Making mistakes in poker can unfortunately be pretty costly, and they can also leave you feeling disheartened, and make you want to give up playing. However, if you begin to identify your mistakes and learn from them, you can actually use these learnings to your advantage to get ahead in the future. To help you along, we’ve listed some of the most common mistakes new players make when playing poker.
Not being open to exciting opportunities
Playing it safe is a good tactic for new players, but if you do want to progress as a poker player, you need to learn to take a few (well educated) risks and recognise when those opportunities arise for you to give it a go. Poker is a game of relative values so you don’t necessarily need a monster hand to win – just one better than your opponent. Better yet, sometimes you just need a well timed/sized bet to make your opponent lay down the winning hand. The key element of recognizing profitable opportunities is good position.
This mistake screams ‘new player alert’ as it showcases a lack of discipline and tactics. Over calling is to call a bet that a player or players to your right have already called. A classic example of this is a pre-flop limp fest, and in that situation it can be correct if you have a hand that plays well in a large field. A small pocket pair, or suited connectors, would be two examples of this. However, post flop if you have third pair and it is bet and called in front of you, then you need to come to terms with the obvious, which is – you are falling behind.
Defending blinds obsessively
Many poker players in the beginning believe that it is cowardly to be pushed of their blinds. Some players feel that they have already made a down payment by way of the cost of the blind, so with this logic they are getting a bargain. There are also some obsessive blind stealers out there. For this reason, it is imperative to gain knowledge about your opponents’ tendencies. Constantly defending your blinds with weak holdings is detrimental to your poker bankroll.
Taking your emotions to the table
As with any gambling game, you should always try to leave your problems at the door, and when you sit down to play, it should have all of your concentration, and the way that you play (i.e. the risks that you take) should have nothing to do with the mood you’re in, or what sort of day you’ve had. Beginners will often make rash, emotional decisions that can act like blinders, preventing them from taking in all the information they need to make a smart decision. If you find this happening, take a break, take a step back and pick back up when you’ve had a rethink.