Choosing what type of poker game to play

It can be very easy after a long day at work to load up your favourite online poker client and jump straight into the first game you see in order to quench your thirst to play poker, but is that the best way to make money and ultimately enjoy the game?

When we think about how to become more successful at poker, the most obvious factors like hand reading, hand selection, and strategy take up most of our attention, when in reality there are several smaller variables that can have a huge impact on your overall win rate. One of these variables is game selection.

Picking a suitable poker game

When trying to decide which the best game is for you, you have to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do I enjoy the most out of playing poker?
  • Do I prefer the excitement of the short term, or the promise and reliability of the long term?
  • How much time do I have?
  • How much disposable money do I have to play poker with?
  • Do I like a lot of action, or more of a steady game?

Difference between poker tournaments and cash games

The difference between tournaments and cash games, No Limit Hold ‘em and Pot Limit Omaha are very large in both play style and in the effect that they have on the player. It’s very important that you understand not only which game type is best for your skill set, but also which is better for your personality.

If you are a person who gets frustrated or tilted quite quickly, then the higher variance games such as Pot Limit Omaha will not only trigger your tilt more readily, but also open you up to losing a lot more during those emotional periods.

Playing online poker and time available

Another consideration to make when selected the appropriate game for you is time. How much time do you have to play? It is important not to register tournaments if you don’t have enough time to give them your full attention. If you are worried about not getting enough sleep for work the next day once you’re down to the last 3 tables, you will not be able to play you’re A game, and that’s the time when you need every ounce of focus.

In the same vein, playing a game which puts financial pressure on you will oftentimes add unnecessary pressure, which will ultimately stop you from being able to play your best game. Make sure you are playing games which you can comfortably afford, that way your brain will be entirely focussed on the tasks at hand, and you will be able to regulate tilt much easier.

Understanding how your personality works and whether it is more suited to the steady, consistent nature of cash games, or the exciting, high variance world of tournaments or PLO is key to properly enjoying your poker experience.

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