The easiest way to gauge the coolness quotient of something is by looking at the rumors or myths surrounding it, and poker is not an exception.
From that point of view, online poker must be the coolest game of all time, all thanks to the foolish, ridiculous, and sometimes weird myths that are associated with it!
While it may be interesting to ponder from where these online poker myths originated, what’s even more important is to put all these myths to rest. Let’s do exactly that by busting some of the top online poker myths in existence today.
Online Poker Myth # 1: Online poker is fixed
By far the most popular myth related to poker is particularly associated with the online version of the game. So you might have heard this question before, is online poker rigged?
This one is floating around as long as online poker is available to the general public since players always take it hard to lose with a better hand.
However, it mostly came from players who do not particularly understand the math part of the game.
If we take the famous example of moving all-in with AA against 22, there is still around 18% chance to lose the hand, so it is meant to happen 1 out of 5 times, but players think poker is rigged every time they lose, which is quite ridiculous on its own.
Also, poker players do not like to confess that they might be loosing in a game and much rather try to put their losses on variance or something suspicious like sites fixing the outcome.
Of course, there been a number of scandals over the years, like ones from Absolute Poker with superuser accounts and other forms of cheating, but that is an exception that is quickly spotted and taken down.
However, numbers do not lie. If poker sites would be favoring weaker hands to keep recreational players in the games, that would quickly be visible after database analyses, and that has never happened before.
All of the big players are constantly check by independent audit companies, so you can be sure that online poker is not rigged, but you should always choose reputable sites to play.
For instance, if you go through this Casino-Experts top list featuring casinos offering poker action in the UK, you’d find many reputed poker platforms, and the same goes for other countries. Avoid suspicious or unknown sites, and you can rest assured that the games will be fair.
Online Poker Myth #2: Good players always win
It’s a general, you would assume that a person who is good at something will always perform great in that field. However, when it comes to poker, it’s nothing more than a myth.
This is because of something called variance.
Although good players always end up winners in the long term, the short-term results can easily be negative even for the best of the best.
Therefore, it isn’t uncommon to even the best poker players like Daniel Negreanu and others to witness losing streaks. That’s just how poker is.
Therefore, it is vital to understand that no one is always winning and do not be too hard on yourself.
Just because you lost a few games one day, doesn’t make you a bad poker player overnight.
Online Poker Myth #3: Online poker involves plenty of bluffs
Although bluffing is an important part of the game and can help you win a hand or two occasionally, it doesn’t guarantee victory every time. More often than not, it can actually hurt your results.
The myth of necessity to constantly bluff comes from televised poker, where you can find a vast array of huge bluffs.
Of course, these hands are more exciting to watch, and that is why it is always on TV, but it is very far away from real poker.
While it might give you the impression that players are often bluffing, you will do much better by sticking to a solid strategy, and only using these plays when the situation is right.
Therefore, if you choose to bluff, you should definitely have the reason for doing it, or you’re soon going to find yourself out of your bankroll faster than you imagine!
Online Poker Myth #4: Poker is all about reads
To many players, the best aspect of online poker is that others can’t see your face since it helps hide your physical reads and creates less stress.
Many older poker professionals consider the game to be all about looking at others’ faces and picking their tells, but that’s just not the case, at least in online poker.
Not being able to win poker hands online just because you can’t see the other player’s face is just an excuse since there are many more important factors to consider.
So while reads are important, it’s advantages are far outdone by other important factors such as an actual strategy and mathematics.
Online Poker Myth #5: You can learn poker playing free games
Players often ask me if they should play poker with play money to learn it, and the definite answer here is NO!
The only thing you can learn in free games is game rules, and nothing more.
Since there is nothing on the line, many players are gambling much more often than they should and making random decisions, which can drastically change the real feel of the game.
So if your goal is to learn poker, you should definitely not start in play chips games and instead invest a couple of $ in joining a standard cash game or MTT.
While it doesn’t need to be high stakes, paying even $1 will surely change your experience and give you a real chance to learn.
Online Poker Myth #6: It is all about one huge score
When you hear stories about players taking down huge events and winning millions of dollars, you might think this is what it's all about. But again, this is just another poker myth.
In reality, playing poker for a living is a long grind, and it is not about chasing one big win.
Professional players view poker as a process where they have ROI (return on investment) and keep putting their money with the hope of a positive return.
They are not quitting poker after hitting a huge win, nor they pay too much attention to individual outcomes from their short-term results.
Of course, if you happen to hit a huge score, that’s great! But while it might look like the most important thing for amateurs or people outside of poker, this is not what this game is about.
Online Poker Myth #7: Poker is a game of luck
Last but not least is the myth of poker being a game of luck and in the same like as gambling in the casino.
While there is luck in the shorter-term, the best players will always come up on top if they continue to play.
Poker is not a game of chance like roulette or craps, so knowing a solid strategy or joining one of the best poker training sites to learn one, can help you have solid results.
Since this is a game of skill, you can influence the outcome and can beat the game if you put enough effort into mastering it, even if you get unlucky from time to time.
So poker is clearly not the game of luck if you take it seriously.