A few people understand that winning in poker has nothing in common with a movie fortune and charisma. Of course, you may be lucky and hit the jackpot in a big tournament, but in the long run, the winner is not the lucky one but the one who knows how to play Texas Hold’em best.
Becoming a good poker player isn’t just about learning winning strategies. It is just as much about knowing what some of the biggest mistakes and dangers exist in the game and how to avoid them.
Most people these days make the first steps on their poker journey online. Online games are much more accessible and offer more reasonable stakes for those just starting out. You'll hardly find a casino offering $1 tournaments or NL5 cash games. Online, though, these games are readily available around the clock.
So, the first pitfall to avoid is depositing your money with a questionable poker site that has a shady reputation. You must avoid this mistake at all costs because, even if you win, there is no guarantee you’ll get your money. Plus, on these sites, other players are much more prone to utilizing underhanded tactics such as the ones mentioned further in this article.
Instead, you should stick to major operators with proper gaming licenses that have proven their worth over the years.
The most popular online poker platform in the world is PokerStars. Even the best online casino in Canada has a smaller audience than this site. It means that if you learn how to play well and avoid possible violations or mistakes, you will be able to slowly build your bankroll and experience here.
You might be wondering what types of violations are we talking about? In the rest of this article, we’ll focus on the most common ones and the things you should do to avoid them.
The Most Common Poker Violations and Mistakes
The rules of all regulated sites are pretty clear. They can ban you and confiscate your winnings in the event of a serious violation of rules. PokerStars won’t ban you for a minor infraction, as they tend to warn the player first. Still, it’s better to stay on the safe side.
For example, if the moderator sees that the player is a beginner, and he was not trying to deceive or cheat anyone on purpose, they will not take any radical actions. However, for some violations, you will immediately get a ban.
1. Having More Than One Account per Person
Even on a large site, security personnel can permanently ban all accounts and leave all the money to the site. On small sites, such blockages are common. As for PokerStars, it will usually warn you and block one of your accounts.
However, if they determine you did this on purpose to angle-shoot other players, both of your accounts could get banned, and the operator will seize your funds.
Two or more people come to an agreement in a chat or a messenger to talk about the combinations that they have in their hands. This allows a better understanding of how strong or weak other opponents might be is.
In turn, this gives the colluding player access to the information they shouldn’t have. They can use it to determine whether to continue playing their poker hand or fold and save money. If you are ever caught doing this, the administration will block the money in your account and ban you forever.
This may seem like a fun thing to do with your friend, and you might think it’s okay to do, but it really isn't. Poker is supposed to be played with the “one player per hand” rule. That's how it is live, and that's how it should be online, too.
3. Use of Prohibited Programs
Some programs help calculate the odds of winning in a hand. The sites keep track of whether the player has such a program running. If it is running, the moderator receives a signal. The list of prohibited programs is different on each site, so you need to read the rules or contact support, not to accidentally lose your money and your account.
4. Getting Overly Excited
A beginner can get lucky quickly and win a large amount fairly quickly. This often leads to them taking rash actions. For example, they will move up in stakes and play for large sums of money that are far out of their actual poker bankroll.
Doing this doesn’t constitute a violation of rules, but it’s certainly a rather common mistake that can be quite costly. If you happen to win big in a tournament, for example, the best course of action is to close your poker client, step away from the computer, and take some time to calm down and get your emotions in order.
5. Playing Too Much
If you decide to make money on poker, you need to take a responsible approach to organize the process. This means that there should be a schedule for work, rest, food, and sports. You also shouldn’t play sick, sleepy, or drunk.
All these bad habits can lead to a loss of concentration, increasing the likelihood of failure.
It is easy to lose significant amounts of money in such a state if you aren't careful.
While there are other poker mistakes and pitfalls to worry about, these five are the most relevant ones you should keep in mind at all times. Do your best to avoid them and enjoy playing online poker with friends or strangers in a safe, responsible, and profitable manner.