18 Sep

Online Poker: It’s Not Just a Game

You can’t win online poker if you don’t take it seriously.

You can't win online poker if you don't take it seriously.Monopoly, Euchre, Cribbage, Hearts, Rummy—these are just games. They are enjoyed among multiple players for sheer entertainment. Even with a little side bet on the line, the end goal is to have a good time. The same can be said of most casino games, where the odds are ever in the house’s favor. If you look at slot machines as a way to make money, you’re going to have a rude awakening one day.

Poker is not like those games. Poker is a game of mental and psychological ingenuity, where the player with the most skill is going to win more often than his or her opponents. Poker is a game that can also become a career, just like football, basketball, baseball. Anyone can play, but only the most skilled players will win consistently.

If you want to win at poker, you must take the game seriously. You must play within your means, stay focused on the action, and only play when your head and heart are both in the game. This is a lot harder to do playing online poker, where distractions are all-too-easy to come by.

Stay Focused on Winning Online Poker

No matter what level player you are, never losing your focus on a game is crucial to increasing your win rate. If you’re still fairly new to the game, you should be all the more vigilant, practicing proper hand selection, learning to pick up on player tells and signs of weakness. As an experienced player, you can put your opponents on specific hand ranges to exploit them, even when your own hand is less than spectacular. But only if you’re paying close attention.

The smallest distraction can ruin a great opportunity. And ever wasted opportunity is money down the drain. If your attention is being split between an online poker table and a movie playing on the next screen over, you could miss out on so much, and never realize it.

Even great live poker players often make this mistake early on. When they convert to online poker, they think it’s going to be just as easy—maybe even easier. But online poker games can move a lot faster. You won’t have as much time to calculate pot odds and expected values. If you’re checking sports scores on your phone, only to look up and see you have 5 seconds left to bet/raise before your hand automatically folds, it could result in a costly mistake.

Be Your Own Responsible Boss

You need to limit distractions to an absolute minimum. Turn off the TV, and put on some good music instead. Silence your phone, setting it on vibrate. You can check your messages and return phone calls the next time you take a break.

Think about this… If you’re goal is to make money, your game should be viewed like any other job. Your boss wouldn’t take kindly to you texting, chatting with friends, or playing games on your phone when you’re on the clock. With online poker, you are your own boss. You get to make the rules. But if you want to be successful, you have to be smart about it, too. You have to be the responsible one that says, ‘No, socializing is for personal time‘.

Is Your Heart in the Game?

It’s not just your head, but your heart that needs to be in the game. Do not attempt to play online poker simply because you’re bored. The fact is, online poker itself can be very boring. If you play because you’re bored, you’re going to want to push the envelope—to increase the action, make it more interesting. There’s no way to go about that without deviating from proper strategies.

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