Boost Your Value Playing Online Poker from Canada
As today’s seasoned card sharks are well aware, there are some great advantages to playing online poker, just as there are perks to playing in a live setting. The most notable conveniences are the ability to play anytime, from anywhere, via desktop and mobile poker sites. One of the less obvious benefits is the chance to fine-tune your live poker skills while playing from home. For example, you can work on solidifying a stone-cold poker face while playing online, when your opponents can’t actually see and read you.
With the world being what it is today, the popularity of internet poker has exploded. I’ve no doubt live poker rooms will return to packed houses one day, but right now – while the online variety is so perceptibly attractive – seems like a perfect time to discuss some other major advantages of playing poker from home.
3 Ways to Boost Your Value Playing Online Poker from Canada
Anything that helps to cut down cost or win more often at the poker tables adds value to your experience. Whether it be a promotional bankroll boost or smarter betting decisions, every boost, no matter how big or small, is worth taking advantage of. Basic and advanced strategies aside, these particular tips are specifically geared towards adding value on the virtual felt.
#1 Be Picky When Choosing Websites and Bonuses
As children, we’re taught to grow out of finicky behavior. “Don’t be so picky,” our parents said. And for the most part, we have. Our flavor palette, in particular, becomes much more refined as an adult. But when it comes to online poker, I would encourage everyone to be as picky as a toddler in a vegetable market.
For starters, there are plenty of online poker rooms that accept Canadian players. Don’t sign up with the first one you come across. You wouldn’t buy the first pair of shoes you try on that fit, would you? No, you would check out the entire selection, hoping to find one that’s as comfortable as it is aesthetically appealing. The same level of appraisal should go into your selection of online and mobile poker rooms.
Canadian player acceptance is just the tip of the iceberg. You want one that’s licensed and regulated in a reputable jurisdiction; if not your home province, then only the most responsible international gaming jurisdictions should be considered. The best ones are the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). Anything else may or may not be trusthworthy.
Next, make sure the range of cash games and tournaments meets your needs. Casual players don’t need much, but if you’re a skilled player looking for big fish and even bigger guarantees, it matters.
Finally, take a close look at the promotional aspect. I don’t suggest choosing a poker site based solely on bonus offers, but when it comes to adding value to your experience, they are important. See what’s available to new players, as well as existing members, and don’t skip the fine print. A good loyalty program goes a long way, especially when it features things like regular bankroll-padding bonuses and free tournament entries.
#2 Hand Strength Evaluation (the Easy Way!)
As pupils of the felt, we are told hand evaluation is incredibly important. To over- or under-value your hand will inevitably result in bad bet sizing choices. And, of course, understanding how to size bets, based on proper hand evaluation, is equally important. The pros do this all the time. They do it so much that it’s second nature to them. Keep learning and practicing, and it will come just as easily to you. But until then…
Online poker is the perfect medium for short-cutting the hand evaluation process. There are a lot of poker software programs and apps out there that will do all the hard work for you. It’s just like using a calculator. All you do is input a little info, like what cards you’re holding, and the program spits out a result.
Obviously, the best programs will collect a little more data than hole cards. You should be able to input your chip stack, the current pot size, and the cards that appear on the flop, turn and river. The program, in turn, should be able to tell you how valuable your hand is, and what size bet is worth making, if any.
Bear in mind that most poker sites forbid players to use parasitic HUD poker software. That is, a program that leeches onto your online poker room’s software, automatically reading the table info and giving you advice on how to play and bet each hand as its happening. Sounds great, sure, but operators can detect when you’re using one, and could ban you for it, so don’t bother. You’re better off downloading a program or app on a second device – a smartphone or tablet, for example – and inputting the information manually. Since you’re playing online, you have the cover and time to do this.
As for which program to get, there are a lot of options out there. Some are free, some are not. Try out the free ones first and see if they suit your needs before upgrading to a paid program. In doing so, you’ll at least understand what it is you need from a paid program, should you decide to go that route later on.
#3 Money Flies When You’re Having Fun
Never let yourself get so caught up in the entertainment side of the experience that you lose sight of how much cash you may be funneling into your bankroll. It’s very easy to forget you’re playing with real money once it becomes a digital number on a screen.
I won’t go into the trials and tribulations of bad bankroll management. Everyone should know not to spend what they can’t afford to lose. What I will tell you is that online poker affords the opportunity to walk away at any time. Literally – any time. You can leave cash game table when you’re winning, or when you’re losing. Just tap the button to stand up and close the table. It’s that easy.
Live poker rooms are far more intimidating, and can cause you to play longer than you meant to. Maybe you won a big pot, then think, “oh but I just got here”. Half an hour later you’re broke, because you didn’t walk away. Or you might be having a bad run, but decide to stay anyway because you drove so far to get to the poker room. Who knows when you’ll have time to come back?
Such problems don’t exist online. You don’t have to give losers a chance to win their money back. You don’t have a long drive ahead of you. When you play online poker from Canada, you are in full control. By taking advantage of that fact, you’ll soon learn that walking away is critical to making money playing online poker.
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