For years poker was primarily played in the back of smoky bars or in casino card rooms. In the early 2000s an accountant from Tennessee elevated it to primetime by developing secure online poker sites that could safely hold players’ cash and allow them to wager against each other. Since then it has become a global phenomenon.
While poker rules are the same no matter where you play it requires different skills online as opposed to at your local game. Online poker players have to be more disciplined in their approach to the game and stick to their bankrolls and avoid tilt (emotional reactions to losses). They also need to be able to read their opponents by observing their betting patterns, tendencies, and strategies. They also need to be able to calculate pot odds and percentages quickly.
It is essential to track your results as well to help you learn and improve. Many poker sites offer session stats which are a great way to see how you did at the table. You should pay particular attention to your win-rate, number of flops seen, and times you went to showdown. It is also a good idea to mix up your starting hand range to exploit weak tables.
Another key skill to develop is having a short memory. It is normal to have bad beats and coolers, but you need to learn to move on from them. This is especially important when moving up stakes. It is very common to run bad over a small sample size and you must be ready to drop back down for a while and grind it out before trying again.