Don’t make these Common Poker Beginner Mistakes

Poker BeginnerWhen first starting to play poker beginner players all tend to make some of the same mistakes.

By eliminating these mistakes before they even happen you can save yourself money that you otherwise would have lost and eliminate some of the stress and headaches – lets face it, you want to enjoy playing your new found sport of poker and the best way to do that is not to lose!

At the beginning of your poker career you must realize that your game is flawed. No one starts out playing perfect poker because the game is a learning process in which there is always more to learn. Your aim as a beginner poker player is to establish a good base from which you can improve and part of that base is to make sure that you do not fall into the trap of these beginner mistakes.

Once you have learnt how to play poker and established a base knowledge of how to play well then the rest is up to you. The more you know and learn about the game is directly related to how much money you make at the game. As long as you study more than your opponents you will always have an edge against them and win more money than they do in the long run.

Beginner Mistake #1 – Completing in the Small Blind

There are a lot of players that think it is ok or even correct to play every hand from the small blind just because it appears to be a great deal – after all you already have one half of the big blind in the pot (via your small blind) and in order to play the hand you only have to pay half the price that everybody else at the table is having to pay – surely that’s a bargain?

Well that is completely incorrect. You will ultimately lose money in the small blind because you are in the very worst “position” possible in the hand.

Poker Position

Your position at the table in relation to the dealer button dictates what order you act after the cards have been dealt.

Players to the left of the dealer button will be asked to bet or check first after every round of cards is dealt.

Who is to the left of the dealer button and hence first to act? Yes…. your right…. it’s the small blind – that’s you!

In poker you want to be the last person to act so that you can see what decision all the other players have made so that the maximum information is available to you before you have to make a decision. When you are last to act in a hand then this is called “being in position”

Position is everything in Poker – you will hear that repeated throughout all teachings about playing poker. Knowing how your opponent has acted before you have to decide what to do is a massive advantage.

So because in the small blind we are “out of position” we have to consider this disadvantage as well as the fact that it is a bit cheaper for us to play the hand.

You should play tight from the small blind to negate your disadvantage of position. This means you should only be playing with good hands.

Most playable hands from this position you should raise with, not just call, but there are some hands such as small pocket pairs that you might call with looking to flop a set (a third identical card to make three of a kind also referred to as a “set”). If you don’t flop your set you are then done with the hand.

Players tend to get caught up in the small blind with marginal hands like Q-J and K-10. Even though you could raise with these in late position (on or near the dealer button). You never want to just call with them or call a raise with them in the small blind.

The small blind is the very worst position you can be in so it is vital that you play very tight from it.

Beginner Mistake #2 – Playing On Tilt

It is very easy for beginner players to experience what is probably one of poker’s most famous terms “Tilt”.

Poker Tilt

Tilt is when you let your emotions do the thinking for you instead of logic.

Usually Tilt results out of anger, maybe you lost a previous hand that you think you shouldn’t have, or you feel like another player is being rude or always raising when you are in a hand.

The effect of Tilt will cloud your judgement and you will make incorrect decisions that you would not normally make.

You might find yourself calling the player that has annoyed you when your hand is not good enough and normally you would of folded – you just want to get revenge on that player and you’ll do anything to do so. The problem is you will probably lose to him and that will make you even more angry and tilt even more and the cycle continues and gets worse and worse.

Playing on tilt can result in huge losses and is one of the most common reasons for players losing all their bankroll and going bust. It is very important that beginning players realize this and react accordingly.

What is the solution to Tilt? It’s really simple…. get away from the table / computer screen and don’t return until you have calmed down. Click “sit out” if you are playing online to temporarily remove yourself from the action.

Normally a quick 5 minute break and a cup of tea/coffee is all it takes to calm down and then you can return to the table to play again.

There are multiple ways to recognize you are on tilt:

  • If you start playing hands that you shouldn’t from any position you are on tilt and should leave the table.
  • If you experience a bad beat (lost a hand you feel you shouldn’t have) and are very upset about it then you should leave the table.
  • If there is something in your life that has you feeling any different than you normally feel when you play poker well then you are on tilt and should leave the tables.

Pay attention to this – because it might just save you losing your whole bankroll one day!

Beginner Mistake #3 – Playing Multiple Tables Too Soon

A lot of players read and hear about the professional players playing more than one online poker table at once. It’s then very natural to think that if I can make X amount of cash playing one table then I can make a lot more by playing 2, 3 or even more tables.

Playing Multiple Tables

Playing multiple tables refers to playing online poker when you are seated at 2 or more tables simultaneously and playing at all tables at the same time.

The logic seems sound here… BUT… the logic has a flaw which is as follows. The more tables you play the harder it will be for you to pay attention to everything that is happening and will result in you playing worse than normal.

The common mistake for beginners is they see others playing multiple tables and they then try to do this themselves immediately before they really learn everything involved in playing multiple tables.

It is a different discipline playing multiple tables of poker and a discipline that must be built up slowly, starting with learning how to play a single table correctly.

Once you are comfortable playing a single table and are constantly turning a profit then the best way to then expand into playing multiple tables is to increase in stages, first to two tables. You should then stick with just two tables for a decent amount of time until you are again comfortable with the increased speed and intensity of playing multiple tables and constantly turning a profit in each session you play.

You can then continue this sensible expansion plan one table at a time and you will naturally find the limit of how many tables you can cope with without it having an adverse effect on your play and profit levels.

This slow expansion plan will help you learn all that is required to multi-table naturally without forcing yourself to do so. As long as this transition is natural your game will adapt just like you want it to. After a while you will be able to play four to six tables with ease.

So… can you set yourself ahead of other players?

Take note of these 3 tips and avoid making the above mistakes when you start playing poker and you will already be one step ahead of 90% of the players you play against at the lower stakes tables. This will not only save you a lot of money but ultimately will earn you a lot of money as well.

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