When you start playing poker, your focus should be on learning how to play and enjoy the game. If your goal is to win money regularly, you’ll have to spend a lot of time getting familiar with poker strategies. But as a newbie, that shouldn’t be your priority.
As a novice in the world of poker, there are things you have to do to stay on the right track. At the same time, you should try to avoid certain mistakes. Unfortunately, many new players often make them. The good news is they are easy to avoid, so knowing what they are can help you become a better player. It will also give you an advantage over other inexperienced poker players you’ll encounter at the tables.
Here are the most common mistakes that poker newbies make.
Playing Too Many Hands
This is one of the easiest mistakes you can make. It can be very tempting to get more involved in the game. However, you can end up wasting lots of chips (or money) this way. We’re not saying you should get in on the action only when you have a solid hand, to begin with, but you need to choose your moves wisely. A good poker player must be patient. Waiting for the right opportunities will undoubtedly pay off in the long run.
Sometimes, players will play too many hands as they think too highly of them. Sometimes, even an ace or a pair is enough to overvalue it. It’s not easy for new players to make informed decisions on the next move or judgments about their opponents’ cards, but you should keep this in mind. Before you raise or call, just think about the possible combination your rival might have and whether that could beat you.
Defend Your Blinds Too Often
New players often get involved when it’s their turn to pay the big or the small blind. Putting chips into the pot doesn’t mean you have to call a raise, regardless of the strength of your hand. Don’t let your ego get in the way; folding your blinds doesn’t make you appear weaker to your rivals.
Not Folding When Necessary
New players sometimes find it very difficult to fold, even if they’re sure they’ll be beaten. It’s not easy to let go of your money, especially if you made a bigger bet. But there are situations when you have to do so. You have to understand that you won’t win every time. If you feel your hand is not strong enough, folding would be the right move.
Bluffing Too Often
One of the best feelings in poker is to make a successful bluff. Newbies often get carried ways and overdo it. Let’s get one thing straight: there’s nothing wrong with bluffing, but you should be careful how often you pull this move. If your opponents see you’re bluffing too much, they won’t back down that easy.
One of the mistakes that inexperienced players make is thinking they have to make advanced moves to have any chances of winning. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. You won’t fool anyone by trying to play like an expert. Trust us when we tell you there’s no point in doing things just for the sake of it. Once you gain the necessary experience, you’ll be able to make advanced moves. Until then, try to keep it as simple as possible. Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to win.
In addition to overplaying, you’ll want to avoid being too predictable. It’s OK to play straightforwardly, but don’t let your opponents take advantage. Some players pay close attention to their rivals’ moves even at the low stakes, so you mustn’t reveal how you play. What can you do to avoid getting predictable? Change the size of your bets when raising pre-flop, or from time to time, get involved in pots with hands that are not your usual starting selection. Essentially, just make sure not to do the same things all the time.
Getting All Emotional
Emotions can negatively impact your game, particularly anger and frustration. So, it’s best to avoid them, although we’re aware it won’t be easy. Even when playing for fun, players can get upset or angry if they get on a losing streak. If you don’t control your emotions, you’ll likely start to make irrational decisions and end up losing more money.
Not Paying Attention to Your Opponents
Making good decisions is a crucial part of poker. However, that’s not particularly easy for beginners, as they’re unfamiliar with any poker strategy. You should know that watching your opponents can help you make better decisions during the game. Newbies typically focus on their own cards and moves and rarely pay attention to their opponents’ actions. Watching your rivals isn’t that hard and can significantly help you improve your skills.
Blaming It on Bad Luck
There are times when you’ll simply be unlucky, but that’s not the case every time you lose. It’s important to know when you’re playing poorly, as you’ll be able to correct your mistakes and not repeat them the next time.