I give you 8 cyber warfare tips strictly for online poker players to help you play and study smarter.
For those of you who don’t play online poker yet, this post might convince you to finally give it a shot.
Listen to podcast episode #367 as you follow along below:
Online Poker Never Closes
Online poker rooms never close for holidays, due to labor shortages nor anything else. You can find online games 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. If you wake up at 3 AM with the hankering to play some poker, it takes just 60 seconds to fire up a few tables.
Plus, you don’t even have to leave the house. You can play in your chon-chon’s or even your birthday suit if you want.
Lastly, you can play for as long or as short if you’d like. You can pop online for one hour session but then get a call 10 minutes into it that you need to address. It’s not that big of a deal ending your session right then, but if you drove 30 minutes to a casino and then had to leave 10 minutes later, it feels like a super waste of your time and your gas money.
Cyber Warfare Tip #1:
Find the time that works best for you and play poker then. You don’t have to restrict your play just to evening’s or the weekends when the drunk people come out. Depending on the site that you play on and what countries it caters to, there could be days where you can play at noon yet to be surrounded by people who just got off work or just kicking back with a few beers at home and some online poker.
Practice is CHEAP
You can find online games either tournaments or cash with a $1 or $2 buy-in. When poker is this cheap, it’s easy to practice all the difficult and aggressive plays that you’re uncomfortable with.
When you want to improve your 3bet bluffing skills, the 9 or 10 big blinds at risk only costs you $0.20 or $0.50.
And when you want to work on your triple barreling, that might require 30 to 40 big blinds. No worries! That might only be $0.80 or $2 depending on your practice stakes.
Cyber Warfare Tip #2:
Drop down in stakes when you want to practice aggressive re-raising plays or multi-street bluffing plays. It’s easier to pull the trigger on these tougher plays when you have less money at risk. And the practice of these stakes is just as good as at higher stakes.
Online poker players get to use poker tracking software like my favorite, PokerTracker 4.
PokerTracker 4 records every hand that you play! So, your database is a no-holds-barred look at all of your poker tendencies and there’s no hiding from this data.
You might think you are a successful 3bet bluffer, but your database will confirm whether that is accurate or not.
You might think you make profitable calls on the river, but your database will tell you exactly how much you are winning or losing when calling rivers.
Cyber Warfare Tip #3:
You must measure your statistics and win rates every 2,000 to 5,000 hands (or weekly if you play a lot). Your statistics are a great insight into your actual in game tendencies and it will help you spot areas of weakness that your opponents can exploit. Your win rates will tell you exactly where your poker leaks are so that you can work on plugging them.
Get my custom 41 Stats and Win Rates Tracker to help you measure your numbers:
Because I can measure my win rates, I know exactly the areas I need to focus on to improve my results.
For example, it’s great seeing that I earn chips on average every time I cbet.
It’s also great to see that I’m losing 5 big blinds on average with every flop cbet call and 9 big blinds when calling turn cbets. It sucks seeing these poor results, but it’s great knowing exactly where I need to focus my efforts.
And let’s go deeper with this analysis: calling a cbet means that I called pre-flop. So, I probably have to work on my pre-flop calling skills as well.
Cyber Warfare Tip #4:
When you find a poker leak, you must ignore everything else and focus all of your study and play towards fixing this leak. This is how you are going to become the profitable player that you want to be.
Knowing Their Tendencies with a HUD
Because we play online with PokerTracker 4, we of course get to use a HUD like my Smart HUD for PokerTracker 4.
The HUD allows you to spot your opponent’s tendencies.
You get to see how often they fold to steals, how often they fold to cbets, how often they 3bet from the small blind, etc. Knowing your opponent’s tendencies allows you to develop strategies to earn you more value and to earn you more pots from them.
When you find a player who limps into the pot 40% of the time, but then folds to a raise 70%, he’s a great player to bluff iso-raise.
When you find another player who has never 3bet in 85 opportunities, and he 3 bets you to 10 big blinds when you hold JJ, it’s super easy fold.
Cyber Warfare Tip #5:
Learn how to spot your opponents tendencies with your HUD. This is going to take time and intention so you might have to focus on one statistic at a time while you learn its definition, its formula and what the various percentages mean about your opponent’s tendencies. And if you’re a Poker Forge member, you’re pretty lucky because I’m an entire course called HUD Mastery that will teach you how to use your HUD.
Multi-tabling is a great because you get to play more than just one hand at a time and it’s rarely boring when you’re multi-tabling.
As long as you are a winning player and can still make great decisions with multiple hands going on, multi-tabling is a huge benefit for those looking to make a good side income with online poker.
Now for those who are losing players, multi-tabling is actually bad thing.
Here’s an example:
- If your win rate is at -4bb/100 hands, that’s bad enough if you just play one table.
- But, what if you play 4 tables simultaneously in your win rate is still -4bb/100 hands?
- You’re actually losing 4 times the amount that you normally would!
However, there’s another insidious aspect to multi-tabling. When you add more tables, your decisions become worse. So, if you’re a -4bb/100 hands loser at one table, adding 3 more tables might actually turn you into a -6 or -8bb/100 hands player – or worse!
So multi-tabling should only be a part of a winning players strategy to earn more money with every hour they play online poker.
Cyber Warfare Tip #6:
Only multi-table if you believe your decision-making process will not suffer with the additional tables. If you know from experience that you make great decisions with just 2 tables, but your decision-making suffers at 3 tables, limit the times when you play 3 tables. Maybe start all of your sessions with just 2 tables and if you’re feeling great and your decision-making is going well, add a 3rd table. But as soon as you realize your decisions are suffering, cut that 3rd table and go back down to 2.
A critical aspect of good poker play is that you pay attention to the action even when you’re not involved in a hand. And that can make it really difficult when you’re multi-tabling. You are watching one hand on a table so you can’t pay attention to the 3+ tables going on.
You simply aren’t able to watch all the action on all the tables.
But that’s another great reason why you should learn to utilize your HUD. Your HUD is ever present and always watchful on what your opponents are doing. You might not have seen the player in seat 3 on table 4 limp the prior 3 hands, but your HUD noticed it.
You might not notice that seat 1 table 1 never folds on the flop, but your HUD noticed.
Because you know how to utilize your HUD to see their tendencies, you have a quick and easy way to spot all the fish on your tables. This makes it so you know exactly who to target while you’re playing.
So pay attention to your opponent’s calling statistics like calling 2 bets, calling 3 bets and limping. Also pay attention to their fold to steal statistics and their fold to cbet statistics. All of these combined are going to give you a quick and easy way to spot the fish.
But, let me tell you the easiest way to spot the Fish using just 2 statistics: the gap between VPIP and PFR. If the gap between the two is greater than their PFR percentage (like 40/10 with a gap of 30), you have found a fish. Now you know on all 4 of your tables who are the number 1 targets for you to isolate.
Cyber Warfare Tip #7:
Pay attention to your opponent’s fishy statistics especially that gap between VPIP and PFR. Also utilize your HUD’s color-coding capabilities. I color code fishy players green but you can use whatever color you want. Seeing that green color around your opponents HUD panel means you don’t even really need to look at other statistics. You know they’re a fish because you color-coded them as such.
Online poker makes it so easy for poker coaches and content creators like myself to make training videos and articles and podcast episodes.
LIVE poker coaches can do vlogs which can be useful for learning. But those vlog videos don’t often show you the exact details of every hand. The exact bet sizes, the pot sizes, the exact board cards nor their opponent’s exact positions. And, when the vlogger tells you about his opponent, he often doesn’t give you as much information as a HUD does.
Learning from online poker content creators gives you so much more information. They can replay the hand for you with all of the exact details involved. They can show you the player’s HUD which allows you to spot their tendencies and makes it easier to see why the content creator made the plays that he did.
It also gives the content creator so many more options to teach the strategies they want. For example, if I want to discuss cbetting strategies on Ace-high flops, I have thousands of those example hands to pull from in my database. A LIVE poker content creator will have to come up with examples or be lucky enough to find a video recording of a hand that fits the bill.
Cyber Warfare Tip #8:
When you are learning from an online poker content creator’s video, try to put yourself in Hero’s shoes. Look at your opponent’s HUD and try to spot their tendencies. Pause the video and take a few moments to list out all the ways you can exploit this player’s tendencies. The more tendency analysis you do like this while studying, the more you’re going to be able to notice them and exploit them in-game.
Here’s my challenge to you for this episode:
I just gave you 8 cyber warfare tips. In your next study and play sessions, put one of them to use. Do one at a time until you feel comfortable with all 8 tips.
Now it’s your turn to take action and do something positive for your poker game.
- Poker Q&A: Playing Overpairs, Donk Betting and Tough Opponents - January 13, 2022
- Achieve Your SMART Poker Goals in 2022 - January 6, 2022
- What Would Poker Improvement Look Like If It Were Easy? - December 29, 2021