Why Is Online Poker So Hard? (Explained)

online poker so hard

If you have been playing poker online for a while you know how hard it can be, and perhaps you have even been losing. This leads you to question why is online poker so hard?

Well, there are a few reasons why online poker can be difficult, and there are also ways to improve your game, so you can become a winning online poker player. In this guide, we will go over the main reasons why online poker is difficult and how you can also turn your bad luck around.

Why is online poker hard

There are a few reasons that explain why online poker is hard, here are some of the most important reasons:

  • Other players are more experienced
  • You making bad decisions
  • Other players have tools you don’t have
  • Number of hands played
  • Playing too many tables
  • You are tilting
  • Control your emotions
  • You need to learn the basics
  • Playing the wrong stakes
  • Game type
  • Having patience
  • Your bankroll is too small
  • Losses are affecting your poker mindset

Other players are more experienced

One of the most common reasons why online poker is so difficult is because most of the time you are playing with players that are a lot more experienced than you. This makes you an easy target, and they can easily exploit your mistakes. 

Thankfully, there is a simple solution for this, which is to find the right games for you. This could mean that you need to consider whether to play tournaments or cash games, or even consider moving down stakes, and playing micro stakes for a while until you get enough experience.

Studying poker can also be an important way of getting more experienced at this game. This will allow you to understand the basics, and develop your own playing strategy.

You making bad decisions

Making bad decisions happens to every poker player even professionals, but you ought to be making fewer bad decisions than good ones, this is what differentiates winning players from losing ones.

One of the best ways to improve your decision-making process is by studying the game, reading books, and playing a lot of hands. As you gain experience you will naturally improve your decisions.

Other players have tools you don’t have

poker hud
Poker HUD

Yes, online poker players, even amateurs use poker tools that are essential to winning. In fact, this is one of the main reasons why you might feel that online poker is too hard. These tools basically collect all the information on the hands played, and then create databases on opponents, and on your own playing.

All the data collected is then used and displayed on the screen with a (Heads-Up Display) So when you are playing with some of the most experienced online poker players they have tons of information on you based on previous hands. 

This includes the number of hands you are playing, and how often you are raising or folding to bets, either pre-flop or post-flop. This gives them a good idea of exactly the kind of poker player you are and they take advantage of that. They can customize each of the data points the HUD shows, and it remains one of the best advantages online poker players have.

Poker tools also allow you to replay previous hands and learn from your own mistakes. They also keep track of how much money you are making, and which positions, are the most profitable along with hundreds of different ratios and metrics that you can use to improve your own game.

Number of hands played

If you haven’t played a lot of poker hands in your lifetime, you still do not have the required experience to fully understand the game. You have to understand that some of the online poker professionals are playing close to or over 1 million hands a year. 

The more hands you play the more experience you will have, and the better your game will be.

Playing too many hands

The number of tables played also has an impact not only on your experience but also on your concentration. If you are not a very experienced poker player you want to avoid playing multiple tables at the same time. Try to focus on one table until you become a winning player, and then you can start adding one table at a time.

You are tilting

If you are tilting this can be the reason why you are losing. If this is the case you will need to do a deep analysis of your game, and the reasons why you are getting emotionally affected by some hand. Start to understand that even in spots where the likelihood of losing is very small, it can still happen. Start embracing the poker variance that comes with the game.

Control your emotions

Controlling your emotions on the poker table is also important, not only in terms of tilting but also when you lose a hand and you try to adapt your gameplay. Focus on maintaining the same style of poker throughout the game, whether you are losing or winning.

Players tend to play too many hands after they win pots, and start playing fewer hands when they lose a few pots. Avoid constantly changing your playing style based on a handful of pots.

You need to learn the basics

Learning the basics is one of the most important parts of poker, and we are not talking about the rules of the game, those you should already know by now. What is important to understand is position, hand ranges, and also understand how to take advantage of your opponents. This comes with studying the game, and constant practice.

Playing the wrong stakes

If you are playing too high stakes for your skill level you are probably getting your ass kicked. This is another common mistake beginner poker players make, and you need to head straight to micro stakes. Make sure you win there after a few thousand hands, and then you can move up.

Game type

Perhaps you are not choosing the right game type. Every poker player has a preferred style of game, either tournament or cash games, and you need to decide which one is best for you.

Having patience

Patience is a virtue, and when it comes to poker it is extremely important. You can’t rush into betting, or be too aggressive, you need to wait for the right moments to make the right decisions. You also need to be on the lookout for any mistake that your opponents might make, and take advantage of that.

Your bankroll is too small

Another common mistake beginner poker players make is that their bankroll is too small for the stakes they are playing. A bankroll is a fixed amount of money you should have to play certain stakes. If you do not have a big enough bankroll it is possible to lose all your money, even if you are playing correctly, just due to poker variance.

Losses are affecting your poker mindset

Some players let their losses affect, not only their gameplay but also the way they look at the game. Obviously, nobody likes to lose, and constantly losses can have an impact on us. However, this is what separates the professional players from the amateurs. A professional player does not let a few pots determine how he feels about the game.

Why do I always lose at online poker?

One of the main reasons why online poker players lose is because they do not control their emotions, and end up tilting. This affects most of the players, and it is easily the main reason why online poker players lose.

Is online poker more difficult?

Yes, online poker can be a lot more difficult than live poker, because most online poker players are a lot more experienced because they are playing sometimes up to a thousand hands each hour. This makes it easy to improve and become a much better player.

Why is online poker harder than live?

Online poker is harder because there are no poker tells, and because it requires faster decision-making. Online poker is based on fast and concise decisions and players that want to succeed need to adapt to it. While making all of these fast decisions, online poker players become more experienced because they are playing so many hands.

Do professional poker players play online?

Yes, a lot of professional poker players play mostly or solely online. The reason is that online poker is a lot faster, and makes it easy to play multiple tables and hands at the same time. If you are a winning poker player, the more hands you play the more money you will make. This is why so many professional poker players prefer online poker.

Is live poker more profitable than online?

No, online poker is more profitable because you can play more hands, in the same time frame. 

How do I get good at online poker?

There are a few things you can do to become a better online poker player:

  • Study and practice
  • Get a poker software
  • Get experience
  • Study hands
  • Play more tables

Study and practice

The first step you should take to get good at online poker is to start reading poker books. This includes some of the most basic, and as you progress start reading the more complicated ones. This is the only way to improve your game over the long term. Even some professional poker players are constantly studying and improving their game so why shouldn’t you?!

Get a poker software

Once you have done this you need to consider getting poker software. This will be fundamental, in reviewing your hands, and also getting information from your adversaries that you can display with a HUD. PokerTracker is by far one of the best solutions, and you can even try it first with the trial.

Get experience

Once you have read a few important books and you got your own software, it’s time to hit the tables. Schedule a poker session for 1 to 2 hours, and start with just one table. Make sure you try to make the best decisions, in every hand you play. Pay attention to your opponents, understand how they play and how you can take advantage of that. 

Study hands

After you finish your session, it is now time to study hands. Review all of the biggest pots you won and lost. Check what kind of mistakes did you make. Did you get lucky or did you make the right decisions? Watching your own hands is very important. This is where you start to evolve as a poker player and start improving based on your own mistakes so that you do not repeat them.

Play more tables

As you start going through this process you can start adding more tables, one at a time. Make sure you are able to handle the stress and fast clicking that more tables require.

Is online poker just luck?

No, poker and online poker is more than just luck, it is in fact a game of skill. Luck plays an important role in the short term but over the course of millions of hands, skill is what differentiates the best poker players.


We hope that you understand better why online poker is hard, and how you can start learning and improving your game to win. It may be hard at first but once you start dedicating yourself, you can improve a lot.

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