Oh, the thrill of playing online poker! Where else can you enjoy all the fun and excitement of the world’s favorite card game without ever having to leave the comfort of your own home, or even get dressed?
You can play casually while watching TV, get in a short session during downtime, or even pull out your phone during a boring event or activity that you want to escape.
But what are the best ways to familiarize yourself with a new site before diving “all-in?” Well, there are numerous worthwhile strategies for dipping your toes in the water when playing somewhere like WPT Poker. And although we don’t have time to go over every single one, we wanted to put together a simple and informative guide to help our readers find the best way to ease into the game. Here are 6 tips for when you first start playing:
1. Deciding What Games to Play
Although poker gained its mainstream fame from Texas Hold ‘Em tournaments, the fact is that there is a wide selection of game variants available today. While tournaments are still extremely popular (due to their low-risk, high-reward possibilities), Cash Hold ‘Em, Omaha, PLO8, and many others also draw plenty of players.
If you already have a preferred game, then you can choose to start there. However, if you are still deciding which one is for you, we suggest playing a few short sessions at each of the game variants before settling in. Also, many players like to play multiple different games or like to switch back and forth from tournament to cash.
2. Starting at the Lower Limits
It’s wise to start with smaller limits when playing WPT Poker for the first time. Even if you have played thousands of hours of brick-and-mortar or online poker elsewhere, each site has its own, unique controls, graphics, animations, and other characteristics. Unfortunately, it is easier to make mistakes when you are first getting familiar with the software.
For example, if you aren’t familiar with the time-clock limits, you may inadvertently time out while you are sitting on a monster hand. Nothing brings on tilt faster than timing out or disconnecting when you have a big hand in a nice pot. Playing at the smaller stakes while you learn the software helps you avoid missing out on sizable pots.
3. Feeling Out the Table
Instead of jumping right in and becoming super active, it’s always a good idea to take a little time to observe your table mates and get a sense of how they are playing. Many times the flow of the game will dictate how you should play. All too often, players sit down and immediately decide that they are going to be the “table captain.”
What this usually leads to is them being overaggressive, playing too many hands, raising and bluffing too much, and making many other mistakes. If you simply spend some time watching how your opponents play, you will be so much more informed when you get involved in a hand with them.
Additionally, it will help to give you a table image of being tight or nitty and when you do get mixed up in a hand with them, they will usually be more cautious than if you just came in and started throwing chips around.
4. Keep it Simple (at First)
This is kind of an extension of Tip #3. It can be tempting to try and find the juiciest game or biggest tournaments to jump right into. But the truth is it is usually best to start with just a basic cash game or a small tournament until you are more comfortable with the site. The last thing you want is to make a huge mistake on the bubble of a big tournament or miss out on a monster cash pot.
Also, part of “keeping it simple” means no multi-tabling until you have a good feel for the WPT Poker site or app, as well as its players. Yes, we all know how fun it is to open up 3 or 4 tables and soak ourselves in the action. However, this will also lead to more mistakes, timeouts, and misclicks.
5. Setting a Fund Limit
Before playing WPT Poker for the first time, it’s best to set up a max buy-in amount. Decide how much you are willing to lose in that session (preferably a smaller number) and stick to that limit. Following Tip #2 (Starting at Lower Limits) will help.
However, if the micro-stakes are just too low to keep your interest and you have to play higher limits, we suggest sticking to one buy-in until you’ve familiarized yourself with how everything works.
6. Setting a Time Limit
In addition to establishing a firm betting limit, you should also decide how long you want to play at first. This will also help you to get a better feel for how the software functions and how the players behave while avoiding playing too long and making mistakes. If you asked most pros what their biggest pitfall was, many of them would say it’s playing too long of sessions, especially when they are playing poorly or losing.
Unfortunately, this isn’t something you can implement when playing in tournaments. That’s why it’s best to enter into smaller, lower buy-in tournaments with fewer players when you first start playing WPT poker. That way, if you find yourself making a lot of mistakes and/or tilting, you don’t risk a big investment and you can continue on without damaging your bankroll.
Getting Your Feet Wet at WPT Poker Online
There is no reason that your learning experience has to end with this article. Countless resources are available, giving advice on everything from basic intros to the game to advanced strategies and theory.
However, some players just want to jump in and have fun. Whether you’re someone who wants to get serious about your game or you’re just a casual enthusiast, WPT offers something for everyone.