First of all, you should know that poker is a game of incomplete information. The skill in poker comes from making informed decisions based on what you know about a player.
The golden rule is to take the time to consider every hand carefully. The main thing that separates the pros from those just beginning to play online/live poker is the amount of thought they’ve given to every single hand and every single move that they or an opponent make.
One way of adding more thought to your game is taking notes. Analysing how other players are competing is an important part of any game strategy, but in online poker keeping tabs on people can be hard. With players continually floating in and out of games it can be difficult to build and maintain accurate mental pictures of your opponents playing style to figure out how best to play against them.
Keeping written notes of what is going on in the game will help enormously. Concentrate on whether players are tight or loose, aggressive or passive in nature, whether they are capable of bluffing and what type of hands are their favourites to play.
How can this information help you? Well, if for example, you know for a fact that a player that is involved in a hand never bluffs on the turn and later streets, this means their bets are almost always purely for value. So, you should only call bets on the turn/river with the nuts or a hand that beats the value hands they are representing (or when you’re drawing to the nuts, and getting the right odds to call.)
If you are looking to improve your poker note taking, you should check out this episode of Gripsed on YouTube. His channel has a lot of great poker information. This particular video covers useful tools and pointers that you should consider when taking good poker notes.
If you often play live/online cash games and tournaments against the same players, then it would be very advantageous to take good poker notes instead of relying on mental notes to fall back on, since it’s virtually impossible to remember every hand you’ve played against an opponent.
While it’s incredibly easy taking notes on your opponents on the virtual felt by simply right-clicking on a player at the table and tagging them or leaving a note about their play, prior to just a couple years ago, it was only possible taking notes in live poker games with a pen and piece of paper.
Fortunately, the Poker Notes Live App has been created specifically for live poker players. This app has a small learning curve, since it feels a lot like the note taking capabilities found at most online poker sites. The information you can enter about live players includes their name, with several different tabs for taking general notes, including pre and post-flop tendencies, as well as the ability to quickly tag and classify their general style of play (TAG, LAG, Fish, Rock, etc.) Additionally, the Poker Notes Live app, which is available as an Amazon digital download, tracks your results, the stakes you play, buy-in amount, profit/loss and more.