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Beginner Poker Strategy – Mistakes Most Commonly Made by Beginners

Players new to poker are likely to make mistakes while they learn the game, understand key strategies and apply the skills required to master the game. During the course, however, it is possible that these mistakes cost them the money they invest in the pot. If you are new to poker and want to ensure that you don’t make such mistakes, indentify the wrong actions that beginners engage in and avoid them. Here are a few such mistakes that new poker players often make:

Sizing bets in an illogical manner

The first mistake is making bets that inform an opponent of your hand. This will allow the opponent to make the moves that allow him to play against you, based on your betting tendency. This means that he may not make any mistakes, and this can result in you not making money. When you place bets, ensure that you take all the players at the table into consideration. This will help you size your bets such that other players act on your move.

For instance, if you have a good hand at the flop and want your opponents to call your bet, size the amount to wager such that it is small enough to encourage a call. Also, it should be big so that that the pot odds for another player drawing a better hand than yours gets reduced.

Playing to land a coin-flip

Many beginners play with the intention of landing at a coin flip – a situation where both players in the pot have equal chances of winning. This is most often used by new players who want to prolong their game in a tournament. Avoid playing for a coin-flip, especially at the pre-flop. One of the most common actions that a player may take is calling with an AK hand when facing an all-in wager. This may be based on one of three reasons. The first could be that the non-pair hand appeared to be the best in the category.

The second could be that the player considered his hand strength to be equal to that of a player with a pair less than KK. The third reason could be that he determined that only KK and AA are better than his hand; and that even in such a situation he has three outs to the former. These assumptions are largely invalid in cash games. This is because it is possible that the opponent’s pre-flop hand has AK and pocket pair combinations.

By calling here, the likelihood of the beginner’s hand being equal to another player is very small. Similarly, the probability of it being less than those with pocket pairs and a pair of aces or kings is very high.

Not playing carefully after hitting a draw

Another common mistake that novice poker players make is when they hit the flush on a board with a pair. Ideally, after hitting a draw, the key objective should be to jam the pot. This means that the player will have to bet or raise, but not check.

The money that comes from the pot at this stage could be large or small in comparison to the player’s stack. However, it is possible that player is against an opponent who has made a full house.

The board that gave the beginner’s hand the flush could have given the opponent the full house. Here, betting or raising will only lead to the beginner contributing his stack to a pot that he cannot win. So, in such a situation, if you are unable to assess whether your hand is the best, you should ideally not add to the pot.

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