How and Why Poker Strategy Has Changed in Recent Years

Poker Strategy

Poker is always evolving, and players are always coming up with new strategies to compete at the top level. Over the years, the game has changed a lot, and it’s very different from how it was first played over one hundred years ago. Although the rules are the same, online poker, tracking software, million-dollar tournaments, and poker celebrities have all had an effect on how people play. As poker has changed, players have adapted in order to gain an edge on the competition. 

Online Poker

Today, poker is more competitive than ever as the prizes available to win have gotten bigger than ever. As a result, online poker has had the biggest impact on how people play, and technology will continue to impact poker and change it for good. Online poker sites first appeared in the late 90s, and although many were banned in the US, they’ve continued to operate around the world. Recently, some US states have moved to legalize online poker once more, helping to bring the game to a new generation of players.

Online poker made poker far more accessible, allowing people to play whenever and wherever they like. Before, the only way to play a game of poker was to head to a poker room or casino or host a game with your friends. Increased accessibility meant more people could enjoy poker, which led to the amount of money you could make also increasing. 

Aggressive Play

When playing online, players will typically use a more aggressive strategy compared to what you’d see at live tables. Aggressive pre-flop betting and continuation bets are very common in online poker and can make it daunting for live players and beginners. This loose aggressive style is built around taking advantage of weaker players and gaining chips by stealing blinds. It’s often employed from late positions around the table and is typically bluffing. To play successfully with a loose aggressive strategy takes a lot of experience and knowledge of the game. 

Poker Tracking Software

One of the most interesting aspects of online play is that it’s opened the door for poker tracking software. These software tools are built specifically to help poker players understand the game better. They can be used to review previous hands or to give live tips and strategy advice to players. These are known as HUDs or heads-up displays and can be used to identify the potential ranges of opponents and choose the best strategy to beat them.

HUDs are often considered cheating by a lot of poker purists, as they provide information that a player wouldn’t already have. However, they’re not able to win games for you. You still need to be able to know how to play poker and make the most of the opportunities they provide. Still, many poker sites ban the use of HUDs, while reviewing past games is still allowed. 

Online Poker Education

Poker guides, videos, courses, and even coaches are now available for players to make the most of online. It’s easy to find resources to help improve your game, and some of the top professionals now reveal their secrets in books and courses. While the quality of these resources can vary, it’s very easy to find expert-level knowledge online and improve your skills as a poker player. 

Increased Competition

Online poker being more accessible has led to more players and more money in the game. It’s also meant that the level of competition is higher than ever. Online guides and resources have made it easier to learn complex poker strategies, and poker software has allowed even beginners to play at a high level. Undoubtedly, poker is now tougher than ever before, especially online. The skill gap between amateur players and professionals has decreased and is decreasing all the time. As a result, it’s become harder for new players to enjoy the game recreationally, especially as sharks occupy even low-stakes tables. 

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