Learn how to play with a tour of the New 888poker Experience...
Texas hold'em poker is the fastest growing and most popular poker game online and in order to play well, you have to practice often and play often. One of the top online poker rooms, 888Poker, offers a free online poker school and play money tables for beginning and advanced poker players to practice their skills.
If you want to make money in an online poker tournament you have to make it last for hours not minutes. Here are a few tips to make your poker tournament last for hours and get you in the big money.
Tournament Strategy: Early Rounds
This is the most crucial stage in online poker tournaments, where more than half of all the poker players will be eliminated. You can't get too wild and try to bump up your chip stacks right away. The antes and blinds are very low at this stage and you can play very few hands without having to worry about losing too much.
1. Play patient and tight in the early rounds because you won't have a read on any of the bettors at this point. There will most likely be erratic bettors that need a little getting used to.
2. Never go all-in in pre-flop. You may have A-A or K-K but someone crazy with a 7-2 might call you, luck out with a flush and send you home way too early.
3. Keep them guessing early on. When you have a great poker hand. Let your opponent think they have you beat by having them lead the betting. Then come out betting on the river if you still think you have the best poker hand.
4. Continue to keep them guessing. If you're not sure you have the best poker hand, don't let anyone know. Be a little aggressive and try to steal the pot. However, if anyone bets big, don't wait to see if they're bluffing- Get Out!
5. If your table is full of beginners and amateurs, trying to eliminate them with pre-flop raises is not a good idea. They may call your raise and take your chips by getting lady luck on their side.
6. Survival. The main objective in the early stage of a poker tournament is to get to the next stage with as many poker chips as possible. Don't try to be a hero. You have the later rounds for that.
The early stage is done and the beginners and amateurs that didn't pay attention should be gone by now. It is time to move on to the next stage....
Tournament Strategy: Middle Rounds
The quality of poker players and the quality of play should increase significantly in the middle stage. If you want to make the money, you need keep all eyes on your opponents and play even smarter.
1. The majority of players in the middle rounds should be skilled poker players, but keep an eye out for the few bad poker players who stay alive by getting lucky.
2. Try not to bluff too often. At this stage, skilled poker players will most likely only call a bet if they can beat you and will call you out to the showdown.
3. Do not worry about how many poker chips the other players have. Be patient, and wait for your turn to win their chips.
4. Only call bets when you have a very good poker hand because the blinds will be getting high in these rounds.
5. Make every player pay to see the turn if you have a good poker hand on the flop. You may let a player beat you with a free card if you don't force to fold with a bet.
6. On the other hand, if you have a bad poker hand after the flop- FOLD. The only way you should stay in is after watching the betting, you think the flop did not help any other players either.
Tournament Strategy: Final Table
You made it. You are at the final table and a big payday. Keep focused and follow these tips and with a little strategy and luck, you will be the last player sitting at the poker table.
1. If you have a short stack, go all-in with a great poker hand like AK-A2 suited or AK-AJ unsuited. Due to high blinds, you most likely will end up all-in pre-flop at some point so might as well put in all your poker chips with a great hand.
2. If you have a large chip stack, make the other players stay in the hand. Bet the amount of the smallest stack at the table if you have a good poker hand.
3. Since all the poker players are already in the money at the final table, some players might go all-in with bad poker hands. If you have good cards, be sure to call. If you don't have a good hand, it is best to fold.
4. Go aggressively after the blinds if you have good cards pre-flop. Call or fold if you don't think you have good cards.
5. Play a focused and tight poker game even if you are the chip leader. Otherwise, you will drop to a short stack before you know it.
6. If you are in the final two or three without the chip lead, play conservatively and wait for the big poker hand.
7. If you are in the final two or three with the chip lead, go after your opponents with a good poker hand.
These poker tips should help you become a good online poker player. To become a great poker player, keep practicing and keep playing.