Top 5 Tips to Help You Transition to Online Games
Whether you play it live or online, poker is still poker, or at least it should be. However, the differences between live and online games can often be massive, and transitioning from live poker to online can be quite a challenge.
If you have been playing live poker for a long time and doing well, you may automatically be thinking that you would crush online games as well. While this can be true, it doesn’t necessarily have to.
Great live poker players can often become very good at online poker as well without too much adjusting. However, in many cases, serious adjustments are actually needed to win at the virtual felt.
To help you with the move, here are the top 5 tips for the transition from live games to online poker.
5. Change Your Raise Sizing
One of the biggest differences I notice between live and online games in most cases is the raise sizing. Live poker players tend to make bigger raises and re-raises compared to online games.
If you go into online games with the mentality of opening hands for 4x the big blind, you are going to be the only one there doing it. You will not get much action but will get crushed by players quickly starting to re-raise you and putting you in bad spots.
For the most part, opening raises in online poker games, even at the micro stakes, will be in the 2.5x to 3x range.
You would do best to stick to that same routine and never change the sizing.
In live games, you can get away with raising to different sizes with different poker hands since no one notices. Online poker players will catch on faster than you may think, especially because many of them use various poker software to track this kind of thing.
The same goes for your 3-bet and 4-bet sizing, which you should keep consistent with what the rest of the field is doing. Deviating too much in sizing will leave you wide open to exploits unless you are on a much higher thinking level than your opponents, which you should not assume too lightly.
4. Adjust Your Hand Ranges
Just like your raise sizes, your opening, calling, and 3-betting ranges should change quite a bit compared to those you are used to playing in live games.
Online games are much tougher than live games on average. You will have to play more balanced ranges if you want to have a good win rate at these tables.
A good example of this is small pairs and suited connectors, which you are used to calling raises with in live games. There is a lot of 3-betting going on in online poker, and you will often get pushed out of such hands if you decide to flat call raises with them.
You should also make sure to make your early position raising ranges very tight since people will 3-bet you in position and give you a hard time on each of the later streets. Even though you can use various casino bonus offers to boost your online bankroll, you can’t afford to just give your chips away.
I highly recommend looking over some optimal opening, 3-betting, and 4-betting charts before you delve into online poker games. I can guarantee you will see many differences from how you are used to playing in live games.
3. 3-Bet and 4-Bet More
Over the years, people have realized that having the initiative in a poker hand is a big part of a true winning poker strategy, which is why 3-betting and 4-betting became more common.
In online games, you will rarely see pots go multi-way, while 3-bet and 4-bet pots between two players are very common to see.
For this reason, you should get very comfortable with your 3-bet and 4-bet ranges. You should also learn how to balance your range in these situations to make profitable re-raises.
You may think you know what you are doing, but if you get some coaching, you may quickly realize that your ranges are very imbalanced and not even close to the most optimal.
2. Consider the GTO Strategy
Whether anyone cares to admit it or not, Texas Hold’em is a game that should be played a certain way, and computers have helped greatly in discovering what that way actually is.
If you are going to play any kind of higher-stakes online poker, you should consider learning about the GTO poker strategy and how to apply it in our game.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to think like a solver every step of the way or make the perfect GTO play every time. However, understanding how solvers work and why they make the plays they do will surely help you play a better game of poker.
GTO is all about finding balance in your ranges in every situation. If you want to beat tough players, you will have to play balanced, or you will fail miserably.
1. Go Down in Stakes
There is a huge discrepancy in skill level between games of the same stake in live and online poker rooms. While a $1/2 live game is usually the lowest possible game you can find in a casino, online, it will often be a very tough level to beat.
Most live players are playing games with $200, $500, or even $1,000 buy-ins. I hate to break it to you, but online games with $500 buy-ins are incredibly tough and have very few fish in them in most cases.
That said, online poker allows you to play many more hands per hour because you can multi-table, and the hands are dealt out much faster to begin with.
For this reason, if you are playing the $2/5 game in your live casino, beating the $0.5/1 game online should produce similar results in terms of hourly winnings.
If you can eventually work your way up, build your poker bankroll, and actually beat online games of the same level that you were playing live, you will end up making more money. And you will have become a fantastic poker player in the process.