Players should always strive to be their best and whilst I’ve said perfect poker is impossible – playing your best isn’t. We’ve offered coaching in various forms for over 3 years now and came across all kinds of poker leaks players have. There’s too many to list in one post but in this article we’re going to share four common Texas Hold’em mistakes to avoid. If you are a victim of any of these, reach out to us and see how we can help.
1) Not thinking decisions through
This mistake is not unique to only newbies who barely know how to play Texas Hold’em poker. It’s also grinders and even professionals who are guilty of this mistake. It’s easy to do when you’re multi-tabling or on the backend of a long session but there’s no excuses for rushing decisions.
Texas Hold’em is a game that requires methodology and your brain to work out what is the right action. If you rush decisions you will make bad plays that cost you money. This happens a lot in tournaments where some poker players turn off and are basically playing on “autopilot”.
2) Only playing your own cards
The beauty of poker is when you’re “playing the player”. A common Texas Hold’em mistake is to just play your own cards and not assign ranges to your opponents. This is especially true for inexperienced poker players who are focusing on what they have in their hand and how good or bad it is and not giving attention to those around them.
A strong player is using GTO or exploitative poker strategy to beat their opposition. They are not just looking at the fact they have king four in the cut-off. Hand reading opponents is a critical skill to learn and starts with pre-flop and assigning ranges. It means narrowing your opponents range based on their playing style and position. As you progress throughout the hand you can eliminate certain groups of hands which will lead you to good decision making.
3) Playing too many hands
Whether its impatience or watching their favourite pros bluff with deuce seven – the most common Texas Hold’em mistake is to play too many hands. The experienced poker players make the mistake of thinking they can outplay everyone post-flop or get away from a solid holding if they’re beat. In reality, they will always lose some money with top pair if they connect.
The fishier players are just impatient and overplay certain hands. They love their ace rag and suited kings because they have big cards or are suited. This mistake is often the first one we eradicate from a new player looking to improve their game.
4) Reacting poorly to bad luck
Humans are emotional beings and don’t handle adversity all that well. This is amplified when money is involved at the poker table. Tilt is a challenge that many poker players have to deal with.
Tilt is the term coined to describe a player’s behaviour at the table. Tilting is typically associated with erratic behaviour, raising too much, going all in and just playing bad in general. It hits poker players when they lose to a bad beat or perhaps a cooler. It can happen for many reasons, even as mundane as losing a single buy in.
We can’t control the luck aspect of poker, we will get unlucky at times but you can control how you react to it. If you can’t keep your emotions in check and stay playing well, you need to get up and leave to protect your bankroll. We recommend setting a stop loss limit so you don’t tilt off your profits.
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