The question of Can I make money playing poker online is asked by many new players, and making money from online poker is what many new players have in mind when taking to the virtual felt....but what's the answer? It depends on many things and while there are very few players in the world that win day in day out, there are those that do make money playing online poker, however to join them you'll need practice, patience and good bankroll management skills.
Poker is a game in which your skills are mixed with a little bit of luck, however good players will of course do a whole lot better in the long run, and it's getting to that ´good player´stage that'll help you massively. Other factors such as the type of game you're playing, who you're playing against and your desire to do well all come into play, however it must be remembered that discipline is key, and learning your game should be top of your poker to do list.
Win Rate and Type of Game
Many new online poker players will head straight to the tournament section and take a look at the huge amount of guaranteed tournaments that are available in their room of choice, and this could be your first mistake. It's extremely difficult to make money on the regular playing in large online poker tournaments, as it's very difficult to beat hundreds or even thousands of players and get to the big money seats, and for this reason, many players who make money playing online poker will choose cash games or sit n go tournaments. The wins, while much bigger when playing in big tournaments will not come your way often enough to make it a viable option, with usually on 10 or 15% of the players involved getting in the cash seats, and being one of those players on the regular is truly difficult.
Sit n go tournaments have of course much smaller fields and therefore present you with a much better chance at getting in the money seats, and with cash games, there's money paid in every hand, making them an obvious choice for those who want to make cash.
Practice Makes Perfect
Whatever game type you choose then the old adage of ´practice makes perfect´rings true. Every hour that you spend at the tables will improve your game, so long as you're paying attention to the proceedings...even those hands that you're not involved in. Watching, learning and reading relevant books and online poker articles will also help, and it's always a good idea to put into practice what you read about, as soon as you can.
Avoid freerolls! Many players assume that practicing their game when playing freerolls is a good thing to do, however it should be avoided if you're serious about your game. You'll find that the action in freeroll tournaments and play money cash games is so different to the real thing, and the saying that “it matters more when there's money on it” has never been truer in regards to poker. Freeroll and free cash game players will throw their chips around and play in hands in which you simply wouldn't risk a cent on if real money was involved, and this will give you the wrong impression of online play. Real money online poker is in no way similar to play money play, and getting into the right habits, right from the off is by far the best way to start.
Playing at the Right Stakes
While avoiding freerolls it doesn't mean that you'll need to play for big bucks from the off and even at the lower end of the sit n go tournament buy in stakes, and small stakes cash games tables you'll see such a difference in the play when compared to free play. The game is much tighter, calls are made after much more consideration and you'll get a much better picture of what you'll need to do as you improve and attempt to make money from your game. When the time is right, and you've got the confidence as well as the required game skills you'll know, and then you can move up the stakes.
When moving up to the bigger stakes cash game tables or higher buy in sit n go tournaments be careful not to overdo it. There's no point in going from $0.50 buy in sng´s all the way up to the nosebleed levels. Take your time, move up slowly and only move on up when you feel it's the right thing to do.....watching your bankroll as you go.
Take Your Time
Poker is a game of patience and making the right moves at the right time and that not only means when at the tables. You'll want to take your time to think about how to constantly improve your game, how and when to move up (and down if required) levels and even to think about if you're playing the right game type for you....and importantly to make sure that you're enjoying yourself as you do so!