In my experience with poker of all types, be it simple free poker online or more serious cash games, with its ups, and what seems to be its MANY downs, I have come to know that the most important thing you could ever learn is patience.
Even the blind mouse finds the cheese sometimes, and no matter how unlucky you think you are, how many chips you have, or how many people are left in your tournament, the most important thing is that you are patient with yourself.
Sometimes you get so tired of seeing terrible cards and your chip stack starts to drain enough to the point where you get desperate, and start calling with J5 off-suit, or other hands with the same idea. I can tell you I’ve been there many times, and it has been the death of me many more times than it has helped.
Another key in patience is not only pre-flop, but throughout the rest of the hand too. Let me show an example, You draw a K (c) Q (d), and you call with 2 other people in the hand. The flop comes out K (h) A (h) 8 (h). This is obviously a very dangerous hand, and many times I would just fold this off the bat. But to the desperate, sometimes I would get a false source off confidence in my hand, and 85% of this time I will get burned, despite only having two others in the hand.
Patience is one of the many obvious traits important to poker success. Some people get carried away sometimes, and it’s important to be consistent in your poker playing. Try to find a baseline on what you would call pre-flop and what you won’t.
Obviously free online poker is a much different game than live, as online is much more fast-paced and live is more in-depth and slower. Despite many complaints from my peers, I like to milk out every second of my time limit for each decision. I recommend this to any competitive and casual online poker players, because it may be the difference between a bad beat and a great fold.
Many times in online free poker play you will run into, what we call “Donks”. Most of the time they will have a much larger chip stack, and will win hands using brawn and bluffing. It’s important not give into his bullying, and play it slow. If you get a good flop, let him make the mistake. The classical check-raise works well, but if you move too early, your chance will be lost to cash in. “Donks” can be a great source of chips, if you be patient and play it out right.
We will all get bad beats, it’s unavoidable. It happens to the best of us, and there’s nothing we can do about it. What we can do, though, is play smart, take your time, and, again, be patient. These are all extremely important no matter who you are playing with or how long you have been playing the game, which brings me to my next point; You can read as many poker articles, magazines and books, but nothing can compare to experience, so just go out there and play poker online for free at first to build your skills and understanding of the game and develop that all important patience habit.