Comprehensive Guide to Online Poker
All About Online Poker
The great thing about online poker – besides the chance to win plenty of money – is how much you can improve your game by applying the right strategies. If you play the right way, you’ll almost always have an advantage over your fellow players.
When you do your research about online poker, you’ll come across all kinds of technical ways to play, things like Game-Theory Optional (GTO). These aren’t all bad, and people have had real success with them. We won’t go into all the details here, but the numbers people (ok, nerds) have influenced the way that online poker strategy has evolved since the early days of the internet.
But you know what? At the end of the day poker is still poker – from the saloons in the Old West 150 years ago to your mobile phone today on a lunch break. You want to have fun when you play, and hopefully make some cash too. And you still need a plan. And maybe a certain kind of calculator. We’ll get into that below.
How to Get Started Playing Online Poker at Ignition
Once you hit the Ignition website, you’ll need to create an account. It takes less than a minute, and then you’ll need to deposit some funds. You can do this in a number of ways – using Bitcoin, credit cards, vouchers and more.
With cash in your account, it’s time to hit the tables and start playing online poker for real money. You can play straight from your desktop and you can download the poker software to experience a real casino feel, full of badass features.
How to Play Online Poker at Ignition
Once you’re logged in, you know your poker hand rankings, and you’re seated at the table revved up for action, you might realize pretty quick that other players seem to be owning you. Maybe a little, maybe a lot. This is not the time to panic – nobody was good when they first picked up a guitar either. Trial and error, especially if you keep the stakes low, is a good way to learn quickly.
But if you combine this approach with a plan – think actual guitar lessons – you have a way better chance of developing a strong poker game.
The starting point of your plan is to narrow down the cards that your fellow players might be holding. Since you can’t know for sure, you’ll need to think of probabilities. You have an ace, and you see an ace in the flop? Well, now you know already that there are a limited number of aces left out there.
Right away, this will get you started on the road to making good poker decisions. (Another way is to use a push/fold calculator, which we’ll still get into in a bit).
Choosing the Right Pre-flop Hands
Especially at the beginning of your online poker playing days, your strategy should include the idea of folding, probably more than you’d like. Because you’re still learning which hands to play and which ones to fold, along with how much to bet, folding is a safer way to keep some cash in your pocket while you learn the ropes. Choosing which hands to keep playing versus which hands to fold should become automatic after a while.
It also depends on your playing position– since you can’t see as many other players if you’re in an early position, you might need to be a bit more cautious. In fact, your position can matter more than the actual cards in your hand sometimes, especially when you become more advanced and start bluffing.
In a nutshell, you want to play more hands when you have position over your opponents, and fold more when they have position over you.
That said, let’s look at some good pre-flop hands in Texas Hold’em. Big pocket pairs, from AA-TT, are good to keep playing with when considering your play or fold strategy. You also want to play big suited connectors, like AK, AQ, AJ, KQ and others. A bit less strong, but usually worth playing, are unsuited big connectors – like any suit combinations of AK, AQ, AJ, KQ.
When you have a solid later position, and when you have a little more mental poker muscle, you can start to relax and play around with your starting hand strategies.
Ignition Online Poker Features
We already mentioned that Ignition online poker has some badass features. One of the most popular? Anonymous tables. Playing poker online these days often means dealing with HUDs (Heads-Up Displays) – where predatory poker players can see statistics about how you’ve played in the past. It gives them an advantage over you.
Ignition’s Anonymous tables take HUDs out of the picture. We think they’re bad for the game of poker, and they take away from your poker experience.
Bonuses, on the other hand, are a great way to boost that poker experience! We’re loaded with them, from huge poker welcome bonuses to royal flush bonuses, bonuses for bad beats (because hey, we’ve got your back) and more.
Types of Online Poker (Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo)
Texas Hold’em is the standard game for most online players, so you’ll probably want to focus your online poker strategy learning here.
The goal of Texas Hold’em is simple: to have the best five-card hand at the end of the game. Sounds simple, right? But when you factor in the position at the table, the three rounds of play (The Flop, The Turn, and The River) and the skills of the other players – well, it helps to have a solid poker strategy.
One of the best ways to sharpen your game up fast and early is by using a push/fold calculator. These calculators (sometimes called push/fold charts) help you decide whether to play on or just pack it in on any given hand, by giving you a look at the strength of your hand, your position, and the probability of winning. They are especially helpful in tournaments, where you can regularly wind up short-stacked and need to shove or fold to keep yourself alive.
Omaha is another style of poker that ramps up the excitement. You’re dealt four hole cards instead of two, so this means more chances for action and more ways to build a winning hand (but also more ways to get beat, so keep your strategy in mind). It also means more straights, full houses, and flushes – so don’t get too excited about those pocket aces just yet.
In Omaha Hi/Lo, each pot is split into two. You can aim to win half the pot by having the highest hand or deliberately having the lowest hand made up cards from 1 to 8, with 1 being the ace. And if there’s no low hand that qualifies, the highest hand wins the entire pot. This adds an extra element of poker strategy and decision-making.
Online Poker Tournaments
There’s definitely no shortage of online poker tournaments to play at Ignition. Jackpot Sit &Go, satellite tournaments leading up to big-money events and more are available so that you can find a tournament pretty much 24/7.
But what about strategy? How do you get in on the excitement of a tournament and stick around long enough to have fun and win real money?
It all depends on the type of tournament and size of your stack, so the strategy discussion is a big one.
For now, just know that the push/fold charts we mentioned will often help you stay in the game, especially when you’re short stacked and need to go all-in or fold. And stick to the strategy of knowing which starting hands to play and the strength of your position at the table. This ABC strategy, as it’s known, has deeper variations but this’ll start your engine up the right way.
How to Start Playing Online Poker Freerolls
Online poker freerolls offer no-risk ways for players to win cash and learn the game at the same time. Zero buy-in costs means it’s only upside for you.
There are normally two types of freeroll – one where you can win cash, and another where you can win entry tickets to larger upcoming poker tournaments.
Once you’re registered, just pull up a stool and get ready to (free)roll.
And no matter what game or tournament you’re playing, remember to have a strategy, one that includes having a good time playing poker.