How to Improve Your Betting and Playing Skills

How to Improve Your Betting and Playing Skills

4 minutes

Last Updated: April 29, 2024

You've all surely heard of Texas Hold'em, not referring to Beyonce's latest track here, but the classic and timeless game where you sit around a table, each player receiving two private cards, and then the first three community cards dealt face-up.

But what happens if you play online and can't bluff at the table or read your opponents' facial expressions or body language? Let's dive into the ever-evolving and fast-paced world of online betting and the psychology behind it.

New School is Cool (Apparently)

The betting industry has changed so much from the days of brick-and-mortar casinos with their rich interiors, keen players and the sound of victory (or defeat) all around. As the global economy changes, so too has the aspect of betting and gaming, turning into—or rather moving towards—the digital space.

However, some things will never change when it comes to betting and playing: you still need to “read the room”, know the game you're playing pretty well, understand and research odds and stats, and always bet responsibly.

Things move a lot faster in the online world, so the key is to stay informed and know the rules. For example, if you're playing Texas Hold'em, you need to know at least the basics or you can lose pretty quickly, the blinds alone can take out your stash.

Each player receives two hole cards, and five further cards are (gradually) dealt face up in the middle of the table. These face-up cards are called “community cards” and each player is free to use them in combination with their hole cards to build a five-card poker hand.

Now keep in mind that the placement of the five cards on the table is done in three stages; the first stage is called the flop, the second stage is the turn, and the third and final stage is called the river.

And players can bet at each stage, meaning that there's plenty of space and time to make grave errors and bet too quickly or too slowly, potentially giving away your hand, or the opposite, you manage to keep your cool with a stellar hand or even win by bluffing.

The point here is that despite things going digital and being mostly online these days, the rules of a game still stay the same as in traditional casinos, and if you pay attention and bet wisely, people will still give away their tactics even on the Internet.

Types of Bets

Understand the types of bets

One can't really wager or place a bet without knowing the types of bets that exist, and you should check beforehand which of these suits your personal character and needs: a moneyline bet is the simplest bet, where you bet on which team or player will win the game outright, and the odds are presented as positive or negative numbers, indicating the favorite and underdog.

Then there's a point spread bet where a handicap is placed on the favored team to even the odds, and you can bet on whether the favored team will win by more or fewer points than the spread. The next is an over/under (totals) bet which focuses on the total points scored in a game. The sportsbooks specifies a score and you wager on whether the total score will be over or under that total.

Those are only three of the many betting types, and this field goes even further when it comes to strategies, analytics and tools that one can purchase. Online betting involves so many aspects that need to come together for you to make a profit.

It should be noted that a good approach to gambling online is going into it with the perspective that it's meant to be fun, a form of entertainment and enjoyment, and not a full-time job or means of fixed income.

With this approach, your betting style will also be much calmer and you won't force plays or hands that may not have been necessary.

The Psychology of Betting

As mentioned above, one should never see betting as a full-time job. While there are a handful of people who play cards for a living, this is a volatile and stressful “career” that can make or break a person.

It's not realistic to see the online gambling world as a form of income either, because that approach, the neediness of it, will put immense stress on your body and mind—and that's not what makes a good player.

Free time and leisure time is when you can put your feet up and enjoy a round of poker, roulette or blackjack online, but with a sense of “it'd be nice to win” instead of “I have to win”.

It's the little things in betting that make a difference: learning to pick your battles, meaning that it's okay to sit one out, looking after your mental well-being, researching betting odds and understanding your chosen game, as well as ensuring a balance between the online world and the real world.

As with most things in life, there's no guarantee and, at least in this case, practice doesn't make perfect—but it does form the basis for you to improve and learn as you go.

Disclaimer: content on may contain affiliate links to online gambling operators and other sites. When you use our affiliate links, we may earn a commission based on our terms of service, but that does not influence the content on the site since we strictly follow our editorial guidelines. Learn more about how we make money and why we always stick to unbiased content. All content on this site is intended for those 21 or older or of legal gambling age in their jurisdiction.

Copyright © iBetMedia UAB. All rights reserved. Content may not be reproduced or distributed without the prior written permission of the copyright holder.