I remember when I first started playing poker years ago. I really had no idea what I was doing. I just knew the game of poker seemed exciting and it looked so easy. Soon after, I discovered the game wasn’t quite so easy and I was making far too many mistakes that were costing me big bucks.
Virtually every new poker player loses. Can you believe that? The key, however, is how long they lose for. Some players are doomed to lose forever, and some pick the game up rather quickly. The game looks easy, but once you sit down at a poker table against decent poker players, you quickly learn that playing winning poker requires a ridiculous amount of skill. These skills are acquired over time through studying and experience. Some learn them quicker than others. Some never learn them. The ones that continue losing, constantly make the following mistakes:
Top 5 Poker Leaks Poker Players Make
1) Playing too many hands
Poker can get a bit boring at times. I’ll be honest, when I’m card dead, I feel like poking my eyes out. We all have those long runs of cards where every hand seems to be 9-2, 5-2, 7-3, etc. Sometimes it gets to a point where hands such as J-9 and Q-8 start to look like Pocket Rockets. But they’re not Pocket Rockets, and they shouldn’t be played like they’re Pocket Rockets. Play fewer hands early on in your poker career. Stick with premium hands such as big pocket pairs, AQ, AQ, etc. You’ll, at the very least, lose less.
2) Overvaluing hands
Let’s say you are holding Jd-8d in the big blind and the flop is Js-3s-10d. Not a bad hand, but also vulnerable to many other hands and draws. You’re also out of position here. The smart play on the flop is to throw out a bet around 2/3 the size of the pot. But if even one player calls, it’s time to slow down. You could be up against a Jack with a high kicker.
3) Betting out of position
The key to playing winning poker is properly playing position. What I mean by that is you should be less aggressive in early position or first to act than you are in late position or last to act. Bluffing into a 4-way pot in first position usually isn’t a smart idea. But if everyone has checked the flop to you in last position and the board is nothing but low cards, you are in prime position to bluff and take down the pot with a bit of aggression.
4) Bluffing too much
Most people new to poker think of the game as a “bluffing game”. The bluffing aspect of poker is a big part of the draw to the game. And there’s no doubt in order to play winning poker you have to occasionally bluff. However, inexperienced poker players shouldn’t bluff very often. You need to first get a feel for the game and start developing an instinct for when the time is right to bluff.
5) Allowing emotions to take over rationale
If you’re new to poker, you don’t truly understand how mentally challenging the game is. You have to eliminate negative thoughts from your mind. When the cards are killing you, just walk it off. Don’t let bad runs of cards force you to play poorly. It will eventually turn around. Every poker player suffers through occasional bad runs. Deal with it.
Overcoming These Weaknesses
There is a way to quickly curb these weaknesses, and that is to play more hands and read a few poker books. New poker players get caught up with other things in life instead of playing poker and they assume that the next time that they play, they’ll be as good of a player as they were before. However, this is not true. Instead, poker players must continually play so as not to get rusty. If you are really dedicated to making a living playing poker, or just want to make some extra income, we strongly suggest signing up for an online poker site versus playing at a live poker room. Why? The answer is simple.
Online poker sites spread many more hands per hour than live poker rooms do. Additionally, online poker players can play multiple tables at the same time. Now, take the advice I’ve given you above and put it to practice. Find a poker site that suits you best by heading over to our online poker site reviews and choosing your favorite two or three to play at. You’ll want to play at a few sites before serious about poker because you want to know which site you run the best at, and which site you enjoy playing the most.