Are you new to playing online poker? Maybe you have been following Fulltilt’s FTOPS XXII coverage online and decided to start a career as a poker player, but you are not making as much money as you would like? If so, you might want to watch out for a few common mistakes that online poker players make, especially those that are new to the game.
Not using your poker face
Much has been written on poker tells, both online and in printed books, but a few have addressed the issue of online poker tells. It might seem counterintuitive to talk about maintaining your poker face when playing online – but in fact, it is just as easy to have tells and give away your strategy to your online opponents as to your in-person opponents. You cannot play every hand the same way – you need to bluff occasionally, stick to your cards occasionally, and most of all, pay attention to what everyone else is doing. If you play consistently and predictably, everyone will catch on and you won’t end up winning anything. They will know that a big early bet means you have great cards in your pocket, and everyone will fold. And if you are too scared to bluff, then you will not be able to take advantage of anyone else! Do not play a pattern, mix things up so that your opponents will not catch on to your strategy.
Playing every hand
Another rookie mistake is to play every single hand you are dealt. It might seem like there is always a chance, no matter what your pocket looks like, that you will score something big on the flop, but it is a risk you cannot take with every hand. Of course, this does not mean that you should never play a hand if you were not dealt great cards, only that you should not play it every single time. Your chances of winning the hand diminish the more people are at the table, so let some of those unsuited low cards just stay on the table, and do not risk your blind.
Putting too much emphasis on the cards
Going along with the previous points, remember that poker is not just about the cards on the table. It is about reading your opponents, spotting their playing patterns, and learning how to beat them with both your wits and the cards you have available. You might be the opposite of the rookie who plays every hand, waiting for that magical card to come up which makes it all worthwhile – instead, you wait and wait and wait, playing only when you are dealt two suited face cards. There are so many different paths to victory in poker, that you need to be aware of the ones that are available to you with your cards, and use your cunning to put those cards to best use.
There is no single formula to becoming an excellent poker player, but all good ones know to watch out for these common mistakes. Take them to heart, and start taking home some winnings!