“Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow”. – These words hold true in any walk of life including the game of poker. With the growing popularity of poker in India, hundreds of newbies start playing this game of skill every week and enter the continuous learning and improvement process. To become a good poker player, it is necessary to review one’s mistakes, find better ways and improve the next time.
We are reviewing top 7 poker mistakes which a poker beginner makes in his early phases while playing cash games. The mistakes listed below are relevant to the most popular poker variants – No Limit Holdem and Pot Limit Omaha. Some of these points may also relate to mistakes made by players in poker tournaments. Hence, it is advised to learn and adapt according to one’s gameplay, level of opponents and the particular scenarios.
Committed to a hand
Poker as any sport is a competition among the opponents to achieve a goal (pots in poker). However, a major difference between other games and poker is that a poker player must know when to give up and wait for the next opportunity. The understanding of folding and not getting committed to a hand is what a beginner needs to develop in the course of learning poker.
Most of the newbies keep calling on every street either because they feel overconfident about their hand at times or in hope to improve their hand and end. Just because you flopped the top pair or are playing on a draw doesn’t mean you should keep playing that hand ignoring your opponent’s hand strength. However, it is not advised to play passively in most of the scenarios but one should learn when exit the hand and save one’s bankroll for the next one.
Ignoring the importance of position
Position is one of the most important factors in deciding how to approach a hand in poker. Be it Texas Holdem or Pot Limit Omaha, anybody in a late position has more information about the opponents which he/she can use to shape up his game in that hand. Beginners tend to ignore this crucial element and get into hands either from out of position by calling a raise or fail to take advantage of being in position.
Playing too many hands
Any new player in poker ends up playing too many hands unnecessarily and losing money in the end. The problem is with patience to wait for good hands as well as judgment of good starting hands. Mostly, an amateur players plays all the hands in which he/she is dealt one face card combined with any random card. It is advised to play such hands only if you have learnt to play beyond cards or you are in position and have enough info about other alive opponents.
There are 169 different combinations of hole cards which can be dealt to you in Texas Holdem out of which you need to pick up the hole cards you can play considering your skill level as well as of your opponents. Over a large number of hands, it is advised to play only 20% of the hands dealt to you and fold the remaining 80% in your early stages of poker career. This prevents you from tricky situations and helps you pace up your game as your skills level improves.
It is human nature to react to the occurrences and situations but it advisable to keep your emotions in control while you’re playing poker. You must not play any hand in emotions either of a bad day off the poker table or of a bad beat which may have put you on tilt. The new poker players sometimes become get under the influence of emotions and make mistakes like chasing a hand, raising very often, playing aggressively against any particular opponent. These all action leads a player into bad results. Hence, you must take a break from the game when you feel you are taking decisions emotionally and resume when you have overcome the feeling.
3 other poker mistakes which the beginners make in cash games in 2nd part of this article.