Years ago if we wanted to play a hand of poker, we had to call up our friends, set up a table, and grab a deck of cards. Today, none of that is necessary. Just open up your laptop and join an online poker room.
But can you make money playing poker online? It’s possible if you invest your time in analyzing the game and the players and are willing to constantly build upon your knowledge and skill as the game evolves.
Most people never dreamed that playing poker with participants all over the world would even be possible just by clicking a mouse.
But will online poker completely take over and leave traditional poker tables empty? No, both online poker and traditional (live) poker are popular.
The most dominant online poker sites entered the market in 2001. PokerStars became a popular destination mostly because of its PokerStars tournaments. And Party Poker also had huge success. So, can you make money on PokerStars? If you are only a recreational poker player, there will be some, but if you are patient and have a good strategy, you can cash out.
Most of us have played small stakes cash games with family or friends. In those cases, it seems like skill is not what decided who wins…but pur luck. The amount of money you win or lose is usually negligible, and everybody usually plays every hand to the end. We don’t typically strategize or consider thinking seriously about our opponents’ hands.
But if you want to make money playing poker online, you should learn to develop the right online poker strategy!
3 Skills You Need to Learn if You Want to Make Money Playing Poker
There are three skills you should develop if you want to succeed in poker.
It’s better to fold than to play a lousy hand. True professionals and serious high-stake players find it mathematically justifiable to fold a lot of hands. If you play a lot of hands, (which inevitably leads to playing too many lousy hands) in a difficult game of poker, you will be waiting for specific cards, few of which will be left in the deck, right? So, can you make money playing poker online? By being patient, definitely!
In professional games, it will be rare to see big pots. People will fold when they get bad cards. Remember, patience plays a big deciding factor in your success. Playing these games and paying attention to every detail will bring you more money, but it might also mean you won’t be invited to the next game! But let’s face it, when you’re playing poker on the web, you don’t have to worry about being invited to the next game.
Knowing how to bluff
In professional poker, you simply have to know how and when to bluff. If you play a few hands and are rarely caught bluffing, the one time you do bluff, other players will have a hard time calling you on it.
Reading your opponents
By reading your opponents, you will almost always increase your chances of winning. Check out their body language or figure out their bluffing tells. By doing so, you will be able to figure out their patterns and decide when to call or fold.
Poker Cheat Sheet
Online poker is now the starting point for many young gamblers. And if you want to make money playing the game, online poker rooms are the place to start.
Practice online to make serious money playing live poker
Beginners can play for free online, or they can place small bets. Everyday there are free tournaments. Some are worth playing, and some are not. On some sites you can win a few thousand dollars, while on others you might only win 100 bucks. Betting the minimum amount is always wise in the beginning.
Remember names and playing patterns
Always write down the names of players and make notes on their playing styles. Some poker rooms even have a specific “Notes” option. It’s not recommended to upload your picture, and you should also change your name from time to time to prevent opponents from adjusting to your playing style.
Read subtle signs
In traditional poker, there are tons of subtle signs given off by opponents:
- How they put the chips into the pot – Do they throw them in or put them down carefully?
- The faces they make
- How they play with their chips
- How their voice sounds when they name the amount of the bet or raise the bet
- The things they talk about during the game
When you are playing poker on the internet, it is more important to choose your hands carefully, because you don’t have a chance to use all of these skills. You can’t see your opponent.
But in the online game, there are still tells you can use. Some players immediately click the bet/raise button when they get a strong hand. They might also develop a rhythm that can give you important information, especially if you play Heads-up where this is much more obvious.
Use the ‘Hand History’ option to help you learn about the game
The ‘Hand History’ option is in every online poker room. You can use it after each session to determine how you played or see the results of the hands played by other players. Use it if your opponent called and lost but didn’t show their hand. This option is especially important if you play Heads-up.
Play parallel games
Most of the people playing poker on the internet are there to earn money, not just to practice. Limit Hold’em is highly popular because it doesn’t demand too much thinking. People who play online usually do other things on their computer at the same time – they often even play at a few tables at once.
Online poker can be addictive
If you play games for cash, watch out…it can be very addictive. You are playing in the comfort of your own home, so it can be tough to stop. Many professional poker players are winning online poker real money and spending their whole day in their underwear or bathrobe.
Perks of being an online poker player
The number of played hands online is double the number of played hands in live poker. There will be twice as many situations where people get the card they were waiting for because there are much more hands, and it takes minimum effort to click the call or raise button.
Don’t be greedy – Stay safe
It is better to play two games at the same time to prevent yourself from playing hands out of boredom. Even for players who play the medium limit, it is better to play two $20 to $40 blinds. It is easy to play a few games at once because you can play hands ahead without being caught. You are informed when it is your turn to play, so you don’t need to be as careful as you would have to be if you played a live game.
The advanced online players have HD monitors that allow them to play up to four games at the same time comfortably. A motivated high-stakes player should have profiles on all the bigger online poker platforms in order to play two to four games at the same time, with an average limit from $250 to $300. Playing for fifty hours a week, four weeks a month, and maintaining an advantage of 1%, we get:
$300 x 1/3 (high-bets an hour)
X 2 (twice as many hands)
X 200 (hours a month)
= $40,000 a month
We assume that the advantage of 3% is approximately equal to one big bet an hour. Then, we replaced one-third of big bets an hour with the 1% advantage on the left side of the equation.
You can maintain the advantage of 2% and earn more than a million dollars a year. But in reality, most of the players who can do that probably prefer making money playing poker in the casino because that way they can earn that money a lot easier.