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Top 10 Beginner Mistakes in Online Poker and How to Avoid Them

So you’ve decided to try your hand at online poker? Welcome to one of the most fun, challenging online poker games!

To help you avoid getting fleeced, I’ve outlined the top 10 most common beginner blunders I see. Learn from these mistakes and you’ll be winning big from the get-go instead of going broke. 

  1. Playing too many hands: This is the #1 mistake for pretty much every beginner. You’ll see people playing any two cards just because they’re too excited to finally be dealt in. It’s poker tilt at its worst. You have to be disciplined and patient – stick to playing premium starting hands from an early position and slightly broadening your range on the button and blinds.
  1. Calling too many raises: Just because you finally got a hand you like doesn’t mean you have to put money in every time. Calling multiple raises out of position with marginal holdings is an excellent way to say bye-bye to your stack. Be cautious about cold calling big raises without a premium holding or excellent pots.
  1. Bluffing too much: Let me let you in on a secret – nobody thinks you’re a poker prodigy who runs perfect bluffs as a beginner. Most rookies bluff way too much with really bad frequency and spot selection. Start by keeping bluffs to a minimum and learn the fundamentals of value playing before trying too many heroics.
  1. Not understanding position: Where you sit in an online poker game is hugely important in no-limit poker, but beginners routinely spew off chips by playing hairy holdings out of position. As a rule, you’ll want to open up your range dramatically when on the button compared to an early position. Pay close attention to where you are relative to the button.
  1. Getting stuck to the top pair: Just because you made one pair on the flop doesn’t mean it’s going to be the best hand at Showdown. Too many beginners fall in love with an overpair or top pair and go broke by refusing to fold when faced with raising action on future streets. Be disciplined! An overpair isn’t a monster if multiple players are sticking around.
  1. Not being able to let go of their hands: Beginners love chasing draws to the river. And by that, I mean arcing recklessly with gutshots, open-enders, or flush draws. Learn proper pot odds and draw calculations – and get comfortable laying down hands when you’re behind.
  1. Emotional or revenge playing: Playing with anger or thinking revenge is a recipe for going broke fast. Never let results from past hands influence your present decision-making. Remain impassive and make objectively positive decisions at each spot.
  1. Not understanding odds and outs: There’s a good reason why they call poker a “game of skill” – you need to understand quantitative concepts like pot odds, implied odds, and outs to properly navigate tough decisions. Master the maths behind making calls and folds. It will pay dividends.

Also Read:

How to Create Your Own Winning Poker Strategy

Poker for Beginners: Simple Strategies to Win

Poker Hand Rankings and Probability Explained

  1. Playing while distracted: In my opinion, this is one of the absolute worst things you can do in online poker. Playing while tired, buzzed, or distracted by things like TV/phone is just setting yourself up to punt off stacks with suboptimal decisions. 
  1. Managing finances: Last but certainly not least, beginners constantly fail at proper bankroll management. Nothing will dull your poker progression like going broke over and over at stakes you can’t afford to play. Have iron discipline to move down when running bad – moving up blindly with winners is a quick road to go broke.

Online poker can be a fun, rewarding experience, but it can also be an extremely costly one if you fall into these common beginner traps. Avoid these pitfalls through diligent practice, studying, and self-discipline. With patience and a commitment to cutting out these leaks, you’ll be crushing games in no time!

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