10 Rookie Mistakes Made in Texas Hold'em Poker You Need to Avoid
The action is hot at casinos online and on land and Texas Hold'em has never been so popular. When playing poker today, there isn’t a single detail you can afford to overlook. That’s why you’ve got to tighten up your game if you’re going to stay competitive.
It’s the small details that distinguish the pros from the players who are just a little talented. Honing your poker strategy will help improve the way you play at the table. We cover 10 rookie mistakes made in Texas Hold’em Poker so you can avoid them like a pro.
Missing the Value Bet
Missing a value bet is one of the most common poker mistakes made on the felt today. How often have you checked at the river, planning to call any bet less than ¾ of the pot, and your opponent just checks? Both hands are revealed, and you win the pot.
Sure, you won the pot but how big was it and how big could it have been if you hadn’t missed the value bet? A sizable bet placed at the river bet meant to raise the value of the pot. Well-placed value bets have the potential to rapidly increase your profit.
Missing the value bet enough times will mean a huge hit to your profit margin. Missing it once every five hands could reduce it by as much as 25%. If you think you have a good read on your opponent’s hand, take the risk because not doing so could get expensive.
Calling with the Weaker Ace
Here’s a critical Texas Hold’em tip: don’t call down more experienced players with a weak ace. This hand is not worth betting on. Another common poker mistake, calling with the weaker ace is likely to end in you surrendering your bets to your opponent.
Sure, you might catch another ace by the river but having a top pair with a low or mediocre kicker is not ideal. The chances of this hand being bested are really high. If your opponents are placing strong bets, we suggest folding this weak ace by the turn.
Bluffing the Donk
This happens when someone tries bluffing to outmaneuver a beginner. Bluffing the ‘donk’ is never a good move. Don’t waste your well-planned bluffing strategy on someone you can tell is brand new. This rookie poker mistake is bound to cost you a lot in wasted bets.
It’s your job to determine the capabilities and calling range of your opponents, then follow through with your best poker strategy for that specific situation. If you want to play poker like a real pro, you can start by not carrying out a complex bluff on a beginner.
Overcalling Small Pocket Pairs Pre-flop
One of the biggest poker mistakes is overcalling small pocket pairs. Calling high number bets for a low-value pair like any from 2/2 to 6/6 is not advised. It’s important to fairly measure your bets, overcalling a mediocre hand will cost you.
If you’re lucky, a small pair can become a 3-of-a-kind on the flop. It’s a lowkey hand that can sometimes make for stunning victories. The odds of getting this hand, unfortunately, aren’t high. We suggest you fold small pocket pairs right away or by the flop at least.
Getting Psyched Out by Your Opponents
Everyone knows poker is a psychological game, but the last thing you want is to get psyched out by your opponents. Letting someone get in your head will put you off your game, distracted and making bad decisions. It’s important to keep your cool playing poker.
Some pros will sometimes strategically psych out opponents to get a mental edge in the game. They want to make it feel personal, taunting opponents in different ways, including revealing a bluff, aggressive chatting and anything they can do to tick them off.
Paying Off Aces
While playing Texas Hold’em, we’re all pleased to see an ace in the hole. But just because you have an ace, it’s not automatically a great hand. When you’re pretty sure a pair of aces isn’t going anywhere, you should fold instead of paying them off.
Depending on the cards on the board, this can either be a great hand or simply a weak one. Just because another ace appears on the board doesn’t mean your hand is going to do better than your opponents. Remind yourself, two aces are just a pair.
Calling with a Small Flush Draw in a Multi-Way Pot
One of the biggest poker mistakes is to call with a small flush draw when playing with multiple players. You might think it’ll work but a lot of players like to put money down on the flop, which can hurt when one of your opponents has a bigger flush.
Don’t hold onto a small flush draw for long in Texas Hold’em. There’s a slim chance it’ll become a better flush and it’ll be low either way. When playing a multi-way pot, there are multiple ways for your hand to be bested by a hand that’s much stronger than yours.
Showing Your Cards
Although some players will strategically show cards to set up a future bluff, it’s an advanced tactic that comes with loads of risk. A pro can pick up hints about the way you play when showing your cards. In any case, showing your cards is not recommended.
Revealing your hand at the end of a round is one of the sloppiest rookie poker mistakes made by amateurs. It sends signals to the table about your style of play you maybe don’t want out there. It’s best to remain mindful of the observant pros at the table.
You’re pot committed whenever holding onto a bad hand is a better option than folding. This is determined by pot odds and how they compare to your chances of winning. Being pot committed isn’t a favorable position to be in unless you’re certain your hand can win.
You don’t want to end up committing yourself to bets you can’t afford. It’s even possible to go bust struggling to keep up due to table placement. If you’re aware of the size everyone’s stack, you’re less likely to make any commitments you can’t get out of.
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When to Stop the Bluff
Holding onto a bluff for too long can make you go bust. If you’ve been working on a bluff for a couple of streets already, it’s understandable that you wouldn’t want to let go of all the chips you’ve already been investing into selling it to your opponents.
Knowing when to give up on a bluff is key to keeping your game going past the current round. One of the biggest rookie poker mistakes is when inexperienced players try bluffing. Bluffing is an advanced poker move that should be reserved for the pros.
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