There are many advantages to playing poker online as opposed to in a club or a brick-and-mortar casino, but one of the few disadvantages is that it can be easy to get distracted. If you want to stay in the game, you can ill afford to let your attention waver. It’s essential to find ways to eliminate distractions as much as possible so that you can focus on playing well online.

Why distractions are bad

Poker is a game of skill that requires intense mental effort. Sometimes, a game can go on for hours at a stretch, but most people can only concentrate for between 30 minutes and 60 minutes at a time. This means that to have any chance of winning, you need to focus as much of your mental attention on the game as possible. Anything that tries to claim some of your headspace while you’re playing is your enemy, and needs to be eliminated.

Choose your moment

One of the great things about being able to play poker at the best NJ online casino is that you can play anytime, anywhere. Along with this freedom, however, comes a high chance of being distracted. You might feel like playing poker on your phone on your daily commute, but is a train carriage full of crying babies, people getting on and off, and frequent ticket inspections really the best time to risk a pot of cash at the virtual table?

For the best results, wait until you’re on your own and have a large stretch of free time. You could be spending an evening in a hotel room or just at home for the weekend. Choosing a time and place that works best for you is the first step to gaining an advantage over other players.

How do you feel?

Check your own mood before you play. If you’re not in the right state of mind, then you won’t do well. It’s natural to want to play poker online if you’re bored, but someone who can’t concentrate for long periods is unlikely to walk away a winner. If you’re tired or ill, you also won’t be able to play at your best.

Less obviously, playing when you’ve just had a large meal can mean that your energy resources are being diverted to your digestive system rather than your brain. To fully focus, try meditating for 15minutes before logging on. You can also do a mental scan of your thoughts and emotions in order to check that you’re ready for the game.

Remove distractions

Remove any unnecessary distractions as much as possible. Unless you’re actually using it to play, turn off your phone. Disconnect from email or any other websites you might have open. Turn off the TV and find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed. Curiously, listening to music can sometimes help concentration, but this is up to you.

Take notes

Physically taking notes at the start of the game can help you concentrate. You might want to write down the other players’ positions, or their starting hands. Narrow your focus as much as possible, and remember to analyze your own playing as much as that of your competitors.

These steps should help to keep you in the zone with the minimum of distractions.