Poker is a complex game and playing online poker without a strategy can be a recipe for disaster. Just because one has watched the World Series of Poker on ESPN does not mean one is ready to sit at the table with the big boys. This goes double for online poker, where you can’t even use body language and other non-verbal clues to help make decisions.
The best strategy for the novice online poker player is to stick to low-limit games. Most of the players at low-limit tables are only concerned with their own hands, and aren’t really playing their opponents at all. If a smart player enters a game like this and plays his opponents, he will slowly but surely accrue the biggest pot at the table.
What Not to Do
Sometimes avoiding basic mistakes can be much more helpful than learning a complex strategy. In poker, as in life, sometimes the best offense is a good defense. The biggest mistake made by beginners is to play way too many hands. It is important to know which starting hands have a high chance of winning, and not go all in simply because you start off suited.
It is also important to play at your skill level and budget. If you play as if you have more money to lose than you do, you’ll likely end up losing more money than you can afford. It is also crucial to try to keep emotion and superstition under control when one is in the thick of some heavy action. This is harder than it sounds, but it is an invaluable strategy when playing online poker.