Common Beginner Mistakes
Mistake #1: Playing too many hands
When people sit down in a game, they want to play. Often, this means they even will play hands like J 4 . This is a cardinal mistake. Hopefully, the articles on this site will help improve your starting hand selection.
Mistake #2: Playing above your bankroll
This goes without saying. Sometimes the gambling and money aspect of poker gets to people too much. They become greedy and play in games they cannot afford or games where the competition is simply too stiff.
At first, stick to a consistent, low limit. Learn how to play and beat the game before you play in higher-stakes games.
Mistake #3: Becoming too emotional at the table
Bad beats will happen. Losing sessions will happen. Annoying opponents will happen. Live with it and do not let your emotions sway your judgment at the table.
Mistake #4: Not using pot odds
If your hand needs improvement, the concept of pot odds can help you determine if you should call to see the next card on the board. Few beginning players understand pot odds, and they often call too much.
Mistake #5: Using a two-color deck
When most people think of cards, they think of two colors, red and black. The suits are displayed like this:
Well, I have news for you. Most online poker rooms give you two display choices: the traditional two-color deck and a four-color deck. A four-color deck has a unique color for each suit, like this:
While this may seem unusual at first, it will make things much easier on you with time.
Believe me, if you use a two-color deck, there is a good chance that, at some point, you will misread your hand. You might think you have a flush when in fact you do not. Using a four-color deck is a simple way to prevent yourself from making stupid mistakes.
Mistake #6: Superstitions
All gambling involves luck. While luck tends to even itself out over the long run, people naturally focus on the short run and on their fluctuations.
Because gambling involves randomness, people will often blame or chalk up their luck to some random event that coincided with how they fared at a certain gambling session. This may be as innocent as believing in a lucky shirt. However, some people take these superstitions too far. They start to believe that if they constantly move seats or change their socks that they will somehow become the next WSOP winner.
You cannot affect the "luck" factor of gambling. Luck evens itself out over the long run. The only thing you should concern yourself with at the poker table is playing well. If you play very well at poker, you will win over the long run. If you do not play well, you will lose. It's as simple as that.
Mistake #7: Overvaluing Suited Hands
Having a suited hand is a plus. However, you should not play a hand just because it is suited. The first two things to consider about a starting hand are the ranks of the cards and whether the cards are paired. These are by far the most important factors in the value of a hand. After this, you should consider if they are suited or connecting.
A hand like A K is much, much more valuable than a hand like 10 3 . A K is a top starting hand, whereas 10 3 should be thrown in the muck.
This may sound obvious, but many beginners make the mistake of calling to see the flop with any two suited cards. The probability of flopping a flush or a flush draw with two suited cards is just under 12%. This is fairly low; you need other reasons to play a starting hand besides the fact that your cards are suited.