Decisions, decisions, decisions. Poker is a game of constant decisions. They range from the critical to the mundane and they occur at a dizzying pace; often dozens of times per minute. Online card play is especially fierce and the pressure can be intense.
Do I raise? Do I stay? Do I call? Do I fold? Even when a loss attributed to a wrong decision is small, it eventually adds up. Making the best decisions based on the information you have at hand is the key to beating your opponents. A great example of a critical decision in Texas Hold’em that happens on almost every hand is the problem associated with defending a small blind.
Suppose that while playing online in a Texas Hold’em game, with $1 and $2 blinds, a player always defends their small blind – stays in even with a garbage hand because they’ve already invested the $2. Based on the random distribution of cards, you’re typically dealt such a throwaway hand about one-third of the time, at 50 – 60 hands per hour – a typical pace in online card rooms – the average player is dealt the small blind six times every 60 minutes. If they always call, they wind up calling twice each hour when they should be folding. That’s $6 per hour minimum. If you play ten hours per week, at the end of the year you’ve given away over three thousand dollars. Ouch.
That’s only one example of the kind of ‘big picture’ thinking that can make the difference between being a winner or a loser over the long haul.
All the latest research (from the online casino’s themselves) show quite clearly that over 50% of your winnings at the online poker table will be determined BEFORE YOU ARE DEALT A SINGLE CARD (some would suggest it’s even higher than 50%).