History repeats itself, they say. And that's true for poker as for everything else in life. You see people making the same mistakes over and over at PartyPoker. The wheel of karma, they say. But before we get mystical, let's look at the most common beginner mistakes that new poker players make. Save yourself the trouble and avoid these.
Not Folding Enough Hands
This is the single worst mistake beginners make, and unfortunately it is also the most common. Most poker hands simply are NOT good hands to play. Stick to playing high pocket pairs and high unpaired hands such as A-K and A-Q when you're starting out. Oh, sure, there will be times when you folded that 2-7 of spades only to find you would have made a full house on the flop. But poker isn't about winning just one hand; it's the long term battle you should set your mind on.
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Calling Instead of Raising/Re-Raising
Beginners are often timid. Be aggressive in poker. If you find yourself always having to call someone else, turn the tables. Raise or re-raise. If your hand is worth calling, it must be worth raising. Don't let others dictate the action on your table.
Getting Too Fancy
Beginners to poker hear all this hype about bluffing and decide to bluff “just because” that's poker. Or is it? Bluffing is only for certain situations and it doesn't work if you do it too often. Also, bluffing can only be done against certain player types. If you're involved in a pot against a loose player, your bluffs won't work because everyone knows calling stations don’t fold!
Not Checking the Table Limits
This has got to be the most costly mistake you can make. It's easy for you to do this when you play online and there are hundreds of poker tables to choose from in the lobby. You might click on the wrong room not knowing the limits are $50-$100 when you're looking for a $5-$10 table. Woosh! Your hard-earned bankroll is gone in a flash.
Not Using a Four-Color Deck
Tradition isn't always a good thing. Why should there be only two colors – red and black – when there can be four? After playing 50 hands, trust us, you'll misread your hands. You might think you have a K-Q of diamonds when in fact one of them is a hearts card. Avoid this mistake by selecting a four-color deck. Some brick and mortar casinos also use four-color decks.
Not Stopping When on Tilt
Tilt happens to every gambler, not just a online poker player. It's when you're so upset over your losses that it adversely affects your game. Frequently too, you over-bet. When you find yourself impatiently waiting for the next hand, playing looser, or betting more than you normally do, these are sure signs that you are tilting. Get a grip on yourself or, if you can't, take a break from the table.
Not Budgeting a Bankroll
Your bankroll is your poker career's lifeblood. It is also what sustains all your gambling activities. Plan your bankroll. Decide how much of your earnings you are going to put into your bankroll, what your target profits are and what your loss limits are.