Playing video poker online is kind of hard at first, as you are trying to learn the fundamentals, then it gets fun because you think you know something and then it gets extremely frustrating realizing how good other people are, especially if you are losing real cash.
Do not worry, you are not the first nor the last one to take that path. In fact 99.9% of all the players experienced the same. The only difference is that some gave up, some kept sucking and others, like you, decided to improve.
You Do Not Need to Play Every Hand
The number one mistake people make is playing every single hand. Calling deuce seven off suit is never a good idea, no matter what position you are in. It might seem interesting to play every hand, and sometimes beat others with bad dealt cards getting lucky on the table, but the percentage of that happening is extremely low and it only makes your cash flow negative in the long run.
Bad cards should just be folded, no regrets. Do not get frustrated if you’ve had three of a kind in the end but folded earlier. It does not matter because it happened accidently and you folding with weak cards earlier is a correct move. It will prevent you from losing small amounts multiple times which, when accumulated might cause you dropping out of the tournament too early.
Low pairs off position are sometimes terrible, while aces or kings should be played always, except during a bubble or similar situations.
Once you start folding more often you are going to leave all of those who don’t behind on the ladder. That alone is a good start to overcome a small percentage of players, but still not enough to get you into the money in most tournaments.
You Are Not Taking It Seriously
Playing poker as a hobby is perfectly fine, but you should not complain about not improving or sucking if it is a hobby. Enjoy it with your friends, for demo credits or the lowest stakes without stressing or thinking about it.
But if you have a strong will to improve your poker playing skills, than it needs to be taken a lot more serious. Lack of fundamental knowledge is probably the reason you are not good enough at poker. Knowing how strong your hand is, what position you are in, when to call, raise, check or fold, etc. are very important elements and moments in poker. Articles on basic poker strategies are available across the internet and even professionals have free courses online, which are extremely helpful.
Joining forums, watching free tutorials, asking more experienced players for tips are all great sources of information. If you know someone who is very good at the game, do not hesitate to ask, they were all where you are now at some point and wouldn’t become as good as they are if they were not curious and eager to learn.
Bankroll Management & Specialization
Previous tips can be fixed no matter how long you were doing it wrong, but bankroll is something that can cause a lot of issues if not managed properly, especially if mistakes were being made for a longer time.
There is a golden rule of 500 big blinds or 50 buy-ins. This is for recreational players who are trying to improve and actually make cash playing poker. That means that you are going to play tournaments with $2.50 buy-in if your bank roll is $100 or get into games with $0.10/$0.20 blinds.
This amount will make you feel safe even if it goes how it shouldn’t a few times, as just one good tournament run or one good session can bring that all back or even make you positive.
Most websites and apps have bankroll tracks and graphs which are extremely helpful, but if they don’t then make sure to make one yourself. In a long term, those graphs actually show how good of a player you all. Sudden drops mean that you are doing something seriously wrong, while sharp jumps present that you finally got lucky. Steady increase with slight bumps up and down show that you are doing it right!
The last thing you might be doing wrong is jumping from Hi-Lo to Omaha to Texas, etc. It is ok to have a few hours of fun at each variant weekly, but dedicate at least 95% of your time to one at first and get extremely good at it.
That’s going to allow you to make money by playing it and also to spend more and more time learning and enjoying other variants. Nowadays it is not enough to be average, nor slightly above it. Figure out which one is your favorite and get the best at it as you can.