Top Ten Online Poker Mistakes

by Mario Alfonsi  |  Published on May 23, 2017  |  Updated on May 23, 2017

Every bit of credible information you can glean about the game of poker will help you to improve your poker game, and make more money at the tables.

With your bankroll in mind, we’ve created a top ten list of tips for online poker players. More important than what you should do when you’re playing online poker are the things you should not do. So we’ve focused on the top ten online poker mistakes people make everyday.

Online Poker Mistake #1 – Playing to many hands

Playing more than 20% of the hands that are dealt to you is considered idiot-loose. If you find yourself calling one in every five hands, you’re playing to many hands my friend. It’s boring to sit and watch the game, we get that. That’s why so many rooms offer players the chance to play at more than one table at a time (known as multi-tabling) and as you get used to online poker, if you’re any good, you’ll become a multi-tabler.

Many new players find that they want to stay in the game even if they have a crappy poker hand, or even worse, a questionable hand, such as 6-7 suited, or jack 2 suited. Don’t do it, avoid the temptation, use this time to practice self control.

Online Poker Mistake #2 – Showing Your Cards

Don’t play peek-a-boo at the poker table. Online poker sites have a fabulous option for losing hands, it’s called auto-muck. Click the ‘auto-muck all losing hands’ setting so that you’re not showing any more hands than necessary. There are players that will still be able to see your cards, because in the game of poker, the winning player and anyone that paid to see the showdown has bought the right to see what his opponents called with but it’s an effort that they must make. The less information you give away at the poker table the better.

Online Poker Mistake #3 – Using Auto-Checking and Auto-Folding Buttons

Do not use those little boxes that auto-check and auto-fold your cards, unless you’re a semi-pro player and you’re playing 20 tables at one time. Here’s why this is one of the top ten online poker mistakes. Many players at the table ARE playing 10-20 tables at a time, and they’ve clicked the auto-fold button. Other players at the table know this, so if they’re in late position, they’ll bet the minimum one-time just to see if all the other players around them isnta-fold. If you were to reraise back into that player, they’d probably fold, or better yet, do the betting yourself in the first place.

Want to know how they knew to make that bet? Because faster than the speed of lightening everyone at the table checked the hand on the previous round, giving away the fact that they were all using the instant check/fold option.

Online Poker Mistake #4 – Don’t hang around and get your ass handed to you.

If you’re not beating the table, it’s beating you. I don’t know if there is a #1 poker player in the world. If I had to choose, I’d go with Phil Ivey, the man is sick! But I’m sure everyone has their own opinion on that, so let’s just assume for a moment though that you’re not it. I’m definitely not the best player there ever was, but I am better than a lot of players.

To make money, make a point of playing with players you can beat. Simple enough right? If you’re playing online poker, and you’re not making money, then you’re probably playing with the wrong people. The Internet is a vast place, and at any given time there are millions of people playing poker online, so get up and move. Do not stay at a table that is kicking your ass.

Online Poker Mistake #5 – Limping into Pots

Somewhere in the history of online poker, someone wrote that it was a good idea to limp into a pot with pocket aces, especially if you have early position. Well most the time, that’s just not the case. If you’re at a full table, where people aren’t raising every pot, then it’s a real bad idea.

Basically, it’s ok to limp with a big pair at a full table, if you’re pretty sure someone else will raise. Equally so, it’s fine to limp with a big pair if you’re playing heads up. That means if it’s just you and one other person playing, then go ahead and limp with those big pairs. Outside of that, limping with any hand is a bad idea. The odds that your hand will remain good on the flop when there are more than 3 other players in the hand are minimal, so that initial raise it isn’t to make everyone go away, it’s just to make everyone that has no hand at all go away, so they don’t hit two pair, trips or some other stupid hand.

Outside of those big hands though, unless you’re the 5th guy to call a pot, and it’s not likely to be raised by anyone else, and you don’t think you can buy it outright right here, there’s no reason to limp. Being the 5th guy in gives you odds to call however, if no one is going to raise, and you can’t see yourself making a raise that would take it down right there.

So that’s the only time you and your six-seven suited or better should find yourself limping into pots.

Online Poker Mistake #6 – Berating Other Players in the Chatbox

There’s not any real reason to be in the chatbox, poker’s a quiet game, about gathering information, not giving it away. On occasion though the chat box can be used for that. What the chat box should NEVER be used for is berating other players bad poker play. If you see another player doing this, you have to wonder if he was dropped on his head as a child or he just hates money. Believe it or not, there are bad poker players that don’t care. They just want to feel like they’re a part of a group, enjoy a card game, maybe chat in the box, maybe not. They just want to play cards. People have been playing solitaire, rummy, bridge, and a plethora of other games for centuries without caring about the cash. These are fabulous players to find yourself at a poker table with don’t you think? People that don’t mind blowing a few hundred dollars on a hobby.

Now if one of these guys gets lucky, and his six-seven suited actually makes a straight on the flop, even though he should have folded it when someone raised the price of the bet before the flop, and he should have folded it again when someone else reraised, and yet by some miracle he still has this hand, if this guy gets lucky, well bless his heart.

Wait for him to play it back, watch him cash it out, whatever happens, people do get lucky, hell who wouldn’t rather be lucky then skilled?

Berate that guy in the chat window and there’s a couple ways the scenario could play out… He might just get up from the table, with the big pot he just won, and go find something to do or somewhere else to play. Or even worse, this guy that everyone has tagged as the table fish will take a blow to his pride. He’ll tighten up, he’ll play only premium hands, he’ll stop fishing, and he’ll do everything in his power to prove he’s not a fish, he can to play poker. There, problem solved, no more fish. Imagine the ocean we know and love as the online poker world without any fish in it?

Online Poker Mistake # 7 – Not knowing the odds

Remember above when I mentioned that it’s okay to limp into the pot as long as 4 guys called before you, that’s because that’s what it takes for you to be getting good odds on your money. There are people spewing poker odds all over the Internet. Learn as much about them asyou can, figure out how they came to the conclusion they did, and whether or not it makes sense for yourself.

For instance, let’s say player 1 has pocket pair of aces, one heart and one diamond. Player two has 67 of spades. The flop comes 3456, the four and the five are both spades. Who do you think is the favorite in this hand? Who has the best odds to win? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not the guy with the aces. With the hand I described above, player 2 should get is much money into the pot as he can get player one, the guy with the wired aces to call. Knowing poker odds is one way that you begin to gain an edge over the other players at the table.

Online Poker Mistake #8 – Playing the same way all the time.

There are probably thousands of articles available online that tell people to only play AK suited or better, and how much to bet/raise with each hand. If you play this game like a robot, you’ll lose. It’s been proven, really, with robots! One thing that’s going to happen is that players are going to make note of you at the table, and they’ll literally hunt for you, some sites will even notify you when players you’ve marked get online so that you can go and find their table.

Then they’ll just keep buying pot after pot from you. When you raise, they’ll know what you have, AK, QQ, KK, AA, or maybe JJ right? So they just instantly fold, unless they have odds to call with a good drawing hand. In short, you’ve given them your playbook, and they’re going to use it to their advantage. Change it up a bit. Think you HAVE to have a good hand to raise?

Try this. Grab a deck of cards real fast, yes right now. Pull two random cards out of the middle. for instance, 92, now for the next week, every time you see those 2 cards preflop, raise 4x the blinds. If someone raises back into you, do feel free to fold. But raise these cards, next week, pick another combo. This will help you keep from getting ‘I can’t raise with that’ syndrome.

Online Poker Mistake #9 – Not taking Advantage of Deposit Bonuses

The most popular marketing method used by online poker sites are deposit bonuses. They’re bonuses that online poker sites pay to poker players when they make their first, and sometimes subsequent deposits (during promotions). In most cases, you can double your deposit by taking advantage of deposit bonuses. Many players don’t understand how they work, so they don’t use them.

Can you imagine yourself seeing 4 $100 bills on the ground and just stepping over them? I can’t, but that’s just what you’re doing if you don’t take advantage of deposit bonuses. Let’s take 888 poker for instance. 888 gives every single player who uses any link on this, and other websites a deposit bonus of 100% of the amount they deposit up to the maximum deposit bonus offered to our readers by $700. If you just type in and head to the poker site, you get $400 max.

After you get the bonus, you have to learn how to clear it. If you don’t clear the bonus, by actually playing poker on the website, you’ll never actually see a penny of the money.

Online Poker Mistake #10 – Poor Bankroll Management

Poker players that buy-in to poker tables with all of the cash they have to spend on the game will eventually kiss the felt and bust out of the game. On average, players shouldn’t be heading off to any poker game with more than 1/20th of their online poker bankroll.

That’s it for our top ten mistakes made by online poker players tip-sheet, if you’re still in the mood to learn about poker strategy, press ctrl d, bookmark this page, and poke around at some of our other poker strategy articles. If you’re ready to take these tips to the tables, check out our list of recommended poker sites and bonus offers.