How to Start Playing Online Poker – Your New Journey

How to Start Playing Online Poker – Your New Journey

This page will teach you all you need to know to begin an enjoyable, profitable and rewarding online poker journey. You’re about to learn:

  • The benefits of pursuing an online poker journey
  • The 5 steps to start with bonuses and rakeback
  • What software is a MUST for better performance and studies
  • How it’s possible to make $$$ everyday with online poker
  • The simplest way to study your online poker hands
  • And so much more…

I’ll build this page through the month of November 2020 with 5 podcast episodes. Listen to each episode below as you follow along with the transcripts.

And of course, take action with what you learn because…

Action is the greatest teacher.

Table of Contents

5 Reasons Why You MUST Take Your Poker Journey Online

Listen to podcast #315 as you follow along below:

There are 5 great reasons to play online and these are what make online poker the best way to improve your skills along your poker journey. Online is how you’re going to become the player you want to be.

#1: Play Anytime and Anywhere

All you need is a computer and an internet connection, and everybody’s got those. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a covid lockdown, at a hotel in Baton Rouge for a family reunion, it’s 3am and you can’t sleep or if you’ve got only 30 minutes until your next Zoom class meeting. No matter where you are or what time it is, you can find an online game.

#2: Cheap Learning

You need $40 or more for most LIVE poker. If you want a full buy-in at the cheapest no limit tables, you’ll need $200 for $1/$2 no limit games. But online, the cheapest games are 1¢/2¢, so 100 big blinds is only $2. Everyone has 2 bucks they could put on a game.

And, not only can you play as low as $2 games, you can go as high as $1,000 or $10,000 games. The cheap cost of playing means it’s less costly to learn poker. Maybe you want to improve your 3bet bluffing skills. An experimental 9bb 3bet bluff in a 2¢ game only costs you 18¢. But in a $2 game, it costs you $18.

#3: Multiple Game Formats

Online, you can easily jump into a cash game, a sit and go, or a multi-table tournament. And, if you don’t want to play no limit hold ’em? No worries. Play some PLO or Stud or possibly mixed games (if your site has them). With so many game options to choose from, an online poker journey will never be boring.

Americas Cardroom has tons of games to play, formats and at any stake. Way more options than your local cardroom.

#4: Multi-tabling

The biggest drawback of LIVE poker for me is that I’m dealt only one hand at a time. At a full-ring game, you only get to see maybe 20 hands an hour. Online, you can easily play 20 hands in 3 minutes if you’re on multiple tables. Playing more hands = more experience >>> greater improvement. And, less boredom of course.

Now the goal isn’t to play as many hands as possible, but if you’re a winning player with a positive win rate of 4bb/100 hands, the more hands you play, the more profits you make per 100 hands and per hour.

#5: Software

PokerTracker 4 records every hand you play which allows you to study and improve. It’s a pain in the butt for LIVE players to write down details of the hands they play if they want to study them later. Online players don’t have to worry about that ?. Plus, with software you can use a HUD to get more detailed information on your opponents.

How to Begin an Online Poker Journey

You only need 3 things for online poker: a computer, an internet connection a way to deposit money into your poker account. Heck, you don’t even need the cash. You can just play free money poker, but I don’t recommend free money if your goal is to become a better player. You want money on the line so you and your opponents take it seriously.

Here are the 5 steps you need to go through to begin an exciting, profitable and rewarding online poker journey.

Step 1: Research Available Sites – they must accept PokerTracker 4!

You need to know what sites are available to you. You can do some Google searching to figure this out, but here my top 3 recommendations for US players:

  1. Americas Cardroom. This is where I mostly play.
  2. Ignition. I haven’t played here because they’re anonymous tables, but I hear good things about it.
  3. BetOnline. Never played here either, but I hear good things.

If you’re outside of the US, there are tons of options like PokerStars, Party Poker, 888 Poker and more.

But before you choose your site, you must make sure PokerTracker 4 (get a free 14-day trial) can be used with it. Americas Cardroom absolutely works with PT4. With Ignition and BetOnline, you need a separate card catcher (like the PT4 Hand Grabber or the one from AcePokerSolutions). PT4 also works with PS, 888 and Party.

Click here to see which poker sites are supported by PokerTracker 4.

Lastly, before you choose a site to play on, make sure it has rakeback…

Step 2: Look for Rakeback

Rakeback is a discount on the cost of poker. For example, if you play on Americas Cardroom using my offer code SPSPOD when you sign-up, you can have 27% rakeback. Depending on how much you play, this could be a substantial amount of savings.

Let’s say in any given week, you pay $100 in rake. At the end of the week, Americas Cardroom automatically credits your account 27% or $27.00. A penny saved is a penny earned in poker. So, if you earned $100 in profit that week, your rakeback bumped your total profit up to $127. Lovely!

To figure out which sites offer rakeback, just do some Google searching. Quick and easy.

Step 3: Create Your Account

Now that you’ve found a site that accepts PT4 and has rakeback, it’s time to create your account.

Quick note: don’t be precious about your choice of poker site. You’re not restricted to one site. If there are 5 sites you want to play on, great. Just choose one to start. As time goes on and you build your bankroll, you can spread it among many different sites. I have a student who plays professionally on over 20 different sites.

Go to your chosen site and download the software. Once you run the software it’ll guide you through the setup process. They’ll ask for name and address and other personal information. Then, you have to choose a screen name. My recommendation: choose a name that you’ll be fine becoming rich and famous for. When interviews you, John Barry, it might be embarrassing if they call you John “DungSplatter” Barry. So, put a little thought into your screen name.

Also, don’t forget to enter in any offer codes for bonuses or rakeback, like using code SPSPOD on Americas Cardroom.

Step 4: Deposit Money

This is often a part of the account creation process, but it’s worth mentioning as an additional step. Bitcoin is now the easiest and fastest way to deposit and withdraw from sites (and some sites give bigger bonuses for bitcoin deposits).

Credit card used to be the easiest deposit method. But, credit card companies now have many restrictions for use on gambling sites.

I recommend using bitcoin and as a quick example, I withdrew over $1,000 from ACR the other day and it took less than 24 hours to receive it. I then sold the bitcoin and transferred the cash to my checking account. Within one day, I had my money. I used to wait 6 weeks for checks from the sites.

I recommend Coinbase for buying and selling bitcoin. If you purchase $100 in bitcoin from Coinbase through this link, we both get a bonus $10 in bitcoin.

Step 5: Jump on a Table

Now that your account is created and funded, it’s time to play!

I recommend following a 40x buy-in rule for cash game play and a 100x buy-in rule for tournaments.

If you deposit $400:

  • That’s 40x $10 buy-ins at the 5¢/10¢ cash games
  • Play a combination of $3 to $5 tournaments (averaging 100x $4 buy-ins)

Go to the lobby of your choice, find a table or tournament and double-click it to register. You might feel uncomfortable at first, but you’ll quickly get over this and you’ll just start playing poker.

If you’ve already purchased and setup PokerTracker 4 to work with your site, turn the HUD on and get a feel for using it. More on this next week below.

And lastly… Good luck!

Taking action on and off-the-felt is the only way to plug your poker leaks

Here’s my challenge to you for this episode: Start your online poker journey today. Follow the 5 steps above and make sure the site you choose works with PokerTracker 4 and has rakeback.

Now it’s your turn to take action and do something positive for your poker game.

Support the Show

Coinbase makes buying and selling bitcoin super easy, and bitcoin is the best way to deposit and withdraw from online poker sites. Thanks to Luke S. for using my Coinbase Friend Referral Link to get a $10 bonus when he purchased his first $100 of bitcoin through Coinbase. Thanks for the support!

The Poker Study Boot Camp Course was purchased by some kaizen-minded (striving for constant improvement) listeners named Murry Thurman and Winny Morel. They’ve got their work cut out for them with this 29-day course, so good luck!

Sky Matsuhashi is the creator of the Smart Poker Study Podcast. He has authored 3 poker books including ‘How to Study Poker Volumes 1 & 2′ and ‘Preflop Online Poker‘. As a poker coach, Sky is dedicated to helping his students play more effectively, earn more money and be 1% better every day.

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