 years. http://www.holdemgambling.com.
This article was posted on November 12, 2005