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Poker News | Online Poker | News

Online poker strategy. Game variations

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So after considering all the factors such as bonuses, software or bankroll, you have chosen a poker room (or rooms) to play at, and are now considering which games to take part in? Here's a few suggestions when choosing the right mix of games.

First, you must consider what poker variation (or variations), such as Texas Hold'em, Omaha or Seven Card Stud, you are looking forward to playing. Most beginners choose Texas Hold'em, as it is the easiest to learn and most popular (which means you'll always encounter someone to play against) poker variation to date. Furthermore, absolutely all rooms offer at least one variation of Texas Hold'em (there are even rooms designed exclusively for Texas Hold'em), and players with even the lowest bankrolls might apply for a game, as there are plenty of micro-limit games in Texas Hold'em which won't let you go broke in a longer time.

If you are a beginner, it is highly recommended that you play in low limit games to get accomodated with the amount of money you win or lose in the long run, which is mostly underestimated as inexperienced players often end up broke after a long period of time because of miscalculating their bankroll. This is also true for experienced players as they tend to go up the limits if they feel they are winning, even only slightly, and decide to increase the pot limit games in which they participate, which often leads to players spending a lot more money then anticipated or, in worst cases, going broke. It is recommended to play at least a couple of hundreds of hours at lower limit before moving on to higher one, as sufficient amount of experience is needed to play successfuly at higher limits because players there are likely to have at least as much experience as the player who "goes higher" has.

It is also important to decide if you are playing to win or if you are playing just for fun, as amateur players comprise the vast majority of the online poker population, and if you do not play to win, it is recommended to stick to low limit tables exclusively. It is also recommended to start playing from Texas Hold'em as this game is quite simple to learn (but a life-time to master, as the saying goes) and mostly easy to play. If you go pro, however, low limit play is essencial in order to build-up your skills while losing smaller amounts of money, and to go to higher limit tables only when you are confident with your skills.

Another important factor is the passiveness or aggressiveness of the game. As for beginners, it is recommended that they stick to loose and passive games, as in passive games, players are almost guaranteed to see the flop, thus increasing the luck factor and the time needed to play the hand significantly. On the other hand, experienced players will most likely play aggressive games more often, with supposedly greatly increased efficiency, but also with a higher chance of losing a game. Skilled but more patient players prefer to invade passive games, dominate the game and almost certainly make other players loose patience and money much faster than they would in a prolonged passive game. If you want to play more aggressive games, you should be prepared for an increased chance of losing pots in case of a strong and flexible opposition, but the chance of winning pots also gets higher if you invade softer tables with inexperienced players, and the choice is yours to make. Stable game fans however, should stick to loose and passive games exclusively.

Another way to increase your winnings is to play in tournaments, which enable the player to win large sums of money with little investment (for example, you may win $100 with a $5-10 buy-in), thus maximizing the profits and lowering the investment at the same time. The mechanism of the tournament is simple: all players pay a buy-in plus a smaller fee to the poker room, with the fee going to the poker room and the buy-ins to the prize pool. The prize pool itself is distributed among the winners of the tournament, with most money paid out for 1st place and subsequent prizes awarded in a descending order. Usually, 10-15% of the participants receive the money from the prize pool, with as much as 25-50% of the prize pool going to the winner of the tournament.

If you are a beginner and you wish to play in a tournament, it is highly recommended to start from the low buy-in tournaments (as much as a $5 buy-in should be enough for the start), as the risk of going broke is minimized by the low buy-in amount and the competition in the low limit games is much softer than in higher ones. Depending on your skill and experience level, you should choose between single table and multi table tournaments. Single table tournaments play much faster, but they are also less profitable than multi table tournaments. However, if you are a beginner, it is recommended that you play in single table tournaments, as multi tables require more skill and patience to win, as the number of players is significantly higher there.

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