Image by DerrickT via Flickr9 Online Poker Tips for Your Next Tournament
Here are some tips when you play in your next online event. Some of these may make you uncomfortable--so try them out! Even if you lose the pot, you will learn something.
Here are some tips--there pertain to situations where you are heads-up on the flop:
1. Look for a reason to play a hand.
One of the things players do way too much is fold. I know you are suppose to be patient, so how many tournaments have you won being patient. Time to open up the range of your starting hands.
Example: Let's say you are on the button early in the event. A player raises pre-flop 3x's the big blind. What should you do with these hand 3-4 suited, 7-5 suited, and Q-8 suited? Call.
2. Defend your big blind when getting the right odds.
This is an extension of the first tip. If you are getting 2-1 or better, just call.
Example: Blinds are $100-$200. Your opponent raises to $500. There is $800 in the pot and it will cost you $300--better than 2-1. You don't care about your cards, call the bet.
3. Play the players to determine your action--it's okay to make crying calls to try to win big.
If your opponent checks on the flop, always bet. If he bets, how much is it. A pot sized bet is a fold. If a player bets less than the pot, and you have even a backdoor flush draw, call. You want to see what he does on the turn.
4. Play the players and not your cards.
If you flop a pair, bet out. If you flop a straight or flush draw, bet out. Seize the action.
5. Steal from late position with almost any hand.--just don't always do it.
Hands like J-9 or 7-5 suited are good enough hands to raise pre-flop in late position (from the button, cutoff, hijack). Early in the event, make these steals only from the button and cutoff.
6. Early positions are where you want to keep your downside low, and upside high.
If you have a good hand, raise coming in first. If you have a medium or small pair, just call--you are looking to keep the pot small and hit a set on the flop.
7. Vary your pre-flop raise sizes based on your opponents and your position.
In early position, you want to raise 3 times or less the big blind. In late position, raise 3x's the big blind. In the small blind, raise 4x's the big blind.
8. Chip stacks sizes versus the big blind--when to move all-in.
Online poker requires you to make bigger than normal all-in moves. Ideally, if you decline to about 8x's the big blind, it's time to push with a range of hands. You can also do the all-in sooner with a bigger stack--just realize that you are taking a big risk.
9. If you are a chip leader, don't push all in with hands like A-K or J-J.
You don't want to risk all your chips in a lucki, heads-up drawing hand situation. Don't risk it all--unless you feel it's the only way to get chips into your next online tournament.