When you're new to playing poker it's difficult to avoid making mistakes and even the top players make simple mistakes from time to time. Our guide is designed to help you spot the common mistakes which new players often make and show you ways to avoid them.
There are many mistakes a poker player can make, from playing too many hands to playing above their skill level. But these mistakes can be easily rectified, just take a look at our guide below.
Playing Too Many Hands
This is a mistake that nearly all players are guilty of at one time or another. You sit down at a table and you are desperate to get into the action and show everyone what a great player you are. So you start playing any two cards like Jack / 6. It's a serious leak in anyone's game and will cost you more over time than the odd bad call or raise.
You shouldn't really be playing more than 15% - 22% of the hands you are dealt but you can play more if you at sat at a loose table. As a general rule 15% is about the right number to play. If the table you are playing at is short handed or you are in the latter stages of a tournament and down to the last 3 - 4 players then the percentage of hands you play should be higher.
The Serial Bluffer
It doesn't get more exciting than making an outrageous bluff at the poker table and raking in a huge pot with the worst poker hand. Unfortunately, too many players get themselves in trouble by bluffing too often. Bluffing is not nearly as profitable as you'd think especially on the Internet in low limit games where you will frequently be called by bad players who just can't lay down a hand.
Profitable bluffing opportunities are few and far between. The best times to try bluffing is during short handed games against tight players. Use the bluff less often and it will be more effective when you really need it.
Suits You - Over Valuing Suited Cards
New players often over value suited cards. Playing 10 / 4 suited is not a good idea. Just because you could hit a flush draw doesn't mean you will. The actual odds of making a flush draw pre-flop are around 12%. Now bear in mind that even if you do hit the flush, your 10 high flush is vulnerable to being beaten by a Jack, Queen, King or Ace high flush.
Switching Games and Levels
Poker has many different game variations and levels of play. If you are always switching between Texas Hold'em, 7 Card Stud and Omaha and then choosing between limit and no limit cash games and Multi-Tabled Tournaments then you are heading for trouble.
Stick to playing one type of game at the same level, this will give you the chance to study and master it. For new players the best type of games are low limit single tabled Texas Hold'em tournaments. These games will allow you to gain good experience without risking too much cash.
Even if you make big mistakes you are unlikely to be knocked out of the game in a single hand and it is often very easy to make money in these low limit games by playing steady poker by the numbers. If you are consistently finishing in the money during these games then think about a move onto small stake no limit cash games.