How Can You Ensure That You Win More than You Lose at Poker?
Top professional poker players like two-time World Series of Poker Player of the Year Daniel Negreanu claim that they could walk into any home poker game with casual players and win, without even looking at their cards the whole night. The Canadian backs up his claims by being known as a legend at reading other players, and knowing when to throw his chips into the middle. The thing that makes poker so popular is the fact that you don't need to have the winning hand to be able to take down pots. So how can an average online player up their game to get nearer the levels of players like Negreanu and ensure that they win more money than they put in?
Now, you may be thinking that playing poker online is a totally different ball game to playing against visible opponents while sitting around a poker table. It's true that some online poker games like Bandar Poker, where players can skip straight to the action and see a flop, require a little bit more luck than other forms of playing. But when playing regular games of Texas Hold'em poker online - no matter if it's Limit or No Limit, it is possible to spot bluffs and convince players to believe your own story as well.
While players like Negreanu have made names for themselves by picking up on other players' body language and tells, the secret is that a lot of the time they can't get a perfect read on the people they are playing against. On most occasions, they are playing against other poker experts, who are well trained at disguising their own tells. In these circumstances, they have to look at the types of bets players are making and try to deduce the strength of their hand from this information.
When players flop a good hand, they need to try to extract some returns from the other players. So they will usually try to bet on each street and hope that the other player who calls them is either fishing or has a worse hand. Professionals call this kind of betting "telling a story", and if you want to pull bluffs off, you need to tell you opponents a convincing story.
Players can represent certain hands by betting large amounts on every street, and this works particularly well in an online setting. Other players will often wonder whether it is worth the risk in calling someone, because there is a good chance that they may not be bluffing.
Of course, bluffing in poker can work the other way too, and players who flop immense hands will often check in order to make their opponents think they didn't hit anything. This is illustrated perfectly in the video above, where Patrick Antonius managed to trap Tong G into trying a bluff on the river. Antonius had the nuts from the flop but concealed it brilliantly.