10 Mistakes to Avoid when Playing Online Poker for the First Time
Learning the rules of most poker games only takes a few minutes, but learning to play these games well enough to turn a profit can be daunting. There are many mistakes that novice players tend to make so before you sign-up to and take advantage of your Free £20 bonus, it is good to go through the ten most common blunders.
Playing Too Many Hands
This is probably the number one mistake that beginners make. Playing too many of the hands you are dealt will undoubtedly cause you to leak chips like a sieve. Sure, playing the majority of your hands might keep you entertained, and you may even go on a run and make a few bucks in the short term, but overall you will lose your money, and likely your dignity as well.
Playing Your Hands and Not Your Opponents
If you try to overcompensate after playing too many hands, and start only playing your premium holdings, your results will suffer. Learning to adjust your play depending on the climate of your table is essential to becoming a winning player. With more experience, this will start to come naturally, and new players will gain an understanding of how to exploit their opponents without having to rely on superior cards. This may sound tough, but nobody said that mastering poker would be easy.
Do you have pocket aces? How about kings? Did you flop top pair? Great, but take it easy and tread lightly moving forward. Remember that big pocket pairs are still only one pair if you do not improve, so you need to consider the texture of the board and your opponents' actions before getting married to your hand. Overvaluing hands that aren't so hot will definitely cause you to hemorrhage chips in the long run, so make sure to evaluate hands on a situation by situation basis.
Playing your position (which refers to where you are sitting in relation to the button) is one of the most important skills a poker player can learn. It's also one of the most ignored aspects of the game among new players. Learning to tighten up in early position and open up your starting hand range in later position will go a long way towards increasing your edge at the tables.
Not Varying Your Play
Playing your hands predictably is a death sentence. Letting more experienced players identify patterns in the way you bet or act will definitely give them more fuel to exploit you, and ultimately take your money. Varying how you play hands will keep your opponents on their toes and hopefully keep your money in your pockets.
Poor Bankroll Management
Most of us do not have an unlimited supply of money to bring to the tables. Learning to play only in poker games that you can afford is key to becoming a great player. After all, if you lose all of your money due to poor bankroll management, playing well won't be a concern any longer, because you won't be able to buy-in to any game.
Giving Off Tells
This is a big one. Giving off tells (which are simply clues about what cards you hold) to your opponents can cost you a lot. It can sometimes be painful to watch a beginner play poker, because even the cocktail waitress knows what they have. Being aware of how you appear to your opponents is essential to not getting exploited at the tables, and it's not just limited to live games. Online tells, which are usually related to betting patters and the speed in which a player acts on their hand, are also easily detected by experienced players, so don't be fooled into thinking you can always hide your nerves or excitement behind your computer screen. Fist pumps are exempt.
Poor Bet Sizing
Learning to correctly size your bets is an art that will take some time, but there are some basics you can learn to at least save you some embarrassment at the table. Beginning players tend to severely over bet or under bet the pot, which pretty much screams "I'm a newbie!" to everyone at the table, and empties their pockets at an alarming rate.
Plain and simple; bluffing is tricky. Learning to pull off a masterful bluff is essential to becoming a great poker player, but trying to pull a fast one on your opponents is not advised unless it is well thought out and carefully executed. Amateur players often need reminding that their bluffs are essentially stories that need to make sense. Representing a flush on the river when that third heart comes could be a great move, but spazzing out for no apparent reason when another blank falls is a transparent move that will easily be exploited by more experienced players. Unfortunately, learning to bluff well will likely take some experimenting and this can sometimes be costly. Thinking of this as an investment for the future might ease the pain a bit.
If you have ever played poker, and are also a human being, you've likely experienced tilt. Basically, when a player goes on tilt, they are letting themselves be affected emotionally after experiencing a loss, and basically start playing like a donkey because of it. Tilt can be a serious problem for both amateurs and experienced players alike, as we are all only human. However, if you can learn to control your emotions at the table and avoid tilting at all costs, you'll have a leg up on your opponents when it comes to mastering the game.
Being the new kid on the poker block can be tough, but if you're able to keep these mistakes at bay, you'll be that much closer to booking your first of hopefully many wins at the virtual tables. If you want to take your game to the next level, you can learn the ropes at Poker School Online. You'll also be able to take advantage of the Scratch & Match cards to win great poker prizes.