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Mistakes made in Poker

Mistakes made in Poker

Want to know the top 10 poker mistakes? People who lose money at the poker tables keep making these mistakes over and over again.  They may know all the holdem strategy rules and wonder why they still lose money.  This is because they haven’t recognised the 10 key areas where their mistakes are made.

Have a look at our top 10 poker mistakes and see if you’re guilty of any of these. Don’t worry if you are, even the pro’s make one or more of these poker mistakes at some time.

Poker mistake 1:   Going on tilt.
This mistake was pushed to the top of the list as it’s got to be the mistake that loses players the most money and no one is immune to it.  We are all sway to our emotions especially in a stressful competitive environment where money is an issue.  Recognising this before you start to play will actually help you stay emotionally detached from the results of each hand and you’ll stay focused on the game.  Getting some exercise  before playing is a great way to clear the mind. Breathing exercises during the game can also help.

: Poker mistake 2Playing out of position

Playing out of position is another easy mistake to make.This is  especially true online where the play is fast, maybe you’ve loosened up your game a little too much and those marginal hands that are fine to play in the right position are going to kill you if you play them from the wrong position.
Unless you are the last or second last player to bet, don’t play weak hands even if you’re small blind. It’s just not worth it.  When you are in late position, you can make informed decisions on other players hands.  In early position you are essentially playing blind and can find yourself calling a small bet only to see it raised further round the table.  Playing out of position may not seem like the worst mistake in the world especially if you do everything else right, but added up, it can lose you a lot of money.

Poker mistake 3:  Playing too many hands
The mistake of playing too many hands can also be linked with going on tilt and wanting to beat another player that suckered you into losing lots of chips.  Bad players play too many hands of poker in the hope that they’ll hit it big on the flop.  If they’re clever they’ll fold  when the flop leaves them high and dry but quite often they compound the mistake by either trying to bluff their stake back or by betting through to the river on a long shot hand.
Here are three ways to get out of the mistake of  playing too many hands:

  1. By thinking of your hands coming in sets of five. With each hand that is dealt, ask yourself if this could be the best hand you are likely to get out of the five or if you should wait. This is not the way to play poker long term but if you are in a long running tourney then it can work and will help you to practise patience
  2. By printing  the pocket odds tables and use them to determine whether you should enter the pot or not.  Only use these online though – don’t take them into the casino!!
  3. Use an online odds calculator such as texas calulatem.  An odds calculator will give you real time advice on when to enter a pot.

Poker mistake 4: Playing too predictably
If you make the opposite mistake of playing too few hands (ie only premium hands) they other players will wise up to this and fold when you enter the pot. As a result you won’t get the best value for your hand and will ending up trailing in any tournament.  This is more of a problem in live poker as often in an online tournament (especially freerolls and small buy-in  tourneys) you’ll find someone to call your raise.  Varying your game, the hands you play and how much you bet will throw your opponents off guard and they’ll find it hard to get a read on you.  Remember to still play in position though.  The only time that you may get away with playing predictably is when you are chip leader by a large margin in the later rounds of a tournament just before you get to the money and you constantly re-raise pre-flop. Quite often other players will fold even when they don’t think you have a hand.  Remember though, that this kind of play cannot last forever though and you need to know when to pull back if a player calls your bluff.

Poker mistake 5:   Not knowing when to stop.
Poker is a fun game, but it’s also addictive.  Not knowing when to stop playing could well be the single most costly poker mistake you can make.  Every player needs to take a break from playing now and again.  If you’re break needs to be a few hours, days, weeks or months then so be it. You’re game will be all the better for it when you do  return to the tables.  If you find yourself wanting to play most days, playing even when you are on a ‘losing streak’ or even playing with money you don’t have, its time to stop for a while. Remember poker should be a fun activity not a drain on your resources.

Poker mistake 6:  Bluffing badly
If you’re the type of person who can’t tell a lie well, then you’ll be useless at bluffing in a live game. Bluffing online won’t be a problem but you’ll run into the problem of more unskilled players calling your bluff online.  One big mistake with bluffing is doing too often.  Unless you are in a head to head game where bluffing can be the biggest part of the match, then be very wary when carrying out a complete bluff.  In live games the main ingredient for bluffing is being able to read your opponents.  Online, you’ll be making a mistake if you think players will play well. Quite often they’ll play very loosely and call your big bluff only to get a lucky straight later on.

Poker mistake 7:  Not watching your opponents
In a live poker game you need to watch every step the other players make, few players are skilled enough to keep everything under their hat.  The great thing about analysing your opponents is, you’ll spend less time agonising over your own hand and will give less information away yourself. You are more likely to play your own hand correctly and without emotion and you’ll get a better read on the other players.

Poker mistake 8:  Playing when you’re not up to it.
To win at poker you need to be 100% focused on all aspects of the game. Don’t make the mistake of playing a poker game with any less than your full attention.  If you’ve had a bad day at work, this will impact on your game. If you are down about something, you won’t play as aggressively.  If you’ve been playing too long or too frequently then you’ll be jaded.  Recognising when you’re not ‘in the zone’ will save you from making a costly poker mistake.

Poker mistake 9:  Limping into pots.
If you’ve had a look at some of the pocket hand odds you’ll easily see how important it is with strong hands to weed out some of the opposition. Not re-raising before the flop with a good hand is a bit poker mistake.  If you reduce the size of the field, your chances of winning increase markedly. The chances of winning with pocket aces drop from 85% with one opposing player to 31% with 8 players entering the pot.

It’s a no brainer:  limp into a pot and you’ll lose your advantage.

If you don’t lose the pot you’ll at least make less money from your premium hands than you should have.

Poker mistake 10:  Playing at too high a level.
You need to recognise if you’ve made a mistake jumping to a higher stakes game. It’s true that poker is the same regardless of the amount of money staked, but your stress level isn’t!  You have to assume that the skill of your opponents  is at a higher level also, although this isn’t always the case, especially when playing online.
There’s no shame in admitting you’ve made a mistake and drop back to a level you’re comfortable with. What’s the worst that could happen?  You may take a bit longer building up your bankroll but that’s better than continuing with your big mistake in poker and losing your money even faster!

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