Making mistakes in poker will cost you money, but the thing that will stop you from advancing and becoming a good player is not learning from those mistakes. Beginners have a hard time noticing their mistakes especially if those mistakes took only a small part of their stack.
They neglect them and fail to realize that these small amounts, when they add up, can have a significant effect on your bankroll. This is why it’s hard for beginners to avoid mistakes unless someone points them out to you. Here are top 5 beginner mistakes you should learn to avoid:
Going for coin flips
This is a result of TV poker where you often see coin flip situations, so new players think that that’s something you should go for. TV poker is about entertainment, and while coin flips are fun to watch, your strategy shouldn’t revolve around situations where you risk your entire stack in a hand where you have no advantage. In cash games, hopping for coin flips can be very costly and it is one of the most often mistakes in poker. You need one bad session and a few coin flip situations to lose a significant part of your bankroll. In tournaments when you’re short stacked it’s OK to go all in with any Ace or any decent hand and hope to get a call and a chance to double up, but this is not something you should do in cash games.
You will often see a beginner player who just can’t fold a top pair or an over-pair no matter how strong they opponent bets. Sure this is OK if you have a read on your opponent and know he often bluffs, but against tight players or players you know nothing about, this is a costly strategy. Remember that no matter how big a pair you have it’s still just a pair, and there are numerous combinations on any flop that can beat you.
Two pairs can look like a monster to beginners, but a good player knows that with two pairs, and no draw on the board, they can either win the pot on the flop by betting it, in some situations get a call from a player who has one pair or be playing against a player with a stronger two pairs or a set. In any case, a pair or two pairs on the flop are far from a monster hand so don’t treat them like that.
Drawing on a dangerous board
You play draws in hope to hit and then take as much money as possible from your opponent. Depending on how good they are you can get a small amount or they entire stack. As good as draws can be, it’s sometimes worse to hit it then to call your opponent’s bets and miss it entirely. An example is when you have a draw on a paired board, and call all bets no matter how strong they are. Keep in mind that calling bets on a draw only make sense when you have good pot and implied odds. Don’t call and wait for a draw on a dangerous board or you’ll often see that you were drawing dead the whole time.
Playing money, you’re afraid to lose
Money in poker comes from big pots, but if you’re afraid to invest all the money you have in play in a single hand then it’s unlikely you’ll make the right decisions. A good player will sense this and use your fear too often put you in all in situations, knowing you’ll probably fold unless you have the nuts. If you’re afraid to lose the money you’re playing with you will never be able to relax and play your game.
Bad bet sizing
Talking about amateur mistakes in poker, we must mention that not many beginners pay attention to their bet sizing, which makes them easy to read. If you don’t pay attention to your bet sizing and always bet certain hands the same, your opponents will easily put you on a hand and always know exactly how to play against you. When you hit a hand try to keep your bets small enough for someone with a smaller hand to call, but big enough to cut down the odds for players on a draw.