Everything You Need to Know About Advanced Online Poker Strategy

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Everything You Need to Know About Advanced Online Poker Strategy

Poker might be the greatest game ever invented, but it’s even more fun when you’re winning. So how do you win more often? There are a few different things you can do to improve your game; building a solid poker strategy is by far the most important. You need to learn what to do with the cards you’re dealt, so you can extract the most value out of every hand you play – no matter what kind of competition you’re up against.

That’s why we’ve created this helpful guide for real money poker players. If you’re a new player, we’ll show you how to get started at online poker the right way, building your poker tricks game from the ground up. If you’re an intermediate or even an advanced player, we’ll help you stay sharp and keep improving with the latest poker tips, the same ones today’s top-level pros are using. Bookmark this page and keep coming back to find out more about how to play poker like a true end boss.


Online Poker Strategy

There’s always an element of luck involved when you play at the online poker table. Sometimes you’ll get dealt a hand of pocket Aces; sometimes you’ll get complete napkins. You can’t control which cards you receive, but you can control the decisions you make and how you play. The key to beating poker in the long run is to do a better job than your opponents would have in the same spot. You want to win more money when you get dealt the good hand, and lose less money when you get dealt the bad hand.

This is something you can get better at right away – no matter what your poker playstyle happens to be. To illustrate this, let’s break down the online poker community into three broad types of players: the risk-taker, the conservative, and the unpredictable. Each of these three styles can be a winning style, if you do it right.


The Risk-Taker 

What brings you to the poker table? If you’re the kind of player who loves action, you belong in this category. You’re more likely to mix it up with hands that other players would simply fold. People who do this well are considered loose-aggressive (LAG) players. People who do this poorly get called other names, like fish, donkey, or maniac. Pro tip: Don’t use negative terms to label your opponents. They might turn out to be much stronger than you think.

You still don’t want to be one of those donkeys. The biggest mistake at the online poker table is when people open too many hands, just because they enjoy playing poker and hate to fold. Depending on where you’re sitting at the table, and what everyone’s stack size and playing style is, there’s a certain cut-off point where the hand you’re holding is just too weak to open – on average. A quality LAG player has enough skill to blur that line and make marginally sub-optimal hands profitable. But you’ll need to work on your post-flop skills, and post-flop is the hardest part of poker to get right.

We’ll show you how. Our comprehensive poker guide includes strategies and tips for how to play after the flop. Since you’ll have more of those marginal hands in your range than other players, you’ll be making life difficult for your opponents by putting them in more challenging situations; take advantage of this by playing more aggressively in general, which will encourage people to pay you off when you actually have a big made hand.


The Conservative

Everyone knows this kind of player. They’ll avoid the marginal hands, which can be a very smart thing, but if they take it too far, they’ll also avoid opening with hands that are otherwise profitable when played correctly. There’s a derogatory term for these ultra-conservative players, too: the nit. The extreme version of a nitty player is the one who only open when they get dealt pocket Aces. They won’t lose a lot of money, but they won’t win much – pocket Aces are rare in Omaha and even scarcer in Texas Hold’em.

A somewhat conservative style, one that’s tight-aggressive (TAG), can still be a winning style. By definition, marginal hands are the ones where you can only win a small amount of money in the long run. But played incorrectly, these hands can cost you big-time, so folding them pre-flop can be a money-saver. It also simplifies the game by allowing you to make fewer decisions at the table. Newer online players are generally recommended to adopt a TAG style in the beginning, when the emphasis should be on minimizing mistakes.

You can learn a lot about TAG poker in our strategy vault. This is especially useful for poker tournament strategy, as it rewards survival more than accumulating chips. Most new players at Bodog Poker can be found at the tourney tables (including Sit-and-Gos). Brushing up on your TAG style will help you get the most out of your tournament experience at Bodog. You might even bag one of those massive payouts when you play at a major event like the online Golden Spade Poker Open.


The Unpredictable

This is the kind of poker player everyone should aspire to be. Rather than playing things tight or loose, the unpredictable player will strike the right balance with every hand. They’ll mix in the right amount of bluffs to keep their opponents guessing; they’ll also change their bet size in accordance with how often they’re bluffing. To make themselves even more inscrutable, they’ll pull off some completely crazy plays every now and then.

Poker strategy has advanced by leaps and bounds in recent years, creating more and more players who fall into this category. If you’ve developed your skills enough to play at an intermediate level, the next step is to learn how to play neither TAG nor LAG, but GTO (Game-Theory Optimal). Pretty much all the top pros are playing something close to GTO these days – when they play against each other. Against weaker competition, they’ll deviate from GTO by doing certain things more or less often, like folding more hands against tight players, or calling more versus loose players.

If you’re one of these unpredictable poker players, or you aspire to be, you’re probably already studying the game at a fairly high level. You can complement those studies by browsing our archive and searching for topics that aren’t quite in your wheelhouse just yet. We discuss a wide range of important matters both on and off the table, like game selection and bankroll management. It’s also very useful to keep track of what newer players are learning, so you can better anticipate their moves and take advantage of your hand where possible.


Texas Hold’em vs. Omaha

Texas Hold’em remains the most popular poker game in the world, but you can also play Omaha (including Omaha Hi/Lo) when you play at Bodog Poker. While these are very similar games, you’ll need a slightly different strategy for each. It’s better for newer players to start with Hold’em; that’s the game most people are familiar with, and because you get two hole cards instead of four, it’s a simpler game with fewer card combinations to keep track of. Simpler is almost always better when you’re just starting out.

Omaha is almost the exact same game as Hold’em, except for those four hole cards – and if you’re playing Omaha Hi/Lo, you’re trying to make both the best and the worst hand at the same time. These games will challenge your poker skills more than Hold’em will. The starting hands are more complex, falling into a wider range of categories (like double pairs and tri-suits), and if you make a medium-strong Hold’em hand like two pair, that’s not going to win you nearly as much money at the Omaha tables.

Our Bodog Poker guide will teach you how to play Omaha and Omaha Hi/Lo. These are very important games to learn if you want to increase your longevity in this sport; Texas Hold’em may be the game of choice now, but not too long ago, it was 7-Card Stud, and before that, it was 5-Card Draw. Eventually, as more and more people get better at Hold’em, players will have to switch to harder games like Omaha to maintain their edge over the competition. Don’t be left behind when Omaha, aka the Game of the Future, becomes the Game of the Present.

Now that the introductions are out of the way, it’s time to jump into Bodog’s tips and tricks vault and start getting better at poker. A few minutes a day is all it takes to improve your game; find a topic of interest, see what there is for you to learn, and apply that knowledge at the tables the next time you play at Bodog Poker. Then come back the next day and do it again. You might be surprised how quickly you can make the leap from poker n00b to poker hero.





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