Online Poker: Hardest Habits to Break

No. 1 – Watching TV

Being a winning poker player always comes down to how effectively you gather information about your opponents. For example, let’s say it’s down to heads-up on a single table Sit and Go tournament. You get dealt A-10 offsuit while on the button and your opponent pushes all-in. You have been watching a rerun of Friends (because you’re insane) and have no clue what kind of player this guy is. You think to yourself, “A-10 is a fantastic hand in heads-up! I’m king of the world!” And you call only to see your opponent was holding A-Q suited. Welcome to Domination Land; population: you.

If you’d been paying attention you’d have noticed that this guy had been playing tighter than a tourniquet the whole time and made all of his chips by pushing with big hands. Unfortunately for you the only information you gathered in the last 20 minutes was that Ross and Rachel had broken up again. How did that work out for you?

No. 2 – Multi-Tabling the Wrong Tables

You’ve been playing well and winning regularly and so you decide to quadruple your winnings by jumping up to four tables at once. Now this isn’t a bad idea but there are few caveats you should definitely be aware of.

The first problem that many novice online poker players make is to only multi-table single table Sit and Go poker tournaments. It’s an easy enough mistake to make since so many players build up their initial bankroll through these tournaments. The problem is that when you do well at more than one small table at a time and players are eliminated you are left with less and less time to make your decisions. This is fine with one or two tables at a time but if you ever find yourself in a heads-up situation at two tables, three-handed at another and five-handed at yet another, you’ll find yourself pretty rushed to make decisions; and God forbid that any of these tournaments be turbos.

So if you’re relatively new to multi-tabling or even if you are just finding that you’re feeling the heat as the tables shrink, you should definitely try mixing up the tables you play. Throw in some larger tournaments and double stacks that are more accommodating to patience and that allow you to fold everything but premium hands at the start so that you can focus on heads-up play when you need to.

No. 3 – Wild Betting

Wild betting is something that tends to happen to players who become too removed from the value of the chips they are betting because it’s happening online. Live poker doesn’t tend to have this problem because you can actually feel the chips in your hand. You’ve handed someone cash for them and you are keenly aware of what they are worth. With online poker all you need to do to deposit and get chips is click a few buttons. It’s easy to lose awareness of their value and push them around in ways you probably wouldn’t in a casino. This is likely part of the reason why online poker players have gained such a reputation for being highly aggressive when they take their game to a live poker room.

Pay attention to your betting and compare it with how you play in a live game. If there’s a big difference in your game, that’s probably not a good thing. Remember, aggression is good, but if you’re reckless, players will pick up on it and take advantage.