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How to Correct 9 Common Poker Mistakes

November 20, 2018

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If you’re struggling to beat out your opponents, or you just can’t seem to build your bankroll, you might be making one of these common poker mistakes. Read our tips on how to correct these familiar foibles.

1) Overconfidence.

  • This could be when you don’t realize you have a bad habit or “leak”. How often do you see players who believe that just because they have been playing for years, they are an authority on the game, but they have relatively few chips? Be honest with yourself and see how many of the traps listed below you are repeatedly falling into.

2) Bad bankroll management.

  • Everyone likes to play as big as possible to make the wins bigger and the opponents more satisfying to beat, but can you afford the high stakes when it means 25% of your bankroll? Little fish are sweet. Playing with scared money is a huge mistake and eventually variance will get you. Play within your means, even if it means dropping down to where the players are unfamiliar. When you have won a comfortable number of buy-ins at the games you can afford, the games where your friends usually hang out will be much more fun.

3) Too loose.

  • Learn to nurse every last one of your chips. You do not have to see every flop. You do not have to keep trying to bluff the same calling stations who never seem to fall for it. Saving chips is as good as winning chips.

4) Too tight.

  • Don’t be afraid to make a stand before you’re blinded away. Overly-tight players are easily persuaded to fold, and if you don’t realize what’s happening, you’ll miss chances to build your stack. Keep an eye on the blind levels and try to judge when you have no option other than to call, or if you have a good chance to get a better hand before it’s too late.

5) Too entrenched.

  • Poker can be repetitive, and when playing online in particular, it can become very easy to click buttons and not think about what you’re doing. If you are on a losing run, step back from the game and ask yourself why. Are the players better than you? Have they picked up on your habits and calling all your over size bluffs, but none of your smaller value bets with strong hands, for instance? Are you going through the motions and missing winning hands? Try a different game or game variant to get a fresh perspective.

6) Too passive.

  • Do you call too much? If you never raise, you’ll be seen as a donator or a calling station who bleeds chips into the pot. You should try to look for opportunities to raise when you have the best hand and not be so concerned about being drawn out on, as long as you made them pay for it!

7) Too aggressive.

  • Are you trying to hard to win every hand? Expert players say that it’s good to maximize your chances for each decision, but sometimes it is not your pot to win. Observant opponents will quickly learn you are over betting your holding and lie in wait for you to throw your chips at them.

8) Missing bets.

  • Winning at poker is about winning chips. Letting opponents off too easily costs you chips every time you check instead of making a bet someone would have called with a losing hand. It won’t always work, but in the long run correct betting habits will reap rewards and allow you to look for opportunities to win pots with a well timed bluff.

9) Non-believer.

  • Are you making too many “hero calls” in the hope of catching someone bluffing? Maybe you just want to see their hand and you know that you’re giving away chips to satisfy your curiosity? Learn to be patient and pick your spots. Chips will drain away less and less and players who used to thank you for calling will have to earn the chips you put into the pot.