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New to Online Poker Real Money Tournaments? Here’s How to Avoid Newbie Mistakes

Home » Tournaments » New to Online Poker Real Money Tournaments? Here’s How to Avoid Newbie Mistakes

New to Online Poker Real Money Tournaments? Here’s How to Avoid Newbie Mistakes

Blue poker chips, and a stack of money arranged on a green poker table.

One of the greatest perks of playing online poker is the ability to hide behind the computer screen. There is no dress code required for playing online poker. No one sees what the player is eating, drinking, or smoking. No other player will see that hair, complexion, or habits. And any cursing, unkind words, and yo-mama jokes can be spoken right into the void.

In other words, a big benefit to playing online poker real-money tournaments is the anonymity. And no one may believe that the “pokerchampion123” screen name actually belongs to a poker champion, but they also don’t need to know that the person is a completely new player to the game.

Obvious New Player Mistakes in Live Poker

A man sitting at a table playing an online poker game on a tablet, with stacks of poker chips arranged on the table.

There are many ways to spot a new poker player in live poker, whether in a cash game setting or in a tournament. 

The signs can be very obvious, such as the new player not being able to find the table number or not understanding seat order. In a cash game, the player may not buy in for a sensible amount of money to allow for solid play. In a tournament, that same person can be confused by increasing blinds and antes, table changes, and chip color-ups.

There are other mistakes a new player can make without realizing how much of a tell it can be. He or she can fumble chips, be unable to do simple chip shuffling, keep high-denomination chips within eyesight of others, or pile the chips in stacks of 20. 

Even slight nervous habits and subtle movements indicating confusion or unfamiliarity with the process can shine a spotlight on a newbie. For beginners playing live poker, it’s best to first get familiar with all these little nuances. 

Fewer Tells When Playing Online Poker

An ace of hearts, and an ace of diamonds, poker chips, and a laptop placed on a table.

The indicators listed above are not applicable to online poker players. If the new player misclicks, there can be any number of reasons for an unconventional play. And no one can hear through the interwebs when a new player says, “When did that ante come into play?”

One key thing to remember is to avoid using the chat function. That removes any temptation to ask a question or make a comment that will make other players aware of newbie status. With a lot of self-control, the chat box can be used to laugh off mistakes or claim misclicks to overshadow bad plays. However, those comments must be few and carefully crafted to appear as if coming from an experienced player. For example:

“Sorry. My cat’s paw made that raise.”

“Too tired. Shouldn’t be playing.”

Opponents in online poker real-money tournaments, for example, cannot see if the new player is using a calculator to figure out pot odds. Or if that person is waiting five seconds before every play as a strategy or to appear that they have a strategy, no other player knows this for certain.

How to Hide Your Newbie Status in Online Poker

The best ways to hide any online poker tells and avoid being dubbed a newbie are relatively simple and easy to pull off from behind a computer screen.

  • Avoid the chat box.
  • Pre-determine bet and raise ranges, using those notes to bet or raise without too much delay.
  • Take notes on fellow players to realize their tells, thus making it easier to conceal one’s own going forward.
  • Pay attention to everything going on.
  • Jot down mistakes so as not to make them again.
  • Look at chat box comments later so as not to be tilted but to see the comments of opponents.
  • Be aggressive from various positions in the tournament.
  • Do not show cards unless necessary, so as not to show possible weaknesses.

Finally, the primary tip to avoid looking like a beginner in that online poker tournament: play shorter tournaments, take notes, and keep improving.

How online poker makes it easier to avoid looking like a newbie even when clearly playing as one.