To be a winner at online poker it's important that you play solid strategy
but it's equally important that you make as few mistakes as possible. Even experienced players frequently make mistakes – both on and off the table. Here are three of the most common errors that online poker players make. Find out what they are, and then put an end to them!
Lack of focus
Modern life is filled with distractions; TV, social media, iPhones and, of course, other human beings. Try playing online poker while indulging in a few of these at the same time and you will be highly unlikely to turn a profit. However, it's difficult to avoid these temptations much of the time. When you have other things going on while you play on PokerStars, it will be impossible to play your best poker. You're likely to miss out on opportunities to bluff, miss easy information from your opponents and could even make a bad call that costs you a ton of chips. Try to ensure that you minimise the distractions around you when you play. Close that web browser, stop tweeting in the middle of a hand and pay attention to the table as much as you can. It could be the difference between winning and losing.
Playing too many hands
In a full ring tournament or cash game most successful poker players will play between 18-26% of their hands. When you look at it this way you'll realise that the best players fold an awful lot more than they call or three-bet. If this doesn't sound like you then it's worth addressing this mistake straight away. When you play too many hands you inevitably get into pots with holdings that are behind your opponents or, even worse, dominated by your opponents. The main culprits for this are when you call raises with weak Aces. Any Ace that has a kicker worse than Ace-Jack definitely has potential to be dominated when facing a raise. Now an Ace flops down and you're very likely to lose a big pot unless you have the discipline to fold top pair. It's much easier to avoid this situation altogether! Aim to call raises with hands like small pairs and suited connectors instead of middling Aces – throw them into the muck.
Tighten up your game altogether to ensure that you avoid situations where you might be dominated and increase the likelihood that you have the best hand. Only raise with strong hands like A-T+, K-J+ and Q-T suited or better. Although this type of playing style can be countered by tough opponents (they will start to fold weak hands when you raise and not give you action) it should drastically improve your fundamental poker skills and ensure that you stop dripping away chips by playing too many pots with weak hands.
Playing in cash games that you shouldn't
Poker players are in a unique position compared to almost any other game or sport because, to some extent, you get to choose who your opponents are. Imagine if Leicester City could choose to play Aston Villa every single week – they'd be leading the Premier League by many more points than they already are! When you go on to the cash game lobby on PokerStars you can see exactly who is on each table before deciding whether or not to sit down and buy some chips. If you've played with any of the players before then you have information that could help you decide if it's a good game or not for you. If the players are all new to you then it's a good idea to watch a few hands at the table to try and obtain some reads before you dive into the action.
The most important tip though is to remember that there is no obligation
to stay at a certain table if you feel you are outmatched. Nobody will think any less of you if you leave that table and join one that looks more fun, or easier to win. In fact, doing just that is the sign of a top poker player.
Make sure you take advantage of every little aspect – both on and away from the table – to help cut out common mistakes and give yourself the best chance of being a winning player.
For more winning poker strategy tips, create your FREE PokerStars account now and join our school. If you're already a school member, why not make a deposit and try this strategy at the tables?
We also suggest you check out these other Poker Strategy topics.
For more winning poker strategy tips, create your FREE PokerStars
account now and join our school. If you're already a school member, why not make a deposit and try this strategy at the tables?
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