Ten Things Not To Do In Online Poker
Winning at poker isn’t rocket science. It’s more like psychology, statistics, finance, mathematics, and art all rolled into one. Success doesn’t have to be elusive, provided you are willing to put in the time. You’ll need to learn the rules, develop a strategy, and practice. Yet it’s equally important to avoid these common pitfalls.
1. Don’t Get Too Comfortable
A little relaxation goes a long way. While there’s nothing wrong with playing poker on your sofa wearing close to nothing, too much comfort can hinder your performance. Poker is a game of skill, which means success depends at least in part on your mental stamina. If reclining gives way to mental fatigue and drowsiness, your play will suffer. The same is true if you are tired or hungry. Don’t be afraid to take breaks even if it’s just a brisk walk to recharge.
2. Don’t Overindulge
While beer and poker go hand in hand, it’s important not to let those lagers and ales impede your game. While a couple of drinks might lighten the mood, always avoid getting drunk while playing. Staying sober will make your mood less temperamental and your play less volatile. The same goes for any medicines that might leave you in an altered state.
3. Don’t Overvalue Your Hands
Potential can go a long way, but it pays to know just how realistic outcomes are. Learn the odds to know what your cards are really worth at every stage of the game. You can use our free poker odds calculator to make the learning process easier. That queen might look pretty but not if she’s going to the dance alone. You don’t always need a massive hand to win but you should know what you might be up against.
4. Don’t Play Too Many Hands
The biggest mistake beginners make is playing too many hands. Some players want to avoid sitting on the sidelines, don’t understand simple probabilities, or think they can defy the odds. The fact is you aren’t going to win every hand and you should avoid those when you don’t legitimately stand a chance. If the pace of your games is too slow, you can always play multiple tables at the same time.
5. Don’t Fall In Love with Your Hands
Going down with the ship is a bad philosophy, especially when you don’t realise it’s sinking. Being financially invested in a hand isn’t reason enough to stay in the game. If that pocket pair loses its lustre at the turn, there’s no sense calling. Sometimes folding really is the right move.
6. Don’t Ignore Your Finances
Even the best poker players don’t stay hot forever. That winning streak you’ve been riding could give way to a lengthier losing streak. There’s no need to be afraid or assume that going broke is in the cards. Instead you need to manage your money. Know how much you can afford to gamble and portion it accordingly. Even WSOP champions with money to burn know how to budget for success.
7. Don’t Let Emotion Influence Your Game
Even the best players suffer astonishingly bad beats on occasion. The best thing you can do is suck up the loss and tell your mates about it later. If you find yourself irritated, angry, or frustrated with your performance, definitely walk away. Going on tilt or angrily altering your usual style of play is a recipe for racking up big time losses.
8. Don’t Play More Hands Than You Can Handle
Online poker’s best feature is the ability to push the limits of space and time. We’re talking about being at more than one place at the same time thanks to multi-tabling. Although you can play a dozen tables at once, beginners are advised to tone it down. Don’t try to alleviate those seconds of boredom between turns by spreading yourself out too thin. Until you’ve mastered the intricacies of the game, there’s no sense biting off more than you can chew.
9. Don’t Bluff Excessively
We’ve all seen the movie scenes where some wise guy wins a set of car keys and a deed to a house by bluffing an absolutely atrocious hand. Unfortunately what’s fit for a Hollywood script has no place in your poker game plan. Bluffing should be used sparingly unless you want to be known not only as a liar but one who is easily beat.
10. Don’t Ignore Your Opponents
Many people mistakenly believe that psychology matters less in online poker. While you won’t be able to see your opponent’s sweaty brow or trembling lips, you can know his or her history. Most online poker software lets you keep player notes, which can be particularly insightful over time. Test your opponents and make them earn every rare victory.