Poker can be a complex game—especially for beginners. Figuring out the best play for every situation can be daunting. If you are new to Texas Hold Em, there are a few mistakes that you will want to avoid.
By learning what they are, like Texas Hold Em hands, and understanding what makes them so detrimental to your game, you’ll have a better idea of how to play strategically.
One of the most common mistakes beginners make is showing their cards when they fold. Showing your cards gives other players valuable information about your hand and can be used against you in future hands. If you show your cards, it’s called a “tell,” and it can give other players an idea of what type of player you are. It is absolutely fundamental to keep your cards close to your chest and only show them when you’re sure you have the winning hand.
It’s important to be selective with the hands you play and only enter pots when you have a good chance of winning. Playing too many hands will lead to you losing money in the long run. When you’re starting, it’s best to play fewer hands and focus on learning how to play them well.
When you lose a hand, it’s tempting to try and win your money back by playing more hands. However, this is a surefire way to lose even more money because you’re playing more hands than you can afford to. Your primary goal also shifts from making the best decisions to earning back what you lost, which can lead to making illogical decisions. Accepting your losses and moving on is a necessary part of the game. If you start chasing your losses, you’ll only dig yourself a deeper hole. Even the best players make bad calls, but they can stay entirely in the moment; that is how they hang with the best.
Another mistake that beginners make is overplaying their hands. This means that they continue to bet or raise even when they have a weak hand. This can be costly, as it often leads to them losing more money than if they had just folded. When you have a strong hand, you should be confident in it and bet accordingly when you have a strong hand. However, if you’re unsure about your hand, it’s usually best to just check or fold. Knowing hands odds and pot odds is crucial to making the best decision with your hand, so be sure to study poker odds or keep a poker cheat sheet nearby.
Many beginners play too passively, meaning they don’t bet or raise enough. This can be costly because it often leads to them missing out on potential winnings. While you don’t want to be too aggressive, you also don’t want to be too passive. Finding the right balance is key to success in poker.
Poker pros develop a killer instinct over time, which means they know how to make the most out of a good opportunity. By looking at the community cards, experienced poker players will know the possible hands that can be made, and if their hand is among the best ones, that is the perfect time to grow their chip stack. Being able to read and manipulate your opponents will be crucial to making aggressive play lucrative, so it is important to develop those skills as well.
Many beginners make the mistake of showing their real emotions when playing. This can be a tell for other players and give them an idea of what you’re thinking. For example, if you get angry after losing a hand, you likely have a strong hand and are now feeling frustrated. On the other hand, if you smile after winning a big pot, it’s likely that you had a weak hand and got lucky. Keep a poker face at all times so that other players can’t read you.
Playing online is a good way to practice managing your emotions while playing. It can be difficult to hide your excitement or disappointment when you are new to the game, so it’s best to practice in an environment where you can’t be punished for whooping at a big win or slamming your desk in frustration. Be sure to look for sites that allow you to play poker online free of charge.
Predictability is another mistake that beginners make. This means that they often do the same thing in similar situations. For example, if you always raise when you have a good hand, other players will catch on and start to fold when you make your move. The key is to mix up your play so that other players can’t predict what you’re going to do. This will keep them guessing and force them to make mistakes. One of the key dangers of being predictable is that beginners are unaware of their tells or the patterns in their gameplay. So even if you consider yourself an intermediate or pro, it’s good to always ask yourself whether the strategy you are about to use is one you’ve already used recently.
Be aware of what other players are doing and how they’re playing their hands. This information can be used to your advantage in future hands. By paying attention to the other players, you can get an idea of their playing style and use that information to your advantage. The ability to read other players is an absolute fundamental that any aspiring poker player should constantly develop if they hope to reach higher level play.
Before you put your money on the line at the next game, make sure you aren’t making any of these common beginner mistakes. Even if you’re a more experienced player, knowing the ins and outs of your game is the best way to identify your weaknesses and improve.
If you don’t feel confident in your poker skills just yet, sign up with GGPoker, the world’s largest poker room, today. With a little bit of practice (and avoiding these rookie errors), you’ll be crushing the competition in no time.