While many poker players may complain that playing online isn’t nearly as good as the experience of physically being in a casino — and while some of those issues may have some merit — it’s impossible to deny that online poker does have its own advantages, especially for your bankroll.
The growth of online casinos over Europe has been phenomenal over the past few years, and with this growth and competition, brilliant strategies and offerings have emerged for consumers in order to encourage them to join the bandwagon. If you are one of those who has just succumbed to the temptation, here are a few concepts that will come in very handy:
Bonuses and their benefits
Bonuses are a simple concept wherein a person is awarded a percentage of their sign up or refill amount as a bonus. And most online casinos today offer a 100% sign up bonus with an upper limit of $500 or $600. In other words, if you sign up to play with $500 of your money, you end up having a $1000 bankroll. In other words, for ever $1 you bet, you only have to win back $.50 to make it a no win-no loss scenario.
Online casinos also offer bonuses on subsequent funds transfers, although the percentage offered could be much less than the sign up amount. Either way, you always get more than your money’s worth when you play online.
And if you play a strict game with few or no risky moves, you might end up winning at least all of your bet money back, which means that all the bonuses you’ve been awarded by the casinos become your extra winnings. This is one of the ways in which many serious players make money online.
Rake and rakeback
Every casino takes a certain amount out of the total pot as a fee for hosting and organizing the game. This share is called as Rake. In other words, the amount you contribute towards a pot actually gets divided into two parts: one that goes into the total pot that’s available for winning, and the other that the casino takes away in rake. Rakeback means that the casino promises to give you back a certain percentage of that rake amount you’ve contributed. In other words, if there’s a 25% rakeback offer, and you’ve contributed $2 to the rake value, you’ll be paid 25% of $2, i.e. $0.50 in return as a rakeback.
The Benefit of rakeback
Rakeback has only one benefit, which is to increase your win/loss amount ratio. While that sounds all statistical and impressive, what it simply means is that you’re paying less to the casino and putting more in the pot than you would be doing at a place without a Rakeback offer.
Other than this, there isn’t much benefit that Rakeback offers — at least not in the sense of significantly increasing your winning amount. If you’re able to ensure that at the end of the month, you’ve won as much money as you’ve paid for all the games/competitions, your Rakeback amount becomes an extra income, which could translate into a decent amount of money if you’re a part time or a full time player.
Playing at multiple tables
This is the biggest benefit of playing online. When you’re in a brick and mortar casino, you can’t be at more than one tables at a time. However, when you’re playing online, that’s a different story. What most people who make money online do is that they play at four tables of $2/$4 at the same time. They all take about an hour’s time to complete, which means that in an hour, you have the chance of winning about $16 if you play really tight and follow the book to the letter.
Always playing with good players is a bad idea
If you’re into online poker to make money, wouldn’t you want to be at a table where your chances of winning are high? That won’t happen if you always play with good players. In other words, while it’s good for your development to play with the pros, it’s not very good for your bankroll because your wins with such players will either be very less or none at all.
Therefore, once you’re confident that you have developed a certain level of skills, go play at low-value tables with newbies so that you can make some money. Ultimately, the main reason some people consistently win is because their opponents consistently lose. And it’s the same in poker as it is in any sport — no one wants to play against a strong player all the time; and for every winning team in a tournament, there are several that have lost. The important thing to keep in mind is that your balance sheet should always remain in the positive. You may not win tournaments all the time, but you can certainly reach a stage in most games where you have made more money than you’ve paid or lost.
Track your winnings every hour
That’s the key. You have to watch your bankroll like a hawk, and every time you realize you’re going down, sit back and analyze what went wrong. You have to treat the game like you would treat a job that pays you at an hourly rate. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you stop every time you lose. It only means you keep a tight watch on the money you lose and change your strategy as the situation evolves.
It could get really boring
Believe this, playing within your means all the time could really get on your nerves. Making money in small steps online is nowhere nearly as a glamorous as those famous WSOP matches that have probably inspired you to give professional poker a shot. You’ll be sitting for hours every day alone in your room with all the emotional swings that playing for real money inevitably brings along.
Therefore, if you’re incapable of playing conservatively for long hours, patiently waiting for the good hands, and counting money in tens of dollars every hour rather than playing for million-dollar stakes, you’re probably better off looking for another job.
The recent influx of millions of new players inspired by famous events such as the WSOP has led to the creation of a large market where anyone with decent poker skills can make some money online.
It won’t always be exciting, and you won’t always win tens of thousands of dollars; but if the freedom of playing as per your convenience, managing your own finances, and answering to no one is something to which you strongly aspire, online poker could be just the thing for you.