You have probably heard players complain that pokerstars is rigged or you may yourself have been a victim of the rigged poker sites. Although on the surface it appears that online poker is fairly honest (with most of the sites being real money poker rooms), a deeper look reveals a different story.
Most of the bad beats you witness online are because of two factors. One is a player going about his normal “normal” poker strategy and the other is a simple computer cheating.
The popular poker term of rigged poker sites is apt, as the sites are rigged to “pig” or hurt your stack size in the hopes of getting you to fold. The reason a computer is attempting to break your poker is the same reason that a computer manufactures any software, algorithms included, that gives you bad beats. The fact is, the computer isSimply Awful at poker, all the time.
Think about it. Let’s say, for example, that you are holdem-king heads up. You raise 3x the big blind and get one call. The flop comes 5-7-9. Great, you have top pair and a straight draw, in case your opponent has a pocket pair, you are in a good position.
Now, the next card, the 8 of spades, gives your opponent a flush draw. Granted, your opponent still has you beat, but let’s face the fact that the odds of your opponent hitting a flush on the last card are about 35%, so you probably want this one to go to the river. That’s when the computers step in, making it an almost 50-50 chance.
Now, the afapoker stars software will Cycle through your opponents, all of them, just keeping track of them, and eventually it will find a match or a pretty close one, where you can take your odds and breather. The match it finds will probably be the outcome of the hand anyway, so it makes no difference now whether you won or not. It just finds a situation where you are an overwhelming favorite, whether you are holding or not.
The reason you may be favored in a hand regardless of your cards is because of your position. In early position, you can be a small favorite. In middle position, you can be a very large favorite. In late position, you can be a very small favorite.
The way you play after the turn card is entirely up to you. Try to play to your strengths and to get value for your hands. If you have a good hand, you can certainly play free poker, losing nothing. If you did not hit your hand, you can certainly play for free poker. But, when you get a monster hand, you might want to start putting in a small raise, or re-raise the pot.
Basic poker strategy often says that you should not slowplay weak hands. Because, when you play a hand weak, you give your opponents a free shot at the pot. Don’t be bluffed, don’t be called cheap, and don’t be predictable. Instead, try to play strong hands most of the time, unless you are pushing against a big stack.
These are some of the basic guidelines for online poker, and they are a good foundation for getting started. Stay tuned, as this is an ever-growing online poker community, and new possibilities for improving your game will emerge from every corner of the globe.