11 Common Mistakes When Playing Poker You Might Want to Stop Doing

A guy losing at poker image

📖 Published on: March 7th, 2024

✍️ Updated: March 13th, 2024

⏳ 11 mins read


Even way before the catchy Beyonce song “Texas Hold’em” became the first thing you think about when you hear the word Texas Hold’em, it’s no surprise that the rest of the world has already been a big patron of poker games. The thing about poker is that it’s more than just about poker faces and sudden draws, it’s all the small nuances in between and the way you’re using the right moves at the wrong time.


Read on as we break down the most common errors poker players tend to make when playing Texas Hold’em poker.


Failing to understand the hand you’re dealt with.


There’s quiet confidence when you think you have a hand that could win you the pot in the first few rounds of poker. You could start with a really strong hand and be caught off guard with a not-so-great one in the middle of an intense game.


More often than not, players would opt to instantly fold. The reality of it is that you have to study your hand as the game goes on and understand that you are wagering on a pot with a not-so-great hand, and it could very well bring you not-so-great returns. Sometimes, you could easily get carried away by having a quality hand to play but other times, there’s a need to hold back and bluff - when in fact, the smart way to do it is to play a strong hand when you have one.


Granting your rivals the chance to play you out.


Bluffing when you don’t have to is another faux pas in poker (actually, many others would disagree) and the only way to correct this potential error is to reject the fear of aggressively betting your hand. Let’s say you do bluff when you have an excellent hand to ace every round, but your opponent finds a way to drag you along by calling your bet.


That would ultimately put you in a pickle, making it best to wager largely when necessary. In short, avoid providing your rivals the advantage of having the best odds to call and the chance to take the pot outright.


Not putting into account your position in the game.


Where your position is in a poker game can make a huge difference in developing a long-term poker strategy. Believe it or not, your position could set you up for immediate success if you know when and how to use it to your advantage. Keep in mind that you’re able to play fewer hands when you’re one of the first players, so position yourself at the latter portion or be the last player to get a better gauge, and play hands with more intel from your opponent’s moves.

A live poker game image


Being impatient and recovering losses


As odd as it sounds, patience is a huge factor to consider when playing a poker game. It’s not helpful when you let your impatience get to you and find yourself frustrated and lose focus when trying to maintain a strategic play. Being rash about your moves can also lead to more efforts to recover losses in the next few rounds - which you won’t want if you’re wagering on a budget.


Don’t get us wrong though, being impatient on the table isn’t just a rookie mistake, even professional poker players let impatience get the best of their game sometimes. If you ever find yourself in an uncomfortable position of losing more money than you’re okay with losing, then lean on that discomfort and fold. This is the part where responsible gambling becomes a priority and stepping away when you should is healthy– don’t ignore that instinct!


Getting a big head and becoming too overconfident with your streak


Now, while impatience can cause you to lose, overconfidence and a cocky attitude are other culprits for long-term success. Imagine being dealt with an impressive hand and you start to gloat and make your way to the pot slowly.


Imagine a streak is slowly forming (like the stars are aligning) just for you to score a win, but your opponent comes up giving you a literal run for your money at the last minute. What would you take from this situation?


Nothing; you would take nothing because you lost. Ultimately, being too cocky about your streak takes you away from the opportunity to learn more from your opponent’s miscalculations and your errors as well.


Blaming bad luck for every loss


While luck plays a big part in casino culture and gaming in general, it’s not entirely the reason you’re losing. If you believe in Murphy’s Law, then it’s best not to apply it to a lengthy game of Texas Hold’em since losing multiple times is a natural part of the game’s dynamic.


You can fold, bluff, and you can even win to take the pot altogether, but if you remain the one person at the poker table who doesn’t note down the errors and moves of your opponents and cough it up to bad luck instead, a losing streak will soon follow. Be smart about the losses you’ve incurred and the mistakes that could cause you to stagnate in the game, because no one wants that bad juju going around!


Forming an attachment to the pot rather than to the game itself.


Now, you could be a serious poker player or a beginner who’s eager to make quick winnings - but one thing is for sure, letting go is an essential move in poker that many players fail to master.


People playing poker image


You could have already bet a lot into a pot, making it your sole reason to keep playing. This is not a mentality to keep when playing poker because it encourages an attachment to the pot rather than being strategic in the process of trying to win it. Putting in more money just to see the rest of the game through wouldn’t be wise nor will it give you any redos, so learn to let go of a hand when necessary.


Playing with just your gut.


Yes, there might be a bizarre science to mastering poker, but trusting your gut isn’t a bulletproof plan. While most players do listen to their hunch when trying to win the pot, playing the odds is still a sound option to build a long-term strategy that could help in incurring more wins in the future.


Getting distracted and needing to pay more attention.


Yes, focusing on your hand and your opponent’s every move is crucial to any poker game, but getting distracted and making moves without any basis can dampen your gameplay. Maximize your odds of winning by putting the moves together like puzzle pieces, and the chances of picking up an incredible new technique is a possibility - and ultimately a move you could try one day.


Goin’ for the tilt.


A go-to way of getting rid of chips is to tilt, which isn’t an option if you want to be a poker pro. Known to be the fastest way to lose your chips, playing on a tilt can be a good exit strategy for a few practice rounds, but if you’re serious about mastering Texas Hold’em poker, trying other techniques is more advisable. Besides, why would tilting be the first thing on your mind when playing poker, have you ever thought of that?


Not carefully choosing a table to play on


You could be a high roller or a random casino goer who just wants to make a couple of bucks, but the only way to set yourself up for success is by choosing the right poker table to play on.


Jumping into the action and just selecting the first table open is not the way to go. Be strategic and do some research on the online poker game you’re playing, especially the casino you decide to roll with, as this can make a difference when going after huge lump sums of chips to pay the bills.


Bottom Line


While poker is a game of strategy and luck, it can also be an avenue for long-term success if you play to your strengths and study your opponent’s weaknesses. Playing on a tilt, wagering solely because of the pot, and not using your position to suit your strengths aren’t the ways to go when building long-term poker gameplay. Ensure you’re always up to the task of learning new tricks and analyzing your errors to gain new perspectives as a skilled poker player. You’ll never know, it might actually pay off one day, right?


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