Common Online Poker Mistakes by Rory Monahan



Take these strategies seriously and
you could quickly and consistently
win more pots from online poker games.

There are seven major (yet easily
correctable) mistakes that both novice
and experienced players make when playing
online poker.

Learn to prevent these mistakes, and
you'll have a competitive advantage
over others...

Mistake No. 1: Getting Distracted.

Poker is a skill game, but it requires
concentration and attention to detail.

When you are distracted, you take your
abilities out of the picture and then
you have to rely on luck.

I know many poker players who play as
many as 5 games online at the same
time. While experienced online poker
players may be able to handle this,
you should focus on one game at a time.

Also, remember that the distractions
that surround you at your home can
ruin your concentration when you are
playing poker.

TV's, radios, and phones all divide
your attention and take your mind off
the game at hand.

While distractions are likely the
most costly mistakes that players make,
they are easy to eliminate...

When you are playing poker, make sure
that you turn off the TV, grab a Coke,
and turn off your phone. This way you
won't be jumping up and down when you
should be concentrating on your game.

Mistake No. 2: Using The Auto-Play Functions.

The auto-play buttons are made to
speed up the game. If you use the
auto-play buttons, realize that you
are using them at the cost of your

Since online poker players are
separated by hundreds of miles, one
of the only "tells" in an online poker
game is the amount of time that a player
takes before acting on his or her hand.

The "Commonly Accepted Formula" is this:

A delayed check = Weakness

Instantaneous call = Strength

Instantaneous check = Weakness

Quick bet/raise on turn or river = Strength

The reason that this formula is so
widely accepted by poker players is
that it holds surprisingly true. The
first tell is simply an understanding
of poker psychology, but the last three
are based on the auto-play buttons.

Think about it: if you have a weak hand
and you click the automatic check button,
you are telling every one at the table
that you have a weak hand.

However, if you take a moment, people must
ask themselves "Are they slow playing it?
Will I be check-raised? How has he played
in the past?"

Mistake No. 3: Talking Too Much.

Some players think that since they are
online, that talking doesn't serve as a
tell. However, except for using auto-play
buttons, talking serves as the biggest
tell in online poker.

Don't waste your energy taunting or
talking to other players. This will give
players a look into your personality and
therefore your true playing style.

Talking too much also leads into the next
online poker mistake...

Mistake No. 4: Making Enemies.

Making enemies in poker is never a good
idea. If you win a pot, graciously drag the
chips to your pile, but don't say a word.

If you lose a pot to a lucky draw, take it
on the chin and don't whine.

The reason that you don't want to make
enemies is simple... the enemies you make
playing poker will be "gunning" for you.

It is never good to have players who want
you out of a game, because they will be more
likely to make a move against you.

This takes the power out of your hands
because the other players aren't playing FOR
chips, they are playing AGAINST you.

So, keep to yourself, and let the chips do
the talking...

Mistake No. 5: Showing cards.

Showing your cards is rarely a good idea.

Some players claim that it puts other players
on tilt and shakes them out of their game.

However, instead of hurting the other players,
showing your cards usually hurts you and
forces you out of your game.

Remember, that you always want people to
respect your bluffs. So think about this:

You win a huge pot on a stone-cold bluff.
Good for you. You turn over your 7-2 offsuit
to shake up the other players. Now the other
players know your style of bluffing and your
betting method.

A few hours later, you make another move for
a pot by pushing most of your stack into the
pot. Now the players think back and remember
your past bluffs.

This time, they don't fall for it, call, and
you lose your stack.

Finally, players who turn up their cards often
are seen as cocky or rude. This leads to poker
enemies... and we know what that means.

Mistake No. 6: Relying Too Much On odds.

Many online poker players have downloaded
"odds calculators" that give precise readouts
of the probability of any certain combination
of cards.

These calculators are terrific tools to give
you an idea about the strength of your hand,
but be very wary of putting too much emphasis
on the odds.

Remember that poker is a game of strategy and
numbers, not just a game of numbers. You must
take many factors into consideration when
playing poker, not just the odds that you will
win the hand.

Mistake No. 7: Playing For Too Much.

Never play poker with more than you can afford
to lose. If you have $30 to spare, don't sit
down in a $5-10 limit room.

Anytime that you sit down at a table, be sure
that you can afford to lose the money that you
take with you, and that you have enough money
to play competitively.

If you sit at a table and only bring 3-5X the
big blind, you will find yourself being bullied
and quickly lose your stack.

Also, if you play at a table where you cannot
afford to lose all the money, you will play too
conservatively, and you will quickly go broke.

Of course, just learning the common pitfalls
of poker players will never take you to the
next level.

If you want to take the step to increase your
poker skills so you will dominate every game
you play, there is much more to learn...

If you're really serious about winning tons
of cash at the poker tables, you must learn the
art of bluffing, betting, reading players,
folding, odds calculation, recalling hands,
and much more.


all that advice was so on the money

i cant count th enumber of tables ive been at that 2 people just start gunning for eachother

any readind this advice take it all of it is the truth and can get you more of what you want.......................CHIPS!



So true is not playing for what you don't have. You get beat by the players willing to risk it all on an okay hand and scare you out when you actually may have the best hand.



THese are all awesome common sense tips, but maybe things i wouldnt have thought of. Thanks A lot.

:beer: jdecost1

One additional thing i have learned from playing, is playing while you have friends in the room not only is distracting they like to be back seat poker players which makes it tough. So that would be the only thing I would add.
:beer: jdecost1
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Jack Daniels

Jack Daniels

Charcoal Mellowed
This is great advice. Most of it I follow religiously. Although I must admit there is the rare occasion when I just can't bite my tongue about some jackass and his runner runner suckout...blah blah blah.

But that's just me. :)


I think not getting distracted is when you are playing poker at home as opposed to in a card room. It's so easy to be doing so many other things in between hands that you don't pay attention to what is going on at the table when you are not in the hands and don't pick up on things that could help you.


Alot of that information is common sense even to the avg. online player, but even I found myself falling victim so some of those pitfalls and needed to be reminded of them. ( am even playing in a sit and go as we speak...) thanks for the good advice.


Good tips.
1. I find music relaxes me and makes me play better.
2. Only for blinds, I like to mix up my timing. It seems to annoy some people but oh well.
4. Ive broken rule 4 after a couple of bad beats in a row. I know I need to stop breaking it. Bad Me.:(


Thanks a lot, these are great tips for beginners and I will certainly be using the auto button less. I dont use it in freeroll anyway but certainly I wont be ticking the check button as much, I only ever do it when I am hoping for a decent flop, and am not really holding out much hope

I usually ignore players that want to chat and get involved, I usually disable the chat if I can, its just annoying


Thanks for the tips. I tend to use the autocheck buttons without thinking about it. But I won't now! I just kind of assumed that online there are no tells, thanks for reminding me to pay attention to the details!:eek:


Auto play functions

Rule 2 on the auto play functions is true, but if there is a generally accepted set of tells to them, then they are open to exploitation, example:

You've got the nuts on the flop, but the pot isn't that big and a bet would scare everyone off, so you click auto check to feign weakness, everyone is more comfortable that no one has anything, and if someone else bets, you take your time to call.

just a though :questionm


good read

anybody know of any other online sources for poker strategy by pros?
for example like the weekly emails from fulltilt from their pros
I love that stuff it helps alot
any site suggestions would be great


Thanks for those tips...I usually follow all of them except I distract myself on purpose.


on the money

All of the info. you gave is right on the money. Thanks for giving the info., the hardest thing for me to do is not get distracted. I usually am playing two tables at a time. But I agree I do better when I just playing at one.

Tall Jaye 500

One more thing

:ridinghor I agree with your your advice. Those are all tips that I have encountered before, and are all very sound. My one complaint is that, I think you should've mentioned the strength of your starting hand. I have found that this is one of my key weaknesses. Patience not being a part of online poker. So sometimes you enter pots when your not supposed to. You should'nt enter into a pot with a K2 suited and except to take the pot, even if you make your flush, someone could be holding the Ace, so you still lose. The better your starting hand, the better you can apply your poker skill.


wow.....great tips...i know i have made every single mistake up at one time or another and now that its right in front of me like this i will be more aware of my moves. thanks :)


Good post Rory. I would tend to disagree with #2, A delayed check = Weakness.
Not always! ;)


Rock Star
If you have seen the movie The Cooler you will appreciate my remarks. If you have not seen the movie See It.

I am married to the cooler. Not only does she distract and gets angry when I do not pay enough attention to the distractions; she is the Cooler.


I think the part about the timing of calls and checks is very interesting, because basically since you can't watch the player, it's the only thing you have to go on.