What is a reg in poker, also known as a “regular”?
Someone who regularly or often plays online or live poker is a regular or “reg” for short. Usually, these players have more skill or familiarity with poker, but not always. There are good regs and bad regs out there, and playing often doesn’t guarantee success.
In online and live games, there are usually fewer regular poker players than casual players. With their skill advantage, they can enjoy a healthy win rate against casual players who don’t play regularly.
This article will look at some of the things that regulars do that make them different from recreational and casual players. Each of these 5 things can boost your profit and help you become a good regular poker player.
5 Profitable Things Regular Poker Players Do
Regulars approach the game differently from recreational fun-seeking players. They have a long-term approach to poker and take steps to improve how they play. If you want to know how to play regular poker, this will show you how to get started.
1. Specialize in a Format or Type of Poker
Cash games, multi-table tournaments (MTTs), spins, and sit and go’s. Regulars usually pick one of these types of poker and focus on it, instead of switching between many different ones.
It’s the same with formats like Texas Holdem, Omaha, short deck, and stud poker. Most regulars would rather improve their win rate in one format, instead of slowly improving at multiple formats.
Most regular players specialize in no-limit Texas Holdem, but any format will work, as long as they can find enough tables to support them. The next most popular format is pot-limit Omaha (PLO), followed by formats like short deck, 5-card Omaha, and Omaha Hi/Lo.
Choose a format to play online, learn everything you can about it, and improve your win rate.
2. Use a Poker Heads-Up Display (HUD)
What if you could have a perfect memory and remember every action you see at online poker tables? This is exactly what a HUD, or heads-up display, is used for.
A HUD recalls everything it sees when you are at a poker table, then displays the information so you can use it. The more you play, the more accurate your data will become. You don’t have to remember which players enter too many pots, who the tight players are, and which ones are aggressive; the HUD will do it for you.
There are a few sites that don’t allow HUDs at the tables, but most poker rooms do. To be a competitive regular, you need to be using a HUD. It’s almost guaranteed that other regulars at the online tables are using HUDs – if they are allowed at the poker site.
These poker sites allow the use of heads-up displays.
3. Find Weaknesses and Study Poker
Playing regularly will increase your skill, but that’s the slowest way to improve. Any good regular poker player should be examining their strategy and finding leaks. A leak is a part of a poker strategy that consistently loses a player's money.
If you’re a regular, consistently losing money in the same way is the last thing you want to do.
The easiest way to find leaks is by using poker tracking software, which watches and records everyone’s gameplay. You’ll get a heads-up display showing you real-time information about opponents, but the tracking software will also be watching you. With the right software, you can pull up reports after your sessions and check for leaks.
4. Carefully Manage a Poker Bankroll
A bankroll is the money a regular must set aside and use for poker, and poker only. A reg that wants to be a long-term player must manage their bankroll carefully. This means playing a stakes that match the size of your bankroll.
For cash games, you should have a bankroll of 100x the buy-in you choose. This may sound like a lot, but this will protect you from negative variance (performing more poorly than is statistically likely). It will also give you the time to make corrections and improvements, which don’t happen overnight.
In MTT tournaments, have a bankroll of at least 100x-150x the buy-in size. It may sound like a lot, but you have to remember that you may go for long stretches without winning or cashing in. Variance tends to affect tournament poker players more than cash game players, which means your bankroll needs to be slightly larger to handle the swings.
5. Don’t Underestimate the Value of Table Selection
Table selection is what regular poker players do to maximize their win rates. If you choose a table with lots of other regulars, you probably won’t get maximum profit from the session.
But how can you tell which tables are infested with regs and which ones are full of casual players?
This is the third reason on our list to download and start using a HUD. You can quickly label the regular players with specific colors, but you’ll also be able to see who is who from the stats.
One of the main stats you can check is called VPIP, which stands for Voluntarily Put In Pot. This stat shows you how often a player puts in their big blind (or more) during the preflop stage. You can quickly identify the loose players at the table by their high VPIP, while tight players will show a low VPIP.
Finding great tables is always going to be easier on large poker sites with lots of player traffic. Spend some time on GGPoker’s cash game tables and you’re sure to sit with a few recreational players that may boost your win rate slightly. You can use the site’s built-in HUD (automatically available to every GGPoker player) and check your table’s statistics.