Online poker has had an incredible impact on millions of lives. On the one hand, it allows good players to make more money than they could earn in face-to-face games. On the other hand, it costs bad players a lot more money than they would ever lose in their local card room. The reason for this is quite simple. You can play a lot more hands online in the same amount of time, so wins and losses are affected exponentially. Not only are hands dealt and concluded far more quickly in an online poker room, but there also exists the ability to play multiple games simultaneously. It is common to find online poker players sitting at four or more tables at the same time, which is a dangerous but potentially lucrative game all of its own.
If you have the necessary discipline and powers of concentration you can win a lot of money at online poker. It favors the type of player who is a grinder, and perhaps even a rock. A naturally conservative and tight-aggressive player should fare well in online cash games, particularly if she is playing at multiple tables. Rocks wait for premium hands and then play them very aggressively.
They have no problem mucking the majority of their hole cards and are exceptionally patient. Rocks can be rolled over in real-world action because they tend to either win small pots (no one plays against them when they are in a hand because it is obvious they are strong) or run the risk of losing to a suck-out or genuine bad beat. If you wait all day and only play one hand and then put all your eggs in that one basket you have chosen a less than optimal strategy because in any one hand those eggs can be cracked. But if you play online you now have the advantage of numerous baskets, and your Aces are unlikely to be cracked at all four tables.
There are a lot of other poker styles that fare better online than anywhere else. The smash-and-grab player can only exist and thrive online. He sits down at a table wins one hand and then immediately departs. It is hard to imagine someone driving to a card room putting his name down on a list ordering a drink taking his seat winning the first pot and then standing up cashing out and leaving! It is also now a lot easier to focus exclusively on tournament poker and eschew cash games altogether because online poker rooms generally offer hundreds of tournaments daily. These tournaments frequently are backed up by guaranteed prize money, so even if there are not enough entrants the tournament still pays out the same purse. Look for guaranteed tournaments and you will get true value for money.
When you play online poker make sure that you set yourself strict parameters in terms of the amount of time you spend, the amount of money you spend, and to limit all the potential distractions. It is easy to think that you can multitask when you play online poker, and paradoxically although online poker is much quicker it is also more boring than real-world poker. If you aren’t in a hand it is easy to start answering emails or surfing the web waiting for the next hand to be dealt. It pays to watch your opponents, and online this still holds. Don’t allow yourself to play beyond the point where you can focus or to that point where you become numb and couldn’t care less about outcomes.
This is a very dangerous and expensive state of mind, and every online poker player has been there at one time or another (some players seem to be there all the time). It is easy to sign up for another tournament the moment you are knocked out of a tournament or to reload your account and go to another cash game. Online poker tables are a lot like peanuts in this regard, but the money spent frequently is not peanuts at all.
If you approach online poker with a level of discipline and seriousness it can provide unbelievable rewards. It can also turn you into a very good player because you see thousands of hands and scenarios in no time at all. But there are few shortcuts with this game and to get to that point you are going to have to take your lumps along the way. Just treat online poker as a true grinder would and you should do very well!