With any type of game or sport, there’s always a minefield of perceptions and myths to wade through. The more nuanced a hobby is, the more ‘age-old advice’ is tacked on. Poker, as a game of both skill and chance, involves plenty of myths—some true and many false. Given many players today stick to online forums, it can be hard to tell which to listen to.
For the most part, poker advice covers when and how to play table games and tournaments, along with which company to sign up with. One element to look out for when selecting an online poker brand is the number of active players. The more players active, the stronger and more diverse the competition—which is something many players seek out.
For example, Global Poker has over 250,000 users in the US alone. This makes the platform a leading option for those who prioritize a large playing pool—especially for those seeking out tournaments. But even online tournament play involves more than a few misguided myths that can result in bad advice (no, you don’t need to have a big stack to play aggressively).
Aren’t sure what to believe? Start with our myth-busting below.
The simple truth is that all poker players will inevitably experience a bad beat. In-person, cards are dealt by a dealer who likely uses an automated shuffler. Online companies, in a bid to earn the trust of their users and make games fair, use RNGs, or random number generators, to ensure a totally random outcome on dealing. Viewed in this way, there’s absolutely no difference between live and online poker.
However, there might be an origin to this popular myth. Online poker makes it easy to play hand after hand—or even play at multiple tables at once. The more hands played, the more chances there are for a bad beat. The same is true in vice versa.
While cards are dealt with the same randomness online and in person, there is one huge difference in playing online: being unable to read other players. For some, this brings into question bluffing. Many are turned off by the idea of online play because they can’t ‘read’ other players.
The foundation of this is the idea that poker requires players to read one another to succeed. In reality, bluffing and reading aren’t at the core of most poker strategies. In fact, the most popular poker approaches revolve around mathematics and probabilities… not figuring out who around the table is bluffing.
For casual and professional players, there’s an idea that online poker players are always looking for a maximum win. In fact, a lot of the hype around the poker boom in the early 2000s surrounded this myth. The idea was that online players and WSOP pros alike were after a single win.
But in reality, many players stick to online poker because it’s fun. They’re not after a big win—though many would welcome it. Instead, they’re tinkering with strategies and trying to outfox those seated around them at the virtual table. If you’re caught up thinking about a huge win, take a step back and consider playing a free poker game to rediscover what you love about the game.
There’s a Sure Way to Win—No Matter the Circumstances
Dozens of strategies and even more pros with multi-million-dollar wins can make poker seem like a sure thing. The myth is that so long as people study up, monitor their progress, and make incremental improvements, they’ll eventually qualify for a WSOP event.
But the intrigue surrounding poker lies in its unknowns. After all, the game wouldn’t be challenging if everyone knew which cards other players had or which cards the dealer would pull next. There is no surefire way to win, only a long list of strategies, approaches, and advice that players tinker with over time.