When PKR first came on the online poker scene, quite a few poker purists dismissed the site as pure novelty. 3 years on not only is it one of the fastest growing poker rooms online but it is also a becoming a serious place to make money. Whether you are an online pro or a complete newbie to poker, playing on PKR is a unique experience that will take some getting used to. It is worth it, however, as not only can you make some serious money but you can also have a lot of fun.
Get it out of your system
PKR is like no other poker room, in that at first it feels much more like a video game. There are lots of little fun things to do, lots of ways to interact with and annoy your opponents, thousands of designs for your avatar and playing there does not feel like you are playing with real money. As you mess around with different views and work your way through all the different ways to call your opponent a donkey with your body language, do it as micro stakes or even play money.
You can really get sucked in to the non poker elements of the game the first few times you play PKR and you will be very flippant with your money during this time. Spend a few sessions getting it out of your system; view it as a non profit exercise, a scouting mission perhaps. Don't jump onto the highest stakes table you would normally play then find yourself losing a massive pot because you were too busy trying to work out how to call a player a loser before you make a call.
Start with one table
Unlike a lot of poker rooms that let you tile tables seamlessly next to each other, PKR takes up a lot of virtual memory and screen space, so you have to alternate between one full size screen and the rest of your tables on 'mini view'. This is pretty hard to grasp at first; you can find yourself timing out on one table without realising it and struggling to keep up with the action. Also, as you have to 'look' at your cards rather than having them on display, it is possible to find yourself forgetting which hand you have at which table.
But don't let this put you off, because with a bit of practice it becomes almost as easy as any other online poker room to play multiple tables. The key is to work your way up gradually; I started with one, then two, then three and so on. I also experimented with a very tight style to begin with and only played premium hands, which I normally would not advocate as a general rule of multi tabling, but with PKR it can be very confusing at first when you have 2 or 3 marginal spots across your tables. Within less than a month I was able to 4 table as well as I always have, using my usual loose aggressive style.
Don't read much into 'tells'
PKR is almost a bridge between live and online poker, where elements of live play are introduced to the virtual felt. A lot of people will make a big deal of 'tells' on PKR but for the most part, the non verbal actions of your opponents should be ignored, other than the usual timing tells that you will be used to online. Players will choose to dance, cheer, laugh, clap and all manner of other physical actions when they are playing on PKR in the middle of a hand, a lot of the time they are bored and just messing around. Very few players (although they are out there) will unwittingly press the same physical action button when they have a weak/strong hand, so don't waste your time on this element of the game.
The one tell that does maybe need to be kept on eye on, however, is the fact you have to look at your cards, ie. press a button to see your cards and the whole table can see you look at your cards. This, just like in a live game, can give away when a straight or flush completing card has come on a street, you'll always see the bad players (and the decent ones) checking their hand for if they have diamonds or not, so bare this in mind.
People show bluffs more
For some reason, people love to show bluffs more on PKR, it's something about the 'video game' element of it that makes people think they are locked in battle. Although I would say that the action generally is a lot more passive on PKR than other sites, the chances are if you are facing a big bet you are up against the nuts or nothing. Don't let this tilt you and make sure you note who the guys are that think they are Phil Ivey because they won an $11 pot with seven high.
Ed Note: You can make a great start to the fun and frolics at PKR by signing up via our links and using the bonus code UKPN800 for an $800 bonus!