Playing Poker at a professional level can be a very difficult task especially since in recent years more and more enthusiasts are looking to build a career in this field. This article is looking to exemplify a few common but deadly mistakes that newcomers often make. The point of the game is to beat your opponents by either having the best hand or being the best bluffer.
Most times you’re going to use a combination of the two plus a well put together strategy. Amateurs will have a harder time getting into the flow of a game but with practice you can get to start gathering up the winnings.
The first mistake that new players make is to raise the bet once they receive high value cards. The average player will flop if you apply enough pressure, but newcomers are probably intimidated by the odds and do not have the guts to take the bluff all the way, especially when they think their hand is not strong enough. Waiting for a better hand and then raising will not have the desired effect since most other players will fold immediately after your raise, so the pot will not be any better.
The best thing to do in this situation is to raise the bet based on your predictions of the other player’s reaction. When you’re playing Poker you’re not just playing a numbers game, you also must become very good at reading people. You need to be aware of your range and calculate what ranges your opponents might have.
This way you can reraise even if you opponent calls or reraises as well, in the case where you believe their hand range is a marginal one. Conversely, some games will require that you raise only when you have the best possible hands. So, focus, be alert, and learn to find the other player’s tells.
Your second mistake could be betting only on strong hands. When your opponent discovers that this is the strategy he will definitely take advantage of it. Playing a straightforward strategy will leave you wide open to exploitation by other, more versed players. When you flop on a hand that you thought was good and you place your continuation bet the opponent will catch onto your manner of playing and will know when you’re bluffing and when you really do have a good hand.
This way you’ll never get to raise the pot to a high enough level that it will be worth the trouble of actually reraising. In fact, if you ask for a continuation bet every time you will become harder to play against because the other players will not know what you’re thinking. The only time you shouldn’t place a continuation bet is when your hand really is that bad and you cannot even bluff your way through it.
The third and final mistake is thinking too much about instant gratification. Just because you won a few tournaments or lost a few doesn’t make you a pro nor does it make you a loser. Immediate results really do not show your real level of skill or knowledge as each tournament has different rules and conditions, and some are lighter than others.
Playing the best possible game has more to do with the overall manner in which you play, how much you learn, and not so much with the few events that you won.