Top 10 Mistakes that Every New Poker Player Should Avoid
Poker is a relatively easy game to learn. It only requires a few minutes to learn the basic poker rules and poker hand rankings. Then, after a few practice rounds, you will eventually know how each poker type is played. The learning part is as simple as that, however, it might take years and years of time to master the poker game.
As a new poker player, you could spend a lifetime developing your personal poker strategies, skills, and tricks before transforming poker into a legit source of income. However, some players could pick up the game easier than others because they didn’t fall into the common mistakes that every new poker player would make. If you are new to poker, you might still not be able to leave with more chips than you started with even though you have put forth your best effort on the poker table.
In short, poker requires a lot of sound judgment and a steady hand. Developing the necessary poker skills encourages a player to adopt a winning mindset and develop a solid understanding of the various strategies to use to maximize opportunities. You have to apply the right strategies for poker to avoid the common poker mistakes that every new poker player would make.
- Playing Too Many Hands
Playing too many hands or playing too loose might be the most common mistake that every new poker player is losing money. Playing too many hands is generally the easiest way to drain your bankroll.
You might think that the game has become monotonous when the cards are not falling your way. Well, it could be quite frustrating when you keep receiving lousy and bad hole cards. Then, you find the game boring because all you have been doing is folding the cards. However, if you let your frustrations and boredom get in, that is the time when you start losing money. You start to play with whatever hands you received — even with the terrible ones.
You should keep your composure and stick to the proper starting hand ranges even if you’ve been dealt trash hands nonstop for two hours. This makes you a wise poker player. When you play too many hands (especially before the flop), you are most likely to always end up in a bad post-flop position with weak holdings, which leads to significant losses that could have been avoided by simply folding your cards and returning them to the dealer.
- Playing Too Tight
This is the exact opposite of the first mistake that we just mentioned earlier. Although it is bad to play too loose, playing too tight is generally a bad idea too. Although tightening up is a good strategy to play against loose players, it does have downsides.
If you are playing too tight, you will be very predictable and easy to play against. Overly cautious play will cause you to miss out on more profitable but marginal spots. For example, when you are being a clearly tight player, your opponents can fold all but their strongest hands when facing aggression. No one likes giving a ‘nit’ action — A nit is a very tight poker player who only contributes premium top-tier holdings to the pot. The majority of Nits’ life is spent folding preflop in Hold’em, but when they do start betting and raising, they almost always have a strong poker hand.
Hence, what you can do is increase your preflop ranges and balance your hands with bluffs to avoid playing too tight. A balanced range of hands and bluffs will make you a much more difficult opponent to deal with.
- Acting Too Fast
This is a common mistake that affects both new and experienced players. Many poker players make decisions without giving themselves enough time to think. When you are acting too quickly without thinking things through, like checking or calling without proper planning, it can lead to costly consequences.
New poker players usually do not have many sets of strategies where they can adjust their play depending on the information they get. For each hand you play, you should have a plan based on what cards come and how your opponents will react. Hence, you should respond slowly and carefully when it is your turn to move. Slowing down with a few extra seconds of thought could help you avoid many fatal mistakes.
There are many factors that you should consider before you act. For example, how good is your hand? What are the cards that your opponents might hold? What are the odds to win in this hand? Are your opponents bluffing? Before you decide what you are going to do next, think of all the possibilities and it will make you play better in poker.
- Overvaluing Middle-Value Hands
It takes a lot of practice to learn where your hand fits within your range, and many new poker players make the error of underestimating their poker hand value. Your value bets will be too frequently called by better hands when you begin to overvalue (and overbet) your medium-strength hands, and you won’t be able to find enough bluffs to balance your range.
For instance, depending on how the action has played out on previous rounds, betting the fourth pair and below for value is frequently too thin of a value bet and will frequently only get called by better hands. In these circumstances, it is preferable to take your showdown value or check to your opponent, and if we believe they are bluffing sufficiently, we may attempt to bluff-catch.
- Getting Too Emotional
Staying emotionally stable and showing a poker face throughout the game is an important skill in poker but not many players (especially beginners) are good at it. Poker is a game of skill and psychology plays a heavy and important role. A game of poker can be an emotional rollercoaster with all the bad beats, lucky strikes, busted and captured bluffs. However, you shouldn’t let your feelings take over and start affecting your choices.
“Tilt” refers to allowing a certain emotion to dominate. Some players are unaware that tilt can appear in a variety of ways and is not just brought on by poor beats. In essence, losing one or two large hands can push some people over the edge, and they then make decisions based solely on their emotions. Additionally, even online, going on tilt at a poker table is a dead giveaway.
Hence, when you are mentally frustrated, you should find ways to stop tilting like understanding why bad beats happen and moving on. However, it is best to just stop and quit playing poker for that day if you can’t make yourself any better. Otherwise, it will cost you so much money in the long run.
- Not Being Flexible with Your Strategies
Another common mistake that every new poker player would do is to just stick tightly with their style of play. When you execute a poker strategy consistently and exclusively, you will be very predictable and allow your opponent to employ the right strategy to counter your moves. For instance, experienced players will notice that you always bet with your top pair and always check with your second pair and will react accordingly.
Therefore, you should always change and be as flexible as you can. This is because poker is a dynamic game where your strategies should change based on a number of factors. Hence, it is recommended to avoid fixating on one single strategy type; Different strategies will be helpful and effective in different situations. Being fluid and flexible in your playing will also help you to become harder to read.
- Ignoring Your Opponents
Next, new poker players often ignore their opponents. They would just focus on their hands without analyzing the surroundings. They missed out on the opportunities to identify the mistakes the opponents make at the table. Hence, losing all the chances to profit from them. Experienced players will actively check and analyze their opponents to formulate specific strategies to exploit their weaknesses. Then, they will play aggressively using tactics based around the strategy to get most of the profit from the opponents
When playing live poker, the person seated across from you is one of the most crucial information sources. Many players have little to no experience hiding tells, which leaves them open to being found by a skilled player. Knowing these tells can help you win a lot of money in the long run because you can call bluffs that you might not have otherwise based on your hand or force hero folds if your opponent shows strength.
- Betting with Unaffordable Stakes
Never play with more money than you can afford to lose when you’re gambling. This is not only negligent on your part personally, but it will also have a significant effect on how you play the game. You are more likely to lose if you play at a table knowing.
Whether you are playing at online poker sites or live tables, there are a variety of tables with high and low stakes that you can choose from. Players frequently make the mistake of joining a high-stakes table to optimize their risk-reward management. Your chances of winning are increased at high-stakes tables, but you also run the risk of losing money very quickly.
This is because you won’t be able to play poker aggressively if you’re too afraid to lose, so you’ll play more passively and wait for the nuts before putting any money in. The nuts don’t appear frequently enough for this strategy to be effective, and passive poker is frequently losing poker, so the more passively you play in an effort to preserve your funds, the more likely it is that you will lose them.
If you are new to the game, stay away from the high-stakes tables. Before you step up your game, play at the lowest stakes table to test your abilities and gain a thorough understanding of all the poker hand strengths.
- Bluffing Too Much
Bluffing is an important strategy in poker and all poker games involve some level of bluffing. However, new players frequently believe that bluffing elevates their skill level and injects some excitement into their games — it is not a good strategy to bluff nonstop.
In poker, we bluff to get our opponents to call us down when we’re value betting because if we never bluffed, they wouldn’t have any reason to do so. But if we constantly bluff, our bluffs will far outweigh our value hands in terms of combos, and our opponents will profit greatly by calling us down – money that comes out of our pockets! You can prevent yourself from over-bluffing and end up saving money in the long run by using concepts like blockers to moderate your bluffing frequencies. Moreover, bluffing too frequently also has the negative side effect of making your moves more predictable to other players.
If you are a novice player, it is highly recommended you refrain from constantly bluffing. If you have more than one active opponent or if you are aware that your opponent is a skilled player, you should refrain from using the bluffing tactic.
- Playing into an Opponent’s Bluff
When playing poker, especially live poker, it’s simple to fall into an ego conflict with another player if you start losing hands to them all the time. When playing poker, it can happen that you repeatedly receive the losing hand when playing with another player. When this occurs, it’s critical to avoid making it about your ego and refraining from purposefully playing them back in an effort to change the situation.
If you use a good, sound strategy, you will eventually start to prevail over whoever is currently giving you trouble. In an effort to defeat them, switching your strategy to play against them more frequently is just playing into their hands and will ultimately cost you money.
Poker is easy to learn, but hard to master. Hence, it is alright to make mistakes sometimes. What you should do is recognize the mistakes that you have made and make an effort to fix them — learn from the mistakes and do better next time! We hope this list has helped you and provided you with some ideas for improvement.