Poker is a great game, loved by millions. Over the last decade or so, online poker has taken the world by storm. Amateur and professional poker players alike can be found on any number of available online poker sites trying to real in the next big fish and make a few bucks. Many players who have played in live games are turning to online poker simply because it is convenient. However, it is a mistake to think that playing live games and playing online poker is the same thing.
State of Mind
When you play live games, you get yourself into a certain state of mind. Unlike playing poker online in the comfort of your own home, you usually put yourself into a "poker mindset." Whether this is done consciously or not, it happens. You're thinking about the game while you're driving to the casino, or the environment in the poker room sets you into a certain way of thinking.
When you're playing online poker at home, there is a real danger of being detached from the game. Slipping into a sort of catatonic state, much like watching TV. It's very easy to just start clicking away, calling bet after bet because for some reason you think those pocket jacks should stand up. Pay attention to the other players and make no mistake... THEY ARE OUT TO GET YOUR MONEY! If you find your mind wondering, or realize you've tilted, stop playing. Online poker sharks will eat you alive. Do something else for a while and play again tomorrow.
It's also easy to forget you're playing with real money. Maybe not literally, but a sequence of digits on the screen just doesn't have the same impact on your brain as watching a stack of poker chips dwindle away before your eyes. It's easy to lose track of just how much you've lost. Make an effort to track your balance, set rules for how much you are willing to lose, how much you want to win before leaving a table, and follow those rules religiously! Bankroll management is probably the most important thing you can learn when playing poker online.
Don't Stay on the Same Table too Long
Another common mistake many players make is they just don't know when to quit. Staying on the same table too long can absolutely kill your bankroll. Of course, nobody can tell you when it's time to leave a table. Every poker player has to learn to recognize that moment on they're own. A good rule of thumb practiced by many professional poker players is to leave the table when you have won 20%-50% of what you originally brought to the table. Losing repeatedly is always a good sign that it's time to go too!
Never played online poker before? Now, there's a first time for everything, but be careful, because not all poker rooms accept players from everywhere. This is the same for payment methods. If you live in the United States for instance, you will not be able to pay with e-wallets, or credit cards, but in place you should look for Instant eCheck poker sites. In Europe on the other hand, there are a plethora of choices.
Another thing to watch out for are bonuses and promotions, but I'll cover this subject in an upcoming article.
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