Learning How to Play Poker can be overwhelming for a lot of beginner poker players when it really shouldn’t be at all. This is largely due to the simple fact that the internet contains a lot of websites on the topic of poker. These are sometimes vastly out of date or of very low quality, offering bad advice with the sole purpose of attracting vulnerable beginner players who do not know any better and directing them to their advertisers to play poker with very little regard as to the quality of the advice they are giving to these players.
These Myths are a great introduction for players new to poker and will really give you a background before you start your fun journey of learning poker.
Myth 1 – All Poker Games are the same
Poker is a general term for a collection of different card games. There are many different poker games, of which some are more popular than others, but although some may be similar, they all have different rules and are played in a different manner.
Before you start to learn how to play poker you need to do a bit of research and decide what version of Poker you wish to learn first. It is very important to choose only one poker game type to learn as it will get very confusing if you try to learn multiple at the same time.
Some of the games can seem confusingly similar but ultimately very different. Once you have one game under your belt then you can move on and learn another if you wish.
The most popular variant of poker is Texas Holdem which is played by millions across the globe both online and offline in casinos and home games. Other notable poker variants are Omaha, 7 Card Stud and 5 Card Draw.
Some games such as HORSE even include multiple variants that are rotated in turn. (Texas Holdem, Omaha Hi Lo, Razz, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Stud Hi Lo (Eight or Better).
So pick the game you want to focus on and be wary of poker informational sites that give advice without stating which game type it relates to. What works in one game type will probably not work in a different poker game type.
Myth 2 – Practice with Play Money
I often see the lower quality poker information websites recommending to new poker players that they should practice how to play poker on an online poker site using the play money tables.
Play money is the section of the sites where you are not playing for real money. You are given a balance of fake money, which you can then play with, and try and grow your balance of fake money.
The reason that this is bad advice is Play Money poker does not represent real money poker. People are playing with fake money and as such they do not play properly, money will be flying all over the table without regard, nobody has any kind of emotional attachment to it as once it is lost, they just get another batch of fake money and start all over again.
So all the new poker players who get this bad advice go off and learn how to play poker at the play money tables and then one day when they want to play for real money find that they have picked up so many bad habits from the play money tables that they lose all their real money very quickly at the Real money tables where everybody is playing properly.
There really is no reason to play at the Play Money tables. You don’t need to risk a fortune by playing poker for real money. There are very low stakes real money tables available at all online poker sites where you can sit down with as little as just $1.
Yes you might lose a bit while you are still learning but it is so much better to lose a couple of dollars playing at the real money low stakes tables where people are playing properly and you can actually learn from your experience.
Myth 3 – All Stake Levels are the same
A lot of people believe that once you have learnt how to play poker then it doesn’t matter what stake level you play at, it’s the same game, it will be just the same to play at higher levels. Well this really isn’t the case and something you need to be aware of.
This is very similar to the Play Money myth above and comes down to the emotional attachment to money. At lower stakes players are less emotional attached to their money, as there are not often large amounts involved that are going to affect them if they lose.
As you move up to higher stakes then it is a different story and losing at this level can start to have a real impact on your finances. What this leads to is much better players as you move up the stake levels and you will find less and less inexperienced players or players who are just playing for fun.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t play at higher stakes, quite the opposite in fact as games can be a lot more predictable and good play will often be more profitable at higher stakes tables. However, it is something that you need to be aware of and recognize. You also need to ensure that you are only playing at stakes that you can afford and should fully research the subject of Poker Bankroll management before deciding what stakes to play at.
Myth 4 – All Online Poker Sites are equal
When I say that not all online poker sites are equal, I am not just talking about the features and promotions that they offer, naturally each poker site will have different offerings in this respect.
I am more talking about the reputation and player base of an online poker site.
Some sites are more established and trusted than others, based on their past history of how they have acted in the industry, others simply don’t have that history yet as they are new operators in the industry. You should always ensure that you are choosing an established and trusted operator with a history of good customer service and security.
You will also find different player bases at different sites. Some sites have lots of experienced poker players where as some other sites attract a lot of new poker players.
The reasons for this are varied but might be because of the advertising campaigns the operator runs, but needless to say as a beginner poker player it would be beneficial for you to be playing with other inexperienced players rather than with lots of players who have been playing for many years.
Myth 5 – Don’t believe everything you read
As I have already mentioned there are many thousands of poker information websites on the internet. A lot of them exist for the purpose of selling advertisements to online poker operators.
You will find different quality levels of sites among them, ranging from out of date sites that haven’t been updated for years, low quality sites who don’t care about the advice they give you and just want to attract you to their site and then get you to click on their advertisements, and then of course there are the real quality websites that are actively managed and provide a really good resource for their users.
You want to look for websites with a professional design, easy to follow navigation structure, and are not covered in advertisements. This is not to say that just because a website has adverts on them it is bad, in fact adverts are what support these free resources and enable them to exist, but the website should be focused on the user first and the advertiser second. You as a user are much more likely to support a website by clicking on their adverts if they have given you good value in the content and information they have given to you for free.