Newcomers to Online Poker: Mistakes you Can’t Afford to Make
Online poker can be a minefield for new players, so with this in mind, here is a sample of mistakes that could cost you dearly. Learn about them, avoid them and help give yourself an edge so that you can exploit those lazy players at your table!
Don’t assume all players are the same
Not every beginner (or, indeed, any player) is the same, whether they’re sitting down for the first time in a bricks and mortar casino or at the virtual tables of an online poker room.
It is essential to always pay attention to how different people play in order to get an idea of their approach to the game and any mistakes they might keep making. Take note of their cards at showdown, if they always raise with pairs, get tricky with big draws… generally keep an eye on your opponents individually rather than painting them with the same proverbial brush.
Don’t play too many tables
Of course – especially with bankroll-boosting Rakeback deals at YPD! – it is tempting to want to play more than one table at the same time, but this is easier said than done.
Yes, there are greats such as Randy ‘Nanonoko’ Lew and GGPoker’s Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier who are experts when it comes to massive multi-tabling, but it takes experience and practice. But those of you new to online poker should be sufficiently patient to not to trying running before you can walk, as the saying goes.
Only play as many tables as you are comfortable focusing on, so start by playing at only one table and, as you gradually improve your game and your results justify it, try two, and so on.
It’s more important to find the right balance that best suits you, rather than in creasing the volume of hands for the sake of it.
Don’t Misuse Starting Hand Charts
Many novices blindly rely on starting hand charts. Of course it’s tempting, especially when initially getting to grips with the game, to relieve ourselves of certain analytical responsibilities, and the subject of which starting hands do or don’t deserve to see the Flop is a complex one.
However, the more you acquaint yourself with how situational the game is, the more it;s possible to not adhere too rigidly with starting hand recommendations, especially as you gain more appreciation of position, and learn more how to read opponents’ exploitable habits. It would be foolhardy to not try to take advantage of a player’s weaknesses because that would mean going against what appears in a starting hands chart.
Another reason to inject some variation into your game is to avoid becoming too predictable to the point that the opposition also get to know what your range is. Furthermore, as the dynamics of the table change, so your approach re starting hand selection needs to evolve.
Don’t Play When Tilted!
There isn’t really an n’ideal’ form of tilting – the result of tilt, by definition, means that a player’s performance is going to decline due to its effects.
While it’s good to recognise when you tilt, and to take note – even in retrospect – of the detrimental effects it can have on your game, it’s generally a good idea to notice as soon as tilt starts to rear its ugly head and simply remove yourself from the table(s) and take a break.
Reset, take stock of what happened, contemplate how tilt might have taken hold and what you might do to address the problem, how you might react next time, and turn the episode into something positive so that it becomes a constructive learning experience.