Perfecting your poker game is something that isn’t going to happen overnight. Now, that might seem a bit obvious to you but there are plenty of people that really do believe that they should have a perfect poker game in a matter of days, weeks or even months. The truth is that you can spend years learning the ins and outs of poker and still have a long way to go. Masters are not born overnight. Great poker legends had to grind it out every day for hours in order to get where they are today. So if you really want that type of skill, you’re going to have to make sure that you grind it out too. You’re going to have to plug the leaks in your poker game.
Leaks? Yep, you got it right — leaks in your poker game are really going to slow you down before you can even push forward. If you have critical mistakes in your poker game, you’re not going to win as often as you should. Poker has been said to be a game of percentages in motion, meaning that the math can either work for you or work against you. It’s just a matter of fixing your poker game from the very beginning.
We’ve identified 6 poker mistakes that can really wreck your game — why not stay with us a moment while we count those down?
1. Not Folding Enough — wow, if there was ever a mistake that we had to point out, it would have to be not folding enough. If you aren’t going to fold often, then you’re going to bind yourself to pots that aren’t going to be winnable. Do you really want to just hand your opponents all of your chips? Wouldn’t you rather make them fight you for each and every one? That means that when you know you don’t have anything, you need to just go ahead and fold. It would be a lot easier on your wallet if you folded. A lot of people don’t see it that way, but then again not everyone is playing poker seriously, either.
2. Not Raising Enough — if not folding enough is a problem, then not raising enough has to be a problem. Picture this — how many times have you been at a table where everyone seems to be limping in and you’ve got a great hand? It’s time to start betting, instead of calling. You become a calling station and you can kiss those big pots goodbye. Don’t wait for other people to raise — be the aggressor yourself. If you’re only playing premium hands that have good odds with few cards that can rise up against them, then you’re going to have to start thinking about raising. That’s how you win bigger pots. If you only limp in all the time, all you’re going to win are the blinds and that isn’t going to make you chip leader anytime soon.
3. Not Handling Your Emotions Properly — The thing that you have to realize is that tilt is definitely real. If you’re not in control f your emotions, then you’re not going have a very good poker game. You’re going to find yourself being unable to actually get things done quickly, which means making money. Winning pots. Pushing your opponents into submission. The world of poker is a psychological one, and yes, there are some pretty ego-filled people. They’re confident in their own abilities. What abilities are you confident in? Exploit them to the fullest on the poker table. And if you’re playing to win and you’re having a bad day, it’s better to walk away than try to play your best poker when your heart and mind aren’t in it. The night your girlfriend leaves you for another man is not the night where you want to try to play high stakes poker, that’s for sure! Master your emotions and stay calm under pressure and we guarantee you’ll make more money than the hotheads.
4. Not Mixing It Up — Are you always playing a tight-aggressive game? We hate to break it to you, but if you’re always playing tight, you’re going to run into a point where everyone knows this. This means that when you explode pre-flop with a good raise, everyone is going to fold. They will realize that you have a good hand and they’re not going to want to give their chips. Sometimes you might have to fold good hands just to throw people off. Or you’ll need to bet hard with hands that aren’t as good, just to mix it up at the showdown. If you can change your image, then people are going to realize that they can’t just make assumptions about you.
5. Not Catching The Hidden — Hidden straights, three of a kind potentials, full house potentials and more are just part of the way the cards fall on the table. You always need to be looking at not only what you could make, but what everyone else could make on the board as well. You don’t want to assume you have the nuts when you really don’t. Your opponent could have a better nut hand than you. This should play into your strategy as well. If you don’t have the best hand, then why are you betting hard? Just something to think about. And if you do have something hot, the last thing that you want to do is give up — play it out. Even if you lose, it’s a lesson that you can study for later.
6. Assuming You Know It All — this would have to be our last and best mistake that we see poker players make all the time. They come into forums automatically thinking that they’re the masters when in truth, their poker game has a lot of things that could be improved. You have to know your positions. You need to know your card odds as well as pot odds. You need to know when to fold. You need to know when to go all in. You need to be able to manage your bankroll. These are core skills that you have to gain in order to move higher and higher up the ranks. The Internet never forgets, so if you come in as a hothead, it’s going to be hard to change your first impression — if you ever can. You’re going to have to come in humble, ask for help, and be willing to change your game. Thinking more and being more aware rather than being rash and emotional is the name of the game.
Overall, these are just a few poker mistakes that come up. What do you think? What leaks do you have in poker, and how are you going to fix them?