Sunday, November 26, 2006


The 10 Worst Poker Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Report this article if you suspect it is not original content, is in violation of our Editorial Guidelines or our Author's Terms of Service.When playing poker, many players are prone to making the same fatal mistakes. Below, I have attempted to outline these problems in the hopes that the reader may identify any negative tendencies in their game and make the necessary changes.
Mistake 1 - Playing Short-Handed with Little Experience - First of all, short-handed play requires more skill. You don’t have the luxury of simply being patient, which forces you to play weaker hands. You’ll be playing more hands per game, and this will put you at a distinct disadvantage when competing against more experienced players. Beginning players also may not have the bankroll needed to weather the high fluctuations of such a game. These fluctuations can lead players to go on tilt, which is always a huge mistake. Playing short-handed requires a whole different mindset. Start by playing in regular games and gain experience. Only then should you start branching out into the deeper water of short-handed games.
Mistake 2 - Bluffing Too Much - Bluffing an opponent is a great feeling, but if you do it too much you’re bound to get called. Betting with a weak hand is a surefire way to decrease your chip total. Be careful and don’t get too cute. Feel free to bluff, but do it in moderation.
Mistake 3 - Playing Position Wrong - You want to play as many hands as possible from a late position, and these are hands that you’ll want to play aggressively. Going later allows you to see what your opponents are doing. If you’re in the early position, you want to play fewer hands.
Mistake 4 - Getting Too Emotional - When players get too emotional, they are bound to make mistakes. At all times, try and remain detached from the game. Stay calm. Bet with your brains, not with your heart.
Mistake 5 - Focusing Too Much on the Cards - Play the player, not the cards. Learn the tendencies of your opponents and try to make sure that few hands ever make it to the final card. Instead, you want to use the knowledge of your opponent to force them to fold long before then.
Mistake 6 - Thinking You’re the Best - Despite what you think, you are not the best player out there. In any given game, anyone has a chance to beat anyone else. There’s only so much you can do about this. What you can do is realize that you’re going to lose a lot of the time. Practice, however, will ensure that you lose far less than those around you.
Mistake 7 - Not Asking for Help - Whether you learn by watching others or asking for advice,you must get help from time to time to improve. And, of course, there’s simply no substitute for actual game experience.
Mistake 8 - Playing the Wrong Stakes - The difference between a $5 and $10 game can be huge. It’s always important to play in a game with stakes which you can afford. The higher the stakes, the higher the level of competition. Start small and slowly move up as your skills and bankroll improve.
Mistake 9 - Being Predictable - Be aware of your betting patterns. Mix things up. Remember, while you’re studying your opponents, they are studying you.
Mistake 10 - Not Knowing When to Quit - Knowing when to quit, either after a big win or big loss, is absolutely vital to poker success. Being hardheaded will only get you deeper in the hole or ensure that your winning streak comes to an eventual halt. Get out while you’re ahead (or at least while you’re not too far behind).