Common Beginner Mistakes in Poker, Part 1
1 - Playing too many hands
By far the most common mistake beginners make is that they play too many hands. Starting hand selection is a key component in being successful in poker. Most beginners want to play to have fun, which means they'll play just about every hand just to be in the game. This is a fantastic strategy only if you're looking to burn money as fast as possible.
2 - Playing too high
Playing above the limits of your bankroll or expertise is another common mistake many players make. Even veteran players sometimes fall into the trap of playing way too high as a result of greed or pride. You can very quickly lose your entire bankroll simply by getting unlucky or by facing tough competition. Make sure you have enough of a cushion to absorb bad downswings and make sure to master the basics in poker before you move to high limits. Bankroll management is discussed in more detail here.
3 - Bluffing in the wrong situations
Players often make too many bluffs and bluff in the wrong situations. Even after they have shown down a bluff, they continue to bluff, not realizing that players will call them down with weaker holdings knowing that they could very well be bluffing. Other times players bluff against opponents who have shown that they will never fold any piece of the board, which can't even be called bluffing; the players are just giving their chips away! Bluffing certainly has its place in poker but reserve it for special situations.
4 - Not understanding pot odds
Pot odds can be a difficult concept to understand, but it must be mastered before a player becomes successful. Pot odds are used to determine if you can call bets or raises profitably in different situations (such as if you are on a draw, or if you have a pocket pair and you believe your opponent has a higher pair). Ignoring pot odds and calling large bets just in the hopes of getting lucky is another very good way to lose a lot of money.
For more beginners' tips, see Common Beginner Mistakes, Part 2, and for more in-depth tips see 6 Tips for Beginners.
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Written by MewsicLovr, FeltPoker Forum administrator