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Poker Mistakes to Avoid by Michael Thomas

Making a mistake when playing poker is not the end of the world and is inevitable.  But like all mistakes, you should be able to recognize and learn from them.  Just remember that every person plays and learns differently, and all you can do is your best to try and keep your mistakes small and hidden from other opponents.  That being said, be aware of the following common poker mistakes that many players make:

  • Spending too Much Time Worrying About Your Cards and Not the Players - It is true that the cards in your hand are important to the game, but many players often make the mistake of giving all of their attention to the cards, forgetting that the players are what is standing between them and winning the pot.  Learn how to focus on their reactions, as well as the decisions they make with their hand.
  • Stubbornly Trying to Outwit the Players - Don't waste your time trying to fool the other players into believing you are a "certain" type of player.  If you are playing online poker, this is a wasted strategy because players usually aren't in a poker room long enough to pick up on your technique.  As for a live poker table, skilled players can see right through that kind of act, and will blow you out of the game in no time.  In a live poker situation, it is often best to keep a straight face and a calm demeanor.  This makes it harder for your opponents to figure you out.
  • Letting Emotions Run the Show - You should never let your emotions get in the way of the game.  Players will take advantage of this opportunity, and any hopes you had of winning the pot will be slim to none.  Even when it comes to online poker you should keep your emotions in check.  There is no reason why you should vent your frustrations or be rude to other players.  Poker is about being professional not personal with other players.
  • Routine Playing - It's not a bad idea to adopt a specific way of playing that works for you, but keep in mind that if you repeat the same technique every hand, it won't be long before other players will be able to dictate your next move before you do.  Refrain from forming habits when playing poker online and live.
  • Forgetting to Check - In many cases, players who are eligible to check, make the mistake of folding.  This is a foolish move, because if you check you are able to make it to the next round and receive a free card without having to put any extra money into the pot.  ALWAYS check if you are given the opportunity to get a free card - you are not losing any money this way, and you still have a chance at the pot.
  • Comfortable Poker Laziness - The beautiful thing about playing poker is you have every opportunity in the world to constantly improve how you play.  Failing to practice or trying new techniques only leaves you at a disadvantage.  In order to be a great poker player you must practice, try new strategies and play at a variety tables with all different levels and types of players, so you can learn how to adapt to the environment and claim the winnings. 
  • Being too Good to ask for Help - Everyone needs help and advice sometimes, so don't think you are above help.  If you can learn something from a professional, a friend, a book or even a kid for that matter, be thankful for your fortune, and don't forget to return the favor whenever you can.

 

This article was published on Saturday 27 November, 2010.
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