Play poker and win: Cautious play wins the day

Like so many aspects of modern life, online poker moves fast.  When you play poker online the game is typically faster than the physical world equivalent, and for newcomers getting used to this pace can take a while.  However, once you are used to the speed at which you play poker online it is in many ways an improvement on physical games, offering more action per hour and thus providing more potentially winning hands.  However, getting used the pace is just the start – here is some advice on how to increase your chances of winning!

The first piece of advice is more about safety, and is to only play poker at established and reputable sites like  These big and fully regulated sites will offer a fair game, and ensure that you will be able to pick up your winnings without any hassle.  While the majority of online poker sites are genuine and run through soundly constructed and independently verified software, there are a handful of rogue sites that are simply there for the purpose of scamming the unsuspecting newcomer.  One of the primary ways that these fraudulent sites attract players is through offering outrageous introductory stake bonuses.

This is not to say that introductory bonuses are a dodgy thing – far from it.  It is common practice for legitimate and trustworthy poker sites to offer new members a bonus of up to one hundred percent of the initial deposit placed when you open the account.  This can of course effectively double your playing time, and the longer you can stay in the game, the longer you have to pick up more winning hands.  As long as you stick to established sites when you play poker you can rest easy in the knowledge that such bonuses are above board, and represent a genuine offer of free cash to increase your stake.  So in summary, look around for the best introductory deals offered by the established sites when you start looking for a place to play poker.

However, once you’ve selected a reputable site, it is important to treat any introductory bonuses as you would your own chips.  While you should always stick to staking no more than you can afford to lose when you play poker, the ultimate aim of the game is of course to win and not lose chips overall.  Chucking it around – or in poker parlance playing fast and loose  – will impress no-one, and will most often simply line the pockets of the other players at the table.  Contrary to the image of the game often portrayed in films and on TV, successful poker is much more about calculated risk than throwing caution to the wind in one big play.

In general terms, calculated risk also means steering clear of the higher stakes tables while you are learning the game.  The higher the stakes, the better the average player that will be attracted to the table.  The apparent potential to win bigger pots is in the majority of cases just an opportunity for the newcomer to donate their chips more quickly to more experienced players.  Lower stakes games will generally feature lower skilled opposition, presenting you a much better chance of being able to win more hands, and therefore more money.  Continue reading