Originally called ‘poques,’ the famous game of poker as we know it now has existed since the 1820s when French settlers brought it to New Orleans. Since then, it has become one of the world’s most iconic gambling symbols.
When gambling moved online in the late 1990s, poker was one of the first games to appear in cyberspace. Planet Poker, which launched in 1998, was the first online poker room that allowed players to bet for real money.
The game’s popularity has since snowballed, with an estimated 100 million gamblers playing poker online internationally. And with so many players vying for their share of the pot, many are turning to guides, strategies, and tips to give them even a slight edge over their competitors.
This is true for Canadian poker players as well. With poker stars like Daniel Negreanu and Timothy Adams, the country certainly doesn’t lack skill in the game. However, regular players often turn to guides to improve their game. The question is: do these guides work?
What Is a Canadian Online Poker Guide?
Two main types of online poker guides are available to players in the Great White North: those that explain how to play poker online and those that cover tips and strategies to use when playing poker.
How to Play
The most common type of online poker guide covers how to play online using the many poker sites in Canada. Although the common belief is that online and physical poker are almost identical, this misconception could lead to players being out of their depth online.
While the essence of the game remains, online poker differs from the poker played in physical rooms in several crucial ways. For one, when playing online, you cannot see your opponent—something that, in poker, is of vital importance.
Second to this difference, online poker tables traditionally accept fewer players than those found in brick-and-mortar casinos. Although some may argue this increases your chances of winning because you are facing less competition, this could be unnerving for players used to games with ten players.
Tips and Tricks
The second format poker guides take is those that assume the reader already has a solid grasp of playing the game. Therefore, these don’t make much (if any) reference to the game’s rules or how to play online or in person.
Instead, these guides offer simple tips and tricks designed to make you a better poker player. Some of these tips are logical and could make a difference in your game. Others, however, are somewhat far-fetched and should only be considered by players desperate to improve using any means necessary.
As such, sorting through these poker guides is essential before attempting to implement any of their suggestions. As a helpful rule, it is best to look for guides produced by reputable and authoritative websites or, better still, guides penned by successful and professional players.
Do Canadian Online Poker Guides Really Work?
To answer the question of whether these guides work and will make a measurable difference in your ability to win, let’s look individually at each type of guide.
In terms of how-to guides that explain the process of how the game works and how Canadian players can safely play online, the answer is generally a solid yes. These guides do work and shouldn’t be written off as just another meaningless toolkit.
A how-to guide filled with beginner-friendly tips and instructions is almost invaluable for players new to the game or who have never made the move to gamble online. It can help someone with little (or no) experience gain confidence in playing quickly and get them on their way to enjoying the famed game and (hopefully) pulling in some wins.
The second type of guide boasting tips and tricks is not as simple. These may work depending on the player reading the guide and the content found within—including who contributed to making it.
As for guides offering tips and tricks, their effectiveness is limited by the ability of the player to implement the knowledge he or she gains from them. If a player is new to poker or doesn’t have a solid understanding of the game, this may be more difficult—resulting in the advice being less effective.
That said, even long-time players who know a decent amount about the game could struggle to implement new styles of playing or things that could help them be more successful. This is because these players, generally speaking, already have the play style that they have developed over playing many games.
Changing this existing play style to incorporate the advice given by a guide may be tricky, and the player will need to make a conscious effort to do so. Failing this doesn’t mean the guide didn’t work. It simply means the player may not have implemented it correctly.
Tips and Tricks
Aside from the player being able to effectively understand and implement the advice these online poker guides provide, the content itself makes a vast difference. This is because there are many different opinions available to Canadian players on how to play poker successfully.
Thanks to modern technology, publishing an online poker guide and marketing it as “the best” is easy. However, the downside is that some online guides are published by relatively novice players who haven’t experienced meaningful success.
When stumbling across a guide that fits this bill, the tips and tricks offered may be subpar and could merely be a theory that another player has that might improve your ability to play.
Inversely, many guides are written by professional players or those with a successful track record of winning. These guides are more likely to host tested and proven tricks that, if implemented correctly, could make a meaningful difference in a player’s ability.
Finding a guide that fits this bill can almost always help improve your game—even if only slightly over time. As such, it is always essential to research the origin of any guide you want to follow before setting yourself up to enter upcoming tournaments. Getting a proper guide provided by someone who knows what they’re talking about can lead to decent success.