Without denying the importance of learning the basics of poker in order to perform at least at a medium level at the table, the truth is that there is still a long way to go before you can actually consider you are playing well. In theory, you may find the various situations depicted in examples as clear and your future actions obvious. However, at the table things are not following pre-established patterns and you can very well find yourself falling into traps. What is even worse is that you would not even figure out what you did wrong. Let’s explore the most common traps inexperienced poker players are likely to get caught in.
1. Making decisions according to your guts
More often than not, people start playing poker because they consider themselves lucky. However, luck has very little to do with poker and even if you sometimes win due to chance, in this game fortune evens out in the long run. The correct way to view poker is as a mathematical game and hence, you need to learn how to accurately calculate the odds.
2. Focusing too much on the pre-flop
It could be the enthusiasm of finally playing poker with people who know what they’re doing, but getting right into it and playing too many hands before the flop is a bad decision overall. In fact, if you were to analyze various pre-flop strategies, you will find out that 75% or more of these hands are unplayable.
3. Going too far with the hands past the flop
This trap is directly linked to the one involving playing too many hands before the flop. Essentially, a beginner does not only play numerous incorrect hands at the wrong time, but some of them also have a tendency of taking them too far. Taking any pair all the way to the river is a big mistake not even a beginner should make.
4. Not managing their emotions
Even if they do not admit it openly, nobody likes to lose. On the other hand, when playing poker you should expect to lose more times than you win, particularly if you are new to the game. Therefore, if you lose several hands and become irritated, then take a small break and calm down, as you will not make the best decisions when you are annoyed.
5. Not perceiving poker as a long-term game
Do not assume that you will make big cash out of poker immediately as winning at this game requires a lot of time. As a rule of thumb, your goal is to leave the table with the same amount of cash you have when you entered.
Now that you are aware of the pitfalls you can face the first time you seat at a poker table, check the best casino sites and poker rooms to grab some free chips to start.