Most online poker sites have an inbuilt note-taking option. This allows players to make notes on their opponent"s play which will stay with that opponent for future reference. Taking notes has many benefits when used effectively. This article looks at how to get the most from taking notes on your poker opponents and how this can increase your online poker profits.

The benefits of taking notes are directly proportional to the effort and amount of detail you used. It can be worth developing a person "short hand" that will enable you to take notes quickly. This can involve shortening words describing betting amounts, cards played and position. For example instead of writing raised 3 times the blind from middle position with ace-ten off-suit before the flop you could use something like "3BBs A10 MP Pre". Shortening will allow you to make more notes while maintaining focus on the game you are playing.

The first level of note taking involves noting the core characteristics of opponents such as loose or tight and passive or aggressive. Other core criteria such as "bluffs too much" and "calls with marginal holdings on the river" will also help you decide how to play against an individual.

Notes should also be used for how an opponent plays in common situations. Each time a showdown occurs, whether you are involved in the hand or not you should review the betting. Watch out for how certain opponents play very strong hands, do they bet small? Slow-play by checking? Lead out strongly? The more information you have the bigger future benefits note-taking will bring you. Drawing hands such as straight and flush draws are played differently by different opponents. If an individual always bets draws then make a note of this too.

As you gain experience at the table your note taking should become more detailed. Now you are looking for specific betting patterns, and comparing this information with the hands that your opponents show down. At this point notes should focus on specific holdings rather than general categories. This will benefit you by increasing your ability to put your opponent on a hand – if can narrow their hands significantly then profits are sure to follow.

Be aware that while you are making notes on your opponents they may also be making notes on you! You should mix-up your play a large enough proportion of the time so as not to become predictable to ensure that their notes are of less benefit.

To summarize, notes are a great benefit in online poker, whether covering only certain classes of hand or specific holdings they can be used to adapt your play to extract the most profit from an opponent when you are ahead – and to lose the least when you are behind.