One of the huge differences between an online poker game and a live table poker game is that in a live table game the only notes you can take are mental ones, however playing poker online gives you the huge advantage of being able to write down notes about opponents for later use. Any player who is serious about poker should be taking advantage of this. The key to successful note taking is being able to do it right.
Dating Your Notes
For a start, you should always place the date next to your note. If you come across a player and find a note from a year ago you will know to take it with a grain of salt as a player’s style can change a lot in a year. However if you come across that same player in just a few days than it is unlikely their style has changed very much, if at all.
Wait for Solid Proof
If a player makes a large bluff in one hand or some other form of distinctive move that does not necessarily mean that this move is a solid part of their playing style, you should always wait for them to repeat a move 3 or 4 times before you take it as a solid part of their play. The best way to be able to record this in your notes is to put a question mark next to every note the first time they make that certain move and then if they continue to make that move you can remove the question mark, making it official. For example if someone tries to steal the blinds in a late position once you might put “Blind Steals in Late Position?”, however if they repeat this move multiple times than you can remove the question mark.
It’s far better for your notes to be as specific and detailed as possible. These will give you far more of an advantage than a vague note about a player. For example if a player bluffs if a later position instead of putting “Player Bluffs in Late Position” you might put “Player went all in on a pair of 4’s because there were no other callers”.
Look for Impatient Players
Being impatient is the biggest sign of a poor poker player. If you notice a player that lacks patience you should make a note of it straight away. One of the biggest signs that a player is impatient is if they sit down at a table and pay the blind straight away instead of waiting for the big blind to reach them.
You Aren’t the Only One
Always remember however that you wont be the only one taking notes. There will be players out there that will make notes of your playing style and try to use them against you. This is why it is important to mix your play up constantly so they never have a solid read on you.