The Most Common Mistakes For Texas Hold’em Poker Beginners
New players to the game of poker tend to make common mistakes due to their lack of experience and unfamiliarity with the game. Many veteran players will tell you that an initiation into poker requires you to lose at first until you understand and get a feel for the game.
This is correct to a certain degree. But by adhering to some specific guidelines and principles, newbies can avoid the mistakes made by most beginners who are starting fresh and learning to play poker. We will examine the most common of mistakes beginner players make and show you how to avoid them to save your bankroll.
Not Being Patience
Rookies generally want to sit down and play and not do much watching. It’s completely normal to feel that way. Except the game of poker requires plenty of patience and waiting for premium starting hands in order to have the best chance at winning.
Playing to Many Hands
Successful poker players play about 15% to 20% of the hands dealt to them. That’s less than one of every five hands. Newcomers generally do not like to hear this, as they came to play and to not be folding the majority of their hands.
However, you must learn to play only the best starting hands and fold the others in order to be profitable. Simply by understanding this and being selective in your chosen playable hands, you will be way ahead of the game in comparison to most other beginners.
Next on our list of beginner mistakes is chasing too many hands after the flop and continuously throwing money or chips into the pot in hopes of catching the cards needed to make the winning hand. If you start with a good hand, but the flop is not favorable and has made your chances of winning considerably worse, it is foolish to continue to remain in the hand when all indications are that you are probably beat.
As an example, let’s say you are dealt a pair of Queens and make a good-sized pre-flop raise and get three callers. The flop arrives as K-7-A. There is a lot of betting and raising among your opponents prior to your turn to act. You certainly were dealt one of the top starting hands in the game.
But the result of the flop has made your hand not so good anymore as at least one of your opponents–and probably more due to the heavy betting–is likely to have either an A or K to beat your Q-Q. You have to know when to get out of the hand and this would certainly be a situation that calls for it, despite the fact that you most likely had the best hand before the flop.
Playing the Wrong Stakes
Beginners also tend to start playing at stakes that are above their level as beginners. It’s a fact that the greater the skill of the player, the higher the stakes he or she will and should be playing. Common sense will tell you to start out small at the micro and lower stake levels before sitting down with the big boys.
But beginners have a tendency to join the $5/$10 and $10/$20 tables before understanding proper nuances and strategies of the game. It’s relatively easy to dump a few hundred dollars at those levels in no time at all if you don’t know what you are doing.
Remember, there will be plenty of time to play at those levels in the future. But when just starting out, its wise to play the lower table stakes until your knowledge and skill is comparable to that of the players at the bigger money tables.
Having a Big Ego
The next common mistake relates to a player’s ego. Sort of along the same lines as playing at stakes that are too high when just starting out, beginners sometimes think they can master the game quickly. Being overly confident can cause a newbie to make poor or bad decisions.
Make the Proper Decisions
The whole object of poker and the key to being successful is making the proper decisions in various situations or hands with regard to the information in front of you at the time. If you unrealistically think that you understand and have mastered the game after only a short time playing, believe me, other more experienced players will show you how wrong you are by removing you from your money in due course.
Learn the Game
The point here is to understand that learning the game and improving takes time. Better to be humble than cocky at first. Take the time to learn the subtleties and many facets of the game before pronouncing yourself an expert.
The last of the most common beginner mistakes is playing when you are distracted, angry, or just not fully focused on the task at hand. Poker requires concentration and your best efforts to make the proper decisions in various situations.
If you happen to be sad about a recent event in your life, angry about losing a bad beat, distracted by the television while playing online, or just not in the right frame of mind to play, you should not be playing. We are only human and not robots. Emotions and feelings are a part of our lives.
But if any of these emotions or distractions gets in the way while playing poker, there is a good chance that your bankroll will diminish as a result. Just make sure you are focused on winning and playing correctly without letting other things get in the way.
Beginners can avoid the pitfalls that have befallen many players new to the game who were not privy to such advice. Just remember to be selective in your starting hands, don’t chase hands where the likelihood of winning is slim, play lower stakes at first, check your ego at the door before you begin, and remain focused on the game or simply don’t play until you can devote your full attention to playing.
By taking heed of these guidelines when learning how to play poker, you will be way ahead of the game and on your way to being a profitable and successful poker player.
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