Why Poker Forums and Reddit Are Killing Your Poker Results

Why Poker Forums and Reddit Are Killing Your Poker Results
Poker can be a lonely pursuit especially if you play online. 

I have played 10+ million hands of poker online and most of that was done while sitting in a room all by myself.

I have also played poker professionally for over 10 years and written 3 best selling books on the game.

But it is still nice to talk to fellow poker players once in awhile, bounce ideas off each other, and discuss poker hands.

But unfortunately this can also be a double edged sword. 

Many people will turn to poker forums or poker subreddits for this sense of community.

However, these places can often end up doing far more harm for your poker game than good!

In fact poker reddit and poker forums in particular

Are some of the most negative and nasty environments I have ever seen.

Newbie poker players in particular are often attacked because they played a hand the "wrong way" according to all the anonymous experts on reddit and forums.

Successful professional poker players, creators and coaches are another common target of the anonymous mob on poker reddit and forums.

Gossip, slander and even total misinformation and lies about them are commonplace.

This is why there are no professional poker players that I know of that take Reddit or poker forums seriously at all anymore.

Or even read them.

I personally stopped reading poker reddit and forums around 10 years ago.

In fact, it was one of the best things I ever did for my poker game.

You always want to just let the obvious signs of your success do the talking in this game.

Because believe me, this is the one thing that they absolutely hate the most, lol.

Bonus: By the way, near the end I am also going to tell you where successful poker players actually go online these days to discuss high level strategy.

Poker Forums and Poker Reddit Offer You Bad Poker Advice

Let me just start off with the #1 reason why poker forums and poker subreddits are bad for your poker game. 

And that is bad information.

As I have discussed before, at least 70% of people who play poker lose at this game in the long run. 

Honestly, that is a very generous estimate. It is likely much higher than this.

Here's the other thing though.

Almost all poker players think highly of their abilities. And most of the ones you will meet on Reddit and in forums think very highly of their poker abilities.

Many of them are also completely convinced that there is only one true "right way" to play a poker hand. 

And of course, they have that all figured out lol. I will have plenty more to say about that in a bit.

But the reality is that most people will lose in the end, in this game.

So this means that most of the people who you are talking to on poker forums and poker subreddits are actually losing poker players.

And so if you listen to them too much, you might end up making a lot of the same mistakes they do.

By the way, as I discuss in a recent video, here are the top 7 signs of a 1% poker player.

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Anonymous Mob Mentality on Poker Reddit and Poker Forums

Now, the fact that most forum and reddit posters are not winning poker players wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing...

If there was some sort of vetting process to see who actually is a winning player and who isn't.

That way we would know who was worth listening to, and who perhaps we should not listen to so much.

But of course there isn't any way to do this.

In fact with poker forums and poker subreddits there is no way to even tell who the person is!

Nobody uses their real name and so you have absolutely no idea who you are talking to and whether you should trust their advice or not.

It's literally just an endless string of text and noise from made up fake names hiding behind keyboards and cartoon avatars.

It might even be an AI bot whose "advice" you are reading.

It was estimated that 47% of all internet traffic in 2022 was bots.

Anyways, whoever emerges as the loudest figure in the anonymous mob, is usually declared the winner.

Can you see why all poker pros avoid reddit and forums like the plague these days?

Poker Reddit and Forums: Too Much Noise and Negativity

The other thing that this anonymous public discussion leads to is a very high amount of noise.

In other words, there are so many different opinions being offered, along with random tangents, derails, trolls and flame wars, that it can be difficult to even follow the discussion at times.

There is also a very low tolerance for any friendly disagreement or healthy debate about poker strategy.

If you play a hand even slightly different than all the certified poker "experts" on reddit or forums think is correct, you will be ruthlessly reminded how awful at poker you are.

I have seen beginners in particular get frustrated by the insane amounts of negativity on some of these poker forums and reddits time and time again.

And then they leave.

Who could blame them?

The Know-It-Alls of Poker Forums and Poker Reddit

I want to end the debate once and for all.

Despite what the "know-it-all" anonymous big talkers on poker reddit and poker forums will have you believe...

There is in fact almost never one true "right way" to play a poker hand in all situations.

In fact, there can often be several correct decisions in any situation (ex: raise vs call).

Often the competing decisions are super close, within a few percentage points of EV (expected value).

These are also the hands that 95% of people fight about online.

Where the actual decision that you make is so close in EV, that you are basically splitting hairs.

This is something that I tried to get across in all 3 of my poker books.

There are countless factors you need to take into consideration when deciding how to play a poker hand such as:

  • Stack sizes
  • Recent history
  • Table dynamic
  • Table positions
  • Board texture
  • Cash game? MTT? SNG?
  • Stakes?

And on and on.

Poker is NOT a game that is played in a vacuum. All of these factors (plus many more), matter a lot.

And in most cases when discussing a poker hand online, we do not even have all of this vital information.

Furthermore, there is no one style of play that works in all situations and in all games.

Sometimes a GTO solver based approach works, sometimes you need to use an Exploitative strategy.

Sometimes you need to use both!

By the way, it's true...

If you play small stakes games, most of the time a GTO strategy is bad advice.

The Psychology of Poker Forums and Poker Reddit: Insane Levels of Ego 

But most members of poker forums and poker reddit are absolutely convinced that they have found the one true way to play poker though.

They have solved the game! They have reached the peak of the mountain of poker knowledge!

The amount of insane black or white ego driven thinking in poker these days absolutely boggles the mind.

And that is because "being right" on an anonymous internet forum or reddit actually means a lot to many of these people.

I know, it sounds silly and ridiculous to the rest of us. But bear with me for a sec.

You must understand that...

Their ego is heavily invested in their anonymous "reputation" on reddit and forums.

That is why they spend such absurd amounts of time on them, sometimes making thousands of posts.

More on that in a bit.

So be prepared...

They will battle you until the end of time to prove that they are "right" about a hand of poker.

Time Wasting Gossip and Off Topic Discussions

The last reason why poker forums and reddits can be harmful for your poker game is that many of the most popular discussions aren't even about poker strategy!

For instance, one of the most popular sections of the most popular poker forum is called "NVG". 

This stands for "news, views and gossip" (you can't even make this stuff up!)

This is literally a place where people gossip and spread rumours about other well known poker pros.

This is something you would expect out of a bunch of high school girls, not grown men!

Now I get it though. 

Clearly many people like this sort of thing. Look at the success of TMZ for instance gossiping about the private lives of celebrities.

The bottom line though is that from a purely practical perspective, time wasting discussions like this are very unlikely to do anything good for your poker game.

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You Make Money by Playing Poker, Not Talking About It!

Now, let me give you the biggest reason of all why you should avoid poker forums and poker subreddits like the plague.

This is something that I (thankfully) learned very early on in my 10+ year professional poker career.

And this is, poker is a game where you only make money when you are actually at the tables, playing poker.

Just like with a regular job, when you are not playing poker, you are not profitable.

I have never heard of any poker forums or poker subreddits that pay people to make hundreds or thousands of posts and waste countless hours of their time!

In fact, the only people laughing all the way to the bank are the owners of poker forums and reddit who are making great profits from all this free content, lol.

But that is a topic for another article.

Anyways, while the keyboard warriors are grinding it out on the forums and reddit, the real poker players are at the tables stacking the fish and building their bankroll.

Why Poker Forums and Reddit Are Killing Your Poker Results
My grind station near the beach

This was actually the single biggest breakthrough I had when I stopped reading poker forums and reddits 10 years ago.

Suddenly I had far more time to do the thing that actually makes you money, playing poker!

And ironically, this is when my poker results really started to skyrocket.

Ditch Poker Forums/Reddit, Do This Instead

Ok, so now that you know all the main reasons why poker forums and poker subreddits are largely a complete waste of your time, what should you do instead?

Well, you have probably heard the old saying that iron sharpens iron. 

And that is because it is true.

So the first thing you are going to have to do is get yourself around some winning poker players or at least some people who are really serious about improving.

Finding people who have a real name or at least a well known online screen name would be a good start.

Like I said before, one of the main problems with poker forums and reddit is that everybody is anonymous. 

Why should I trust the advice of some guy named "pokergod87" or "bignuts92"?

This is basically the biggest red flag of them all.

If they actually knew what they were talking about, and had some real results in the poker world, they wouldn't be hiding behind a keyboard.

The Solution to the Trolls: Private Social Media Groups

So as mentioned, social media is a great place to find other poker pros or serious poker players. In fact I use it all the time.

I am available on all the major platforms:

Plus a bunch more. 

And I always use either my online poker screen name "BlackRain79" or my real name, Nathan Williams, and of course my real picture as well.

So I am very easy to find and people know who I am.

Poker players send me dm's and messages all the time on these social media networks and I am often in contact with other well known pros as well.

And you can feel free to reach out to me as well!

BlackRain79 Private Facebook Poker Talk Group

Many people these days will also set up a private Facebook group to discuss poker hands and talk about strategy with other serious poker players.

In fact, recently I decided to just go ahead and start my own private BlackRain79 Facebook Poker Talk group.

It has over 10,000 members now and it is the fastest growing private poker group on Facebook in the past year.

blackrain79 facebook poker talk

You can join for free right here.

People have been telling me for years that they are sick of the "know-it-alls" and the negativity on the poker forums and reddit.

And I think the incredible growth of my Facebook group, over 10,000 members, is clear evidence of that.

Poker players are sick of all the BS on forums and reddit and they are leaving in droves to join private poker discussion groups on social media like mine.

Meet Other Poker Players in Real Life (Shocking)

Now there is one last option for networking with other good poker players and it is easily the best option in my opinion.

And it might be a bit shocking to some... 

Just meet up with them in real life!

I have personally met countless poker pros in real life and it pretty much always started by connecting through social media.

Now admittedly this is a little bit easier for me to do since I decided to move to SE Asia and grind online poker from my laptop on the beach over 10 years ago.

Why Poker Forums and Reddit Are Killing Your Poker Results

This is something that tons of other online poker pros have also decided to do. 

So unlike all the anonymous keyboard warriors in the poker forums and poker subreddits there is a big group of us professional poker players out here, who actually meet up in person.

Crazy I know!

But still in most of these cases we connected initially through social media, this blog or my Youtube channel.

This is a great reason by the way to start sharing your ideas about poker online under your own name, rather than wasting your time with all the anonymous clowns on forums and reddit.

You will naturally start to attract more serious poker players just by putting your thoughts out there on a regular basis, as a real person!

Lastly, attending big events like the World Series of Poker can also be a great way to meet other poker players as they tend to attract all the big names and serious amateurs as well.

I regularly travel to these as well in order to meet up with some of the biggest names in the industry, and talk strategy with other proven poker pros.

Final Thoughts

Poker forums and poker subreddits can seem like a natural place to discuss the game and get advice especially for many newer poker players.

And unfortunately many beginners get sucked into them and get a bunch of bad advice from the majority of people in these places who are losing poker players.

Of course, since they hide behind made up names and cartoon avatars it is impossible to even know who they are in the first place!

And if this doesn't sink our beginner poker player, then the endless negativity and squabbling that you find in most poker forums and poker subreddits surely will.

Serious poker players simply do not surround themselves with people like this and expect success. They surround themselves with other proven winners instead.

Often in small private groups online or in real life.

By the way, I discuss this in much more detail in my brand new Elite Poker University training. 

Specifically, how moving to SE Asia many years ago allowed me to meet (in person) with many other high level poker pros, which in turn improved my game tremendously.

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I quickly ditched poker forums and poker subreddits after learning that no real pros take them seriously at all anymore these days.

One exception to this however is CardsChat, where I post once in awhile.

This is the only major poker forum I recommend because I know the owners there and I know how committed they are to keeping a good positive and welcoming learning environment especially for beginners.

But to re-iterate, the reasons why most poker forums and subreddits are counter-productive are numerous. 

Bad poker advice, high amount of noise, negativity, and too many off-topic time wasting discussions just to name a few.

If you want to network with other serious poker players it is a better idea to seek them out and build online friendships through social media. 

Never before have you been able to contact other poker players and even well known pros so easily by simply commenting on their posts or videos or with a simple dm or message. 

If they are really popular you won't always get a reply of course but you catch my drift.

Lastly, once you build a small circle of serious poker players you can create a private Facebook or Discord group to discuss strategy or even meet up in person.

Lastly, if you want to know the strategies that I personally use to make $2000+ per month from low stakes poker as a 10+ year pro, make sure you grab a copy of my free poker cheat sheet.

Let me know your thoughts on networking with other poker players and discussing strategy in the comments below. What works best for you?

poker forums and poker subreddits


  1. Great article as always!

    I was wondering if you still offer coaching? IIRC you did offer private coaching a while back, like in 2011 or 2012. Might be completely wrong though.

    Anyways, pleasure reading your stuff. Keep it up!

    1. Thanks Kuralik! Sorry but I don't do coaching anymore. You are right, I did in the past.

    2. Great read! I started reading your blog a few weeks ago after a couple of years of playing poker on auto pilot xD Youve helped me get my passion back for online poker,and im running deep im tourneys and making the odd final table!!! I smell a win coming ;) cheers!

    3. Awesome Niall glad I could help. Let me know when you hit the big score!

    4. XD 2 days after smelling a win i just took down the big $0.55 on pokerstars! Field off 3500 and 9 hours and 53 minutes for $225! Not the richest win ive had,but what a motivational boost! Thanks for this awsome blog ;)

    5. That's awesome Niall! Congrats on the win :)

  2. Such a shame that you don't do coaching anymore. I would sign up!!! However, I think that I understand why.

    1. Hehe thanks Graham, ya it's just a time thing. After playing poker, writing this blog, making youtube videos and traveling sometimes, I just don't have the time to coach anymore.

  3. Cheers that's good advice. I found some of the forums to be really negative places where simply asking a genuine question can attract tons of abuse. When it happened to me I just assumed the folks replying were losing players taking their frustrations out on the forum rather than concentrating on improving their game and actually playing poker.

  4. Good article. I agree, I stopped wasting my time on forums awhile ago. Not worth it imo, better to get a few poker friends and talk about hands.

  5. This is a very long overdue article and one everyone should read. In an attempt to improve my game I have visited the mainstream forums in the past only to be angered by the immature abuse "people" (and I use that term loosely) reply with when you just want help. It's particularly galling for me working in Mental Health because I spend my working day surrounded by people with personality disorders so I don't want more of it in my leisure time. However Nathan's private forum is the complete opposite where I have met some top guys (you know who you are 😊) who have and are continuing to help my game enormously. I've even made a friend of one who will occasionally rail my play for me. So yes use forums but only private ones and practice zero tolerance to personalty retards

    1. Glad my forum helps you Mike! Thanks for being a big contributor in there.

  6. Another fantastic post Nathan, I always look forward to them.

  7. Hey Nathan thanks for this. I generally read your posts as soon as possible. (By the way it's "tight-knit" as in a knitted fabric. Tight nit would be someone I would not be found at the table with)

    1. Whoops I posted as unknown and have no idea how to post with my name

    2. Thanks fixed and thanks for reading as always :)

  8. i don't know but sometimes i think u play only to not lose your money. Today i play on 888 and i have hardly hit the flop oder something else. Yes i can not win every day but so to loose like that?

  9. As always Nathan, thank you very much for your work.

    1. Thanks Mr. Writer glad I could help!