When starting out in poker, players make mistakes almost every hand. Although the mistake may not seem to have cost them much money, making several mistakes in a session of poker can cost the player several big blinds at there chosen level, or even turn a winning session into a losing one. So, with all that said how can you spot these mistakes and rectify them. The following tips may not apply to every player, but they are the most common beginner mistakes.
Tip #1 – Getting attached to hands
Many players do this far too often. Sure AK suited is a great hand but if you don’t hit on the flop and face a player who bets out to you, it fairly certain it is in a losing position. Players frequently will call in this example, losing chips and giving them a bad table image. Your opponents will soon realise you cannot let good hands go even when you haven’t hit, and will use this against you at any possible moment. Remember, if your great hand doesn’t hit on the flop, be prepared to let it go.
Tip #2 – Playing too many hands
This is possibly the mistake which will lose you the biggest amount of chips in any one session. If you call too many hands before the flop your opponents will see you as a “Calling Station” and can lead you into some sticky situations.
I once received a big piece of advice which helped me overcome this style of play. I was playing a small tournament against some friends when I looked down and saw 78 off-suit in an early position. Of course I called as at that time I saw it as a decent hand. The flop came 8 high, so I bet out. The button then re-raised all-in so I quickly folded but showed the table my cards. The player sitting next to me said, “Why did you call before the flop with that when the perfect flop came out but you still folded?”, This was a good piece of advice because I began to think about what he asked me and how right he was. Why would you call with a hand you would fold after the flop, even if you hit?
Tip #3 – Going into Tilt Mode
Everyone takes beats but when you are starting out you feel the whole world is against you. You feel sure your Aces will get cracked, your straight get outdrawn and it really affects your game. After you have taken that beat you go crazy and start playing hands you wouldn’t normally, called “Tilt”. This often leads to the end of your tournament life or has a bad affect on your bankroll.
All players go through this, several never overcome it, but if you want to be a successful player you have to learn to deal with the beats. I find the best way to deal with a bad beat or losing streak is to take a break and do something that relaxes me. It takes my mind off of poker and when I come back I feel refreshed and ready to play my “A Game”.
Tip #4 – Thinking Real Money Play is the same as Play Money
Almost all players start playing poker by learning the basics at the play money table. However, the play at a play money table is significantly worse then a real money table. This is why, when making the transition to play money to real, players often get seriously down-hearted after losing there first deposit within half an hour. When playing with play money, players have nothing to lose and will risk all their chips with even the worst of hands. At real money this will very rarely happen and you need to learn the way real money tables are played fast to ensure you minimize your losses.
Tip #5 – Not thinking about the long term
Of course it is bad losing a big pot when your Aces get cracked by Kings, but saying you should have folded because you know aces will get cracked is a completely wrong statement. If you get your money in with the best hands you will become a successful, winning poker player. No matter how bad you run, if you make the correct decisions you will always come out at the end of the month with a profit.