Online poker tournaments have become the latest trend in the world of gambling. Everyone can get involved in the action from anywhere where there is an Internet connection. Online players like Chris Moneymaker have had major successes when playing against live players. However, even though the rules remain the same, these are two very different games and require a completely new range of skills to become successful.
In the online world, it is impossible for a gambler to see the opponent. This means they have absolutely no way to spot any of the ‘tells’ from what they see in their faces. For players who specialise in spotting when a player has something to hide, such as Gus Hansen, the chances of being just as successful online as in land-based casinos drop dramatically.
The lack of any presence means there is fewer emotional tools available. It is all about the numbers. Mathematicians like Howard Lederer would therefore have few problems transitioning to online poker.
For players in general, online play offers a more forgiving environment. It is intimidating to play poker in a live format. Having to concentrate on the cards and keep any emotions in check are often too much to handle.
Poker has always been known for its psychological aspects. Here are just some of the things a player cannot use when playing in an online environment, which are also considered fundamental parts of the game:
Speed of action
Nevertheless, this does not mean it is impossible for gamblers to read their opponents online. There is still a variety of ways to do this. One powerful tool is to look at the speed at which each player acts. Anything out of the ordinary can reveal a hidden bluff or a secret gem ready to reap many chips in a short amount of time.
In addition, it is always worth looking at hand histories. Hands that provoked bets from the table are often repeated eventually. This tells perceptive practitioners when to fold and when to call the bet.
Successful online players always use a selection of tools that are not available in a land-based casino. It is possible to monitor the history of hands closely and to know where the flaws in a strategy are. Mathematicians also have the resources they need to calculate things like pot odds to increase their chances of victory.
Where to Play
Beginners should always opt for the online casino because it allows them to work on the fundamentals of the game. There is also a higher chance of defeating a skilled opponent due to the shifting emphasis away from psychology. Although this does not mean skill means absolutely nothing. In the long term, the top players always find a way to win.