Poker is a game of skill, but if you don’t possess the skills, how can you expect to win? Avoiding these common mistakes will improve your game and increase your bankroll. You can get all the practice that you need at playing poker if you try your hand at it on PokerQQ which will be of much help.
Playing Too Many Hands
This is one of the most common mistakes that poker players make. Yes, it’s exciting to be in there mixing it up hand after hand, but getting involved in too many pots with mediocre or garbage hands is a sure-fire way to get caught with your cheese hanging in the wind. Many losing players feel they have to play “any ace, any face,” but if that ace or face card isn’t paired with another big card, simply toss them into the muck. Tightening up your starting requirements is one of the simplest things you can do to increase your profit. The philosophy that you can’t win if you don’t play doesn’t hold in poker. Sometimes you win by not losing.
Playing Too Passively
If you check every time you are first to act, and simply call every time there’s a bet facing you, you may be playing too passively. More times than not, the flop will not improve your hand. If you’re first to act, you’re giving up a lot of potential money by checking every time you miss the flop. Betting into your opponent every now and then will help you pick up a lot of small pots. Remember, the flop probably hasn’t helped your opponent either. Conversely, when you’re in position and there’s a bet facing you, try raising a little more often if you’re going to play, rather than just calling. Your opponent may just be trying to determine where he’s at in the hand, and a little aggression informs him that you think your holdings are better than his.
Playing Too Aggressively
Poker rewards aggression more than passivity, but it is possible to be too aggressive. If you’re betting and raising every hand, it’s only a matter of time before your opponents catch on and start playing back at you. When that happens, you better be ready to change gears.
Chasing Too Many Draws (Or Not Enough)
Some players chase every draw imaginable, while others feel that you should never chase. The sole determining factor in whether you should try to hit that flush or fill that inside straight should be whether the amount you could win is worth the amount that you have to put into the pot. A clear understanding of pot odds and implied odds (and how to calculate them on the fly) is all you really need. These concepts won’t be discussed in any depth here, but the information is out there for those willing to seek it.
Trying to Outplay Bad Players
Bad players play too many hands and call far too often. They are essentially unbluffable. If you think you can “outsmart” or “outplay” them by bluffing and making moves, you’re making a big mistake. If they don’t understand the game, how do you expect them to be dazzled by all of your clever maneuverings? When faced with a player like this, just play straight-ahead “ABC” poker, and they will give you their money. No need for anything fancy.
Playing While Distracted
Poker requires attention and focus. If you’re in a brick-and-mortar casino, keep your eyes off that pretty waitress and concentrate on the game. Lay off the alcohol. If you’re playing online, avoid surfing the Web or chatting with friends while you’re playing. If there’s something going on in your personal life that has you stressed out to the point you can’t focus on poker, take the day off. There will always be another game.
Going “On Tilt”
While poker is a game of skill, luck is certainly a factor, and not all of that luck will be good. When the cards run bad and the luck isn’t going your way, try to accept this as merely part of the game. By letting the bad beats frustrate and affect your mood, and more importantly, your game, you are simply making matters worse. Learn to control your emotions at the table, and your game will improve by leaps and bounds.
Playing Outside Your Bankroll
Bankroll management is probably the biggest challenge faced by most poker players. If you’re putting more than 10% of your bankroll into a single cash game, or more than 5% into a single tournament, you’re playing too high. Try playing lower stakes until you build your bankroll up to where it needs to be. Remember, poker is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t be so eager to play higher stakes that you risk all your money in one or two sessions. After all, it’s pretty hard to play poker when you’re broke.