#1 Playing too passive overall

There are certainly times when it is better to check than to bet, but overall, playing passive with a high frequency is best avoided

For example, preflop when it is our turn to act in an unopened pot and we raise, rather than coming in for the minimum (limping), we achieve a lot more. 

  1. We gain the chance to win the pot preflop
  2. We narrow the field going to the flop, giving us a better chance to win. 
  3. We charge the other players to see a flop, making it harder for them to gain value. 
  4. We gain initiative and can continue to direct play on the flop with a continuation bet.


#2 Playing too many hands preflop

Whether opening pots or open-limping, or coming in behind, most players starting out at poker are simply playing way too many hands

The patience required to be good at poker becomes apparent when you realize that overall you generally want to be playing 15-30% of hands at most in NL Hold’em. 

This will vary a huge amount depending on many factors, most of all position. 

For example, look to open somewhere around 12-20% of all hands when first to act nine-handed, depending on stacks, stage of play and reads. On the other hand opening the pot from the button into two tighter players, it could be correct to open anywhere from 40-100% of hands.

Understanding how to define the range of hands you should play in a certain spot is key to developing good poker fundamentals, and will also help you along the road to a more advanced skill, thinking in ranges.


#3 Trying to Run Before you Can Walk

You might plan on becoming the next Phil Ivey, but he didn’t get there overnight you know! It takes tens of thousands of poker hands and a lot of study to get from zero to hero in poker. A lot of up-and-coming players take on way too much before they’re ready. 

This will include the player who binks a big score early in their career and goes on to move up stakes way too fast, the player who takes hella shots outside bankroll and ends up busto, and the grinder who fires up a bazillion tables, ends up auto-piloting their C game and hits burnout.

Don’t be that guy/gal! 

Take it steady, divide your time between play, study, and most importantly the wonderful real life which surrounds you

And remember, it’s a game, so keep it fun.

Hit up our Discord for more of all things poker, and Season’s Greetings from PokerDeals!


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