If your memory is long enough you will remember the dawn of the internet. The idea of being able to download a movie or a tv show was incredible. Having information at your fingertips was such a brand new concept that we didn’t think it could get any better.
Then came the rise of online poker. Suddenly we were all professionals and convinced that we could outwit and outplay anybody online. And, like a lot of things online, Texas Hold’em poker became the go-to game to play.
While it may not be as popular anymore, there is still a huge online poker market. These days it’s not as easy to simply get lucky and win a WSOP buy-in. Those still playing are definitely sharper but that doesn’t mean that the game is closed to new players.
You can start playing poker at any age – though of course to play online you need to be 18+. The problem with being a newbie is that there is so much to learn. But, and trust me on this, you absolutely have to learn how to play the game properly and avoid mistakes in poker. Otherwise, you’ll be the fish (weakest player) at the table and the sharks will come for you.
One of the most important factors about learning is how to avoid the biggest mistakes in poker. Once you know what-not-to-do, you’ll be in a much better position. You’ll also hold on to your cash and chips longer, which will allow you to practice more. And practice makes perfect.
Mistakes In Poker No. 1 – Starting Too Big
Don’t just think that because you’ve read a few posts that you know what you are doing. Start small by joining a reputable online poker site and register as a new player. Bookmakers will often have rooms for those just starting off.
The other players will be at the same skill level and the amounts of money being gambled are tiny. This will allow you to practice and play with minimal risk.
Don’t Go Over Your Budget
Set yourself a budget for playing and stick to it. Don’t chase losses. Simply decide how much you can afford in any one sitting and keep to it. It doesn’t matter if it’s £10 or £100, if you lose it, stop playing.
Take the time to go over where you went wrong and learn from the experience.
Use Technology But Don’t Rely On It
The world of online poker has evolved to such an extent that you can now buy or download a huge amoutn of tech to help you with your plays. And while these are useful at keeping track of your plays and your opponents, they are not foolproof.
As an example, imagine you are playing a £1/£2 cash game online and you are using a Heads Up Display (HUD). The player on the button has been raising and stealing your big blind a lot. The action folds around to him and he is on the button again.
They raise, making it £5 to play and the Small Blind folds. You are holding an 8 & 5 in your hand and you are starting to get annoyed that this player is raising all of the time. A quick of his HUD statistics and you notice that he frequently reraises before the flop.
You decide that he an aggressive player that is bluffing so you stay in the hand and make it £17 to play. You have made a big mistake.
Let’s imagine that your opponent now makes the four-bet. If this is the case then he is going to make you fold. If he folds then great you have won £6. But what if he calls? What are you going to flop that is going to help you move forward with 8 & 5 in your hand?
Granted, it is not important what you have but more important is what your opponent thinks you have got. But it helps if you actually have decent cards.
If the flop doesn’t go your way you’ve based your decision solely on the use of tech. Use your own instincts and head and realise that this player is simply an aggressive player. He may be bluffing and pushing his luck but that doesn’t mean you have to play his game.
Don’t Lose Your Cool
There’s nothing worse than coming up against an aggressive player who tries to bully and bluff his way through a game. It’s frustrating and annoying. But playing poker means you have to stay calm. Losing it is another of the mistakes in poker.
Once you get angry you start making stupid decisions. Your plays will be erratic and you’ll start missing clues about the other players on the table. Focusing on just one annoying player means you’re open to being played by all the others at the table.
They’ll notice that you are playing erratically and they will take advantage.
There are loads of ways to become a good online poker player. Research, practice and learn how to play the game. But more than that, you have to be able to avoid the pitfalls and poker mistakes.
It doesn’t matter how skilled you are, if you keeping making mistakes you won’t be playing for very long.