Common Poker Mistakes. Mistakes To Be Avoided In Real Money Game
Novice online poker players tend to make the same few mistakes at the tables over and over again. Each poker mistake in itself is not a huge problem — but repeated enough times, and combined with all the others, these errors will cause a significant decrease in profit.
We call these poker mistakes ‘leaks.’ As you begin to formulate a profitable poker strategy, you should pay close attention to plugging the big leaks in your game; because just as a leaky pipe drips water, a leaky poker game drips profit!
Let’s take a look at the top 3 common mistakes beginning poker players tend to make; and let’s analyze how we can avoid making these mistakes at the tables!
Common Poker Mistake #1: Limping Preflop
Limping in preflop is the act of calling in an unraised pot. Say you’re seated in middle position, and all the players before you have folded. If you simply call here, matching the big blind, you’ve limped in.
Limping in is terrible for a number of reasons. First, you lose a lot of value by foregoing a raise with a decent hand. Second, you risk falling into the habit of limping with hands that aren’t even close to decent. And third, you signal to the experts at the table that you are a fish, and thus make yourself into a mark.
There’s a very simple remedy for limping in preflop. Just don’t do it — ever.
If you’ve got a good hand, one with genuine value, you almost always want to get some money into the pot preflop — so raise!
If you’ve got a marginal or speculative hand, it’s almost always better to raise preflop. By making an aggressive move, you’re signalling strength, and thus making yourself tougher to play against. You’ll also pick up some fold equity, which gives you a chance of taking down the blinds preflop.
And if you’ve got a poor hand, there is absolutely no point in playing it. Resist the temptation to “try and hit a flop,” because that will rarely happen; and even when a bad hand does hit a flop, the chances of its being dominated by a better hand are pretty good. Do not ever limp in with a bad hand. Just fold!
Common Poker Mistake #2: Playing Too Loose Preflop
It’s natural for a beginning player to be a bit foggy when it comes to discerning hand values preflop. That’s why the Poker God invented hand charts. If you’re having a hard time figuring out what hands to play preflop, find a chart and follow it. You’ll eventually figure out which hands are strong by intuition, and will be able to do away with the crutch.
New players tend to overplay AX and KX type hands. You’ll want to keep in mind that just because you’ve got a hand with the potential to make top pair doesn’t mean your top pair will hold up. This is especially true in today’s online games, where players are pretty good. When you hit top pair with something like A3, chances are decent that there will be another player in the hand with an ace that dominates yours; and you’ll probably lose more than necessary fighting over the pot.
In sum: tighten up preflop by cutting back on marginal or weak hands.
Common Poker Mistake #3: Ignoring Position
Position is a huge part of poker. A lot of players don’t even know that it plays a factor in poker strategy, which makes it all the more important for you to know about. By abusing other players’ ignorance of position, you can seriously exploit the mistakes they’ll inevitably make. And by knowing about position, you can avoid being exploited yourself by the better players in the games.
In a nutshell, the later the position you’re in, the more value your hand has. This is because you’ve got a huge informational advantage when you act last; you get to see all the players act ahead of you, and thus have an easier time discerning what you’re up against. You’ll also control the betting action postflop, which is infinitely advantageous for you.
In early position, you’re at a disadvantage to the players in late position. So you want to play tight from the blinds, and from the position directly after the blinds (under the gun).
Just keep in mind that the later you are to act, the looser you can play; and the earlier you’re up, the tighter you should be.