Common Mistakes in Texas Holdem

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Common Mistakes in Texas Holdem

Regardless of whether a player has been playing poker for a few months or years, they all make mistakes. While some mistakes just cost you a BB, other mistakes can cost you the tournament. Below is a list of the common mistakes to avoid while playing Texas Hold 'Em poker.

Not playing your position

Many players fail to read up on the importance of position play. As a result they raise or call a raise in early position which leaves them with very few options if they don't connect on the flop. Similarly player in late position fail to raise despite having 3 players behind them limp in. Unless you're slow playing pocket aces your goal before the flop is to either win without having to see a flop, or have as few opponents as possible on the flop.

Raising or calling a raise with A-x

This is by far one of the most common mistakes made in poker. You're sitting in early position with A-x, a player in front of you raises 3x the BB and two players call the raise. By calling here you are putting yourself in a vulnerable position on the flop if you don't hit an Ace. If you do hit an ace then you've got kicker issues and you'll have no choice but to fold to any raise.

Overprotecting your blinds

Throughout a game you will need to make a stand and protect your blind to discourage other players from stealing but it doesn't mean you should call a raise or re-raise with a hand you wouldn't think twice about folding in another position. If you're sitting in the BB with 10♣ 5 ♠and the SB raises 3x the BB, just because you've already paid it doesn't make your hand any more worthy of calling a raise.

Going up against other big stacks

This is especially true in tournament play, if you are one of the chip leaders at the table you should always avoid confrontation with the other big stacks whenever possible. If you are closing in on the bubble your focus should be to grow your stack through by eliminating the shorter stacks, not by going up against another player who could potentially knock you out of the tournament.

Not considering pot odds

This is one of the most basic strategies in poker yet many players continue to make this mistake. This is the kind of mistake that can end up costing you your entire stack in the long run.

You're holding A♠ 10♠ on the button
The board is 4♠ 5♠ K♣ 8♦
The pot is $100
A player to your right raises to $100
You have a flush draw with 9 outs which seems like a good spot, but if you do a quick calculation of the pot odds you would realize that you have a 19% chance of hitting your flush and to justify a $100 bet the pot would have to be $420.

Playing conservatively in late rounds

As the tournament field shrinks many players make the mistake of tightening up their game in order to reach the money. The problem with this strategy is the blinds and antes will eat away at your stack until you're left with just a few big blinds and no wiggle room to maneuver. When the bubble approaches is the best time to play aggressively and take advantage of other players tightening up to steal blinds and increase your chip stack.

Not recognizing when a player who is pot committed

You raise 3x the BB pre-flop with Q♦ Q♠ and you have one caller to the flop which comes
A♠ 10♦ 5♠
The A♠ is a scare card but you bet out 5x the BB in a bid to push your opponent off his hand. What you failed to realize however is that by calling you pre-flop your opponent bet nearly 60% of his chip stack making him pot committed and if he happens to have an Ace, his kicker won't matter he'll push his chips all-in leaving you no choice but to fold. Always analyze an opponent's bet or raise before the flop before deciding what to do.

These are just a few of the common mistakes made in texas hold 'em poker. The important thing is to be able to recognize these errors in your game and adjust your play accordingly.

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