Online Poker in Easy Steps

Online Poker in Easy Steps: Play Poker Like a Pro

Stuart Yarnold

Date: 2005-09-15   —   Book

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After signing up with Party Poker and quickly losing my first $50 I soon realised that there was a little difference in the way you play online and how you play in real life.  So before I lost my next $50 I decided to do a little reading, asking around to see what the common problems were and how I could potentially side step them.

My first port of call was joining an excellent online forum run by hosted over at This forum had lots of beginners, both to poker itself and to the online game.  I asked around for recommendations on if there was any books that would take me through the in's and out's of online play.  Talk about opening the flood gates.  Finally compiled a small list and the next time I was in the book store I would look them up and see what was available to take away with me there and then.  I know that was an old fashioned way for me to buy a book; to actually go and interact, but I enjoyed the novelity.

I picked up this book, Online Poker in Easy Steps, because largely it covered a couple of the big online poker rooms, namely Pacific Poker and Party Poker.  The odd screen shot is sprinkled around to give you some sense of navigation but on the whole these are just page fillers.  The book assumes a base knowledge of poker and the various game variations and quickly goes into explaining all the various terms and and how the online world translates them.

For example, a full explanation on how the online companies make their money and how the raked hand structure operates in both money and tournament play.  The book then goes onto to talk about bank roll management and how you should find the level of tables that suits your budgets.  It advises going for the $1 tables if you have only $50 to play with; 50 hands and it could all be gone.  It takes a bit of time here to stress how important bank roll management is, reinforcing the point that you are playing with real money and you shouldn't forget it.  It is very easy to think of them as numbers since you never physically exchange money when it all comes from your credit-card.  Some very interesting tips in there including links to software that can help you track your winnings (and losses).

The book spends a bit of time on the various types of tournments available.  I have to confess to be completely confused by the differences and at the start stayed away from them.  Now however, I am a big tournament player.  Tournament play is all about longevity, the ability to stay at a table as long as possible.  The longer you stay at a table the closer you get to the winning something.  The book advises how you can develop your own strategy (or little rules for yourself) of which types of cards you will play.  The book is very good at continually saying you shouldn't be playing every single hand; learn to let them go. All good sound advice.

It is a very easy read and I have to say it turned around my fortunes and made me think more about my game.  It also gave me lots of hints and tips on how to profile your own players.  Since you have no body language to read, you have to rely on purely how they play their hands.  The book illustrated the importance of the hand-history logs and how you can utilise them to further hone your play.

If you are starting out with online poker, then I would highly recommend you doing a little reading before hand and this book won't see you wrong. 


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