The trouble with playing online poker when you’re a novice is that you never know who else is pulling up a chair to the same virtual table as you, and how much experience they have. Whenever you play online, no matter how experienced you are, you’re likely to come up some difficult competition.
And when you’re only just learning how to play, you’re likely to make plenty of mistakes along the way, and so the best place to get some practice in is at the freerolls. These are poker tournaments where it costs nothing to play, but there is a cash pot provided by the poker room that hosts the freeroll. So all the players that take part put all their effort into playing well, but if things don’t go their way then it’s no big deal – they haven’t lost any money in the process. Also the competition is restricted to other newbies, so there’s less chance of an experienced player coming along and taking all the new players’ money too easily!
When you’re not playing freerolls, you should keep your wits about you so that you don’t get played too easily by more experienced gamers. Keep the following in mind when you play.
Keep stakes low
When you’ve got a good looking hand, you may be tempted to bet higher stakes. But if you keep bet sizes to a minimum while you’re learning how to play, it’ll be less disappointing when you lose money. You can also be a little more experimental with your decisions if you don’t have too much cash riding on them.
Playing online is different to the physical game
Some aspects of play are different in online poker. There’s a time limit imposed on making decisions for a start, and players who’ve been used to land-based poker sometimes find it hard to adjust to that. Online poker games are played at a speed approximately twice the speed of land-based games. You also need to get familiarised with the layout of the game on the screen and know how to access the cashier easily.
Where you play
When you play poker you need to be able to think about what you’re doing. If you’re playing at home online, make sure you won’t be disturbed by the phone, people coming in and out of the room or other distractions. You should only play poker when you can give 100% of your concentration to the game.