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4 Common Mistakes Beginners Make When Playing Poker

4 common beginners mistakes

5 minutes

Posted by: Ivan

Poker is a massively popular card game that’s been played for hundreds of years. Modern poker is a lot more recent, with new rules and new ways to play.

Today, there are lots of different forms of poker, although Texas Hold’em is the most widely played. The game has become so popular that many of the biggest poker tournaments are televised, and the best players can earn tens of millions in prize money.

Although there’s the potential to make money from poker, that money comes from other players taking part.

When you enter a game or tournament, you’re risking your own money to play, and it’s possible to lose money if you’re not careful.

For this reason, it’s very important as a beginner that you understand the game and take things slowly.

If you want to start out right and get better as you progress in the game, you need to watch out for common mistakes that a lot of beginners make. Avoid these mistakes, and you’ll be a better player and have a better chance of being successful.

Playing Too Many Hands

When you first start out playing poker, you might think that you need as much experience as possible and want to play every hand.

While it’s true that you need experience, playing every hand is a bad idea and will mean you lose money in the long run.

Losing money can mean frustration and failing to learn effectively. Playing too many hands, also known as playing too loose, is a common mistake that new players make when starting out.

Although folding might seem boring, it’s a necessary part of the game, and you should aim to fold when you have a weak hand.

common mistakes poker beginners make

Knowing exactly when to fold is an important skill that will help set you apart from other players. While it’s tempting to bluff your way to the showdown, it can very often backfire and lead to much bigger losses over time.

Being selective in the hands you play will improve your win rate and also make it easier to decide how to proceed after the flop.

Even after you fold, you can still learn a lot just by watching other players and studying how they play. This can help you later on in rounds and will also allow you to develop better perceptions when it comes to judging your opponents.

Playing Too Few Hands

While playing loose is a common problem, playing tight or not playing enough hands is quite frequently seen in beginners too.

Often, beginners will be overly cautious about the hands they play, folding even when they have decent starting hands.

While playing tight will avoid losing large sums of money, you can still lose over time by playing too tight.

You may miss out on many opportunities to make profits, and the blind means that you’ll often take a loss even if you fold before the flop.

You can avoid this mistake by widening the range of your pre-flop hands. The aim is to achieve a balance between bluffs and good value hands.

Ideally, this should make you less predictable and, therefore, harder to beat. It’s a challenge to find the right balance, but this will come over time with more experience in the game.

Not Studying

Anything that has the potential to make or lose your money should be studied carefully before you begin.

Just as you require training for a new job or need to study to pass exams, studying poker is essential if you want to be successful.

Playing poker will help you gain experience, but if you’re just playing without structure or planning, you won’t be getting as much out of it as you could.

Aside from playing poker, you should also be analyzing your games, including the moves that both you and your opponents are making.

You can do this through tracking programs that let you study your hands after the game, looking at what you could have done differently.

usual poker beginner mistakes

You can also use these programs to see how your opponents played and learn from them. This will help you prevent common mistakes while also learning more about how opponents react to certain situations.

You don’t need to be studying the advanced mathematical theory of poker as a beginner, but you can learn more about strategies and concepts through guides and videos online.

There are courses you can take too, but these are often a significant investment. If you’re a complete beginner, it’s best to start off with free resources, and there are a lot of them to work through.

Playing Without a Clear Strategy

While poker may be a gambling game, it’s all skill-based, and the best players use strategies to succeed.

Playing without a strategy may see you win a hand or two out of luck, but you’re always more likely to lose in the long run.

Each decision you make should be taken carefully, always considering how it will affect your hand later on in the round.

Playing with a defined strategy and playing while thinking of the long-term effect of each choice will allow you to plan ahead and have more success.

You can find plenty of guides for poker strategies online, which is why studying poker is so important.

Through studying, you can find examples of strategies you can use and how to pair strategies together. In many situations, you may be forced to change your strategy due to the behavior of your opponent or due to an unexpected card.

Another thing to be mindful of, you should change your strategy often so you’re not playing the same way each round. If you play with the same strategy over and over, your opponents will start to predict your behavior and will have the upper hand.

Changing your strategy often also gives you more experience in using different strategies, allowing you to more effectively adapt how you play to certain situations.

Final Thoughts

Poker is not an easy game to master, and it will take many hours of studying and practice to get to a level where you can compete with top players.

Even then, you’ll usually be at a disadvantage, as there will often be players more experienced than you.

However, this doesn’t mean it’s impossible to succeed. What it means is that you’ll have to play smarter to get ahead.

Eliminating these mistakes from your game is the first step, but you should never stop learning and perfecting your game.

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