Friday, March 2, 2007

Common Poker Mistakes

Most poker players realize that strategy plays a major part in how their game turns out. This knowledge, however, does not prevent them from committing errors in judgment that cost them their games. It is commonly the novice players that commit the following mistakes, but some seasoned players still do these from time to time.

Playing too fast and too high

So you have a monster hand. Most novice players get so excited that they aggressively raise and re-raise their bets to unprecedented amounts. This is very bad strategy you should steer clear of. If you do this, you will induce many of your opponents to fold and drop out of the betting. You will still win but you will have accomplished two things as well. One, you will lose the chance of winning more money because the more players you tempt into lasting out the game, the higher your pot would have been. Two, you become predictable; the next time they see you do this again, the other players will readily believe you have a monster hand and never bother seeing the game through. Likewise, when they see you not betting as aggressively, they will know that you don’t have a very good hand and they will make you drop out of the game.

Playing too slow and too low

When you have a good hand, you may be tempted to play too slow to get all the players play until the end of that hand. When you do this, you are giving your opponents free cards. They will be able to wait out the hand and form better card combinations without much cost to them. One of your opponents who had an average set of cards to start out with may beat you in the end. Betting too low also means that the pot couldn’t grow bigger. If you still win the hand, you would win less money than what you could have won had you bet more aggressively.

If you have a good hand, it is better to consistently raise bets so that the pot can accumulate much faster. However, do not over bet or over-raise. It is good poker strategy to bet high and constantly raise the betting while still retaining the maximum number of players at least for the turn.

Going all-in for the wrong reasons

This is the most common mistake that novice poker players commit. When they have a good set of starting cards, they go all in the hopes of securing a sure win. Seeing the strategy work, they will sometimes be tempted to go all in even if they have a very beatable hand in the hopes of bluffing their way to a win. This may work for a few hands but it will lose its power soon enough. If you go all in much too often, the other players will begin to suspect that you’re all hot air and begin calling your hand. You will thus lose all your chips and your dignity, too.