You dominate at your regular home game and have done well in the casino but when you play poker online, things just don’t seem to work out. Why is that? While the rules are the same, playing in an online environment requires a different set of skills. There are no physical ’tells’, there is no leering from friends, and you are not surrounded by music or TV and other distractions. This makes it easier to allow your mind to wander and make bad decisions. Taking steps to minimize the distractions and focus on your game is important.
One of the biggest challenges is learning to read your opponents quickly. This is not as easy as reading their tells when in person but you can develop quick instincts by practicing and observing other players. Identifying when they are holding a strong hand, or if they are making a weak one is an art that can be improved over time by analyzing the betting tendencies of your opponents.
Another challenge is learning how to manage your bankroll. While the game is fun and exciting, it’s still a game of chance with the ability to lose large amounts of money very fast. By setting a budget, understanding the game as entertainment rather than a money-making opportunity, and monitoring wins and losses, you can improve your mental game and play within your means. This is especially important when playing poker online. You will see hands three times faster than in live play and it is very easy to get frustrated when a long dry spell hits, making you more likely to play marginal hands.