Poker Tips & Mistakes to Avoid For Beginning poker players

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Our Poker tips for beginning poker players

This article was created to help amateur poker players do less mistakes and get better at poker by providing solid tips to give the poker novice information to rely on.

First we are going to give you a couple tips, and then we are going to discuss the most common things amateur poker players do wrong, and tell you how to avoid doing those newbie mistakes.

1. Avoid playing too many hands​​​

What most amateur poker players do wrong is that they get involved with too many speculative hands preflop. They try to play way too many weak hands for the wrong price preflop and manoeuvre themselves into trouble spots post-flop.

Playing right preflop is the fundament for a good poker strategy, especially for beginners because they have difficulties to handle complicated post-flop spots correct.

Even professional poker players have trouble to play good poker on the flop/turn/river.

If you are a player that has just begun playing poker try not to get involved with a wide variety of hands especially if you are in early positions. The reason why you should be tighter in earlier positions is because the more players behind you, the higher the chance they are having a better hand than you or just trying to put you in trouble by reraising or calling.

Be reminded that if you raise or limp in early positions, every player behind you, but the big blind and small blind, has a positional advantage on you. The player having position on you always has an informational advantage. It is tough to realise your equity playing OOP and requires a lot of experience/skill.

2. Think in ranges​​

Don’t put your opponent on a hand, put him on a range.

Noone can foresee what particular hand the opponent is holding and hence its common practice to think in ranges. In many hands you play, you just can’t gauge what your opponent is on so better give him a couple of hands he is potentially on and try to narrow you opponents range down on later streets.

3. Disguise your range pre-flop​​

It’s quite easy to exploit a beginning poker player for the fact that they split their ranges preflop, they limp AND raise. Doing that will allow your opponent do recognice patterns in your game and put you on more exact ranges as to when you would only open-raise pref-flop.

It is very common that you can recognise patterns in their betting behaviours.

For example, they call speculative (weak hands), make a minimum raise with semi-strong hands like QsJc.

Then they make a BIG open-raise with goodish hands but are vulnerable such as 88-JJ or AQ/Ak.

Its a population tendency read that I often see and exploit.

All these different betting-behaviors give information to the opponent.

What you should do as an aspiring advanced poker player that makes the transition from just being an amateur is: Disguise your preflop range by playing every hand with the same action and bet size (only pre-flop).

The online poker world has advanced to the extent that there are many professional poker players out making their bread and butter off of weaker opponents by recognising inconsistencies in their betting behaviours/patterns.

It has much more advantages to stick to an only raise preflop first-in strategy. If you limp and raise your open-ing-range, you will be vulnerable to exploits because you will be unveiling patterns in your preflop strategy.

99.9% of successful poker pros employ the approach to only open-raise pre-flop, and you should too.

Don’t try to outsmart experienced poker players by being “creative”.

Postflop you have room to become creative.

Download our poker-cheat-sheet for a detailed view of what hands you should play before the flop.

4. Do not randomly bet post-flop​​​

A lot of inexperienced poker players are betting for no reason. They see the button “bet” and feel inclined to press it, FOR NO REASON. Think about why you would want to bet.

There are three reasons to bet.

Value Bet (generate value by extracting chips from your opponent when you are likely to be ahead)

Bluff Bet ( When you try to make the opponent fold a better hand than yours)

Bet to deny equity (when you don’t have a made hand but bet because the opponent is very unlikely to have a built hand either)

Try to put the hand you play in of these categories and reason your bet.

You should always have a good reason when you bet. If you are playing multiple tables and cannot back your plays with reasoning, play fewer tables and focus on the logical reasons behind betting.

Below I will go into detail about each reason to bet.

Value Bet with the right hands

Beginners often make a mistake to bet on the flop when their hand is vulnerable and they are scared to see a turn.This way of playing poker is outdated for several reasons. Rather make a value bet when you have a clear range advantage and aren’t fearing any turns/rivers.

See it like that: you won’t buy a house that you think is likely to fall in pieces as soon as its windy. Invest when you have a stable hand that is likely to collect more value on future streets. This way you will also strengthen your checking range and have “goods hands” when you check.

Bluff Bet with the right hands

In general weak poker players bluff either way too much or way to rarely. To become a good player, you need to find the balance in between. You need to bluff when it makes sense and back off when you don’t have a great chance to make the opponent fold.

Sometimes your opponents’ range is so narrow that he doesn’t have a hand that he wants to pass and hence you should just give up. On the other side sometimes there are excellent bluff cards that hit your range much more than your opponents and then you should bluff a lot.

Bet to deny equity

In many scenarios, it does make sense to bet ( especially donk-bet) small on the flop just to make the opponent fold a hand that has a chance to outdraw you.

5. Apply bankroll management​

The best poker player would go broke if he weren’t applying proper bankroll management. Even if you are an expert poker player, you can be unlucky and lose money for a period.The way you are going to save yourself from going to zero in your poker account is to apply bankroll management (short: BRM).

For poker beginners I advice to never use more than 2% of your funds to play ONE poker game.

So if you have $100, you should not play games that exceed the entry fee of $2.

If you lose $50 of your initial $100 deposit, you start limiting yourself to play $1 buy-ins.

If you apply BRM, you will likely never go broke.

6. Trust your guts but do not rely on them​​​

Trust your gut and make folds/calls believing in the efficiency of intuitive play. Always make use of your instincts but don’t rely on them solely. Your poker plan is based on logic and mathematics, not on gut feelings. First, make sure your fundamental strategy sits right and then take intuition into play as an extra skill tool. There is a big difference between relying on your intuition and using it from time to time when the spot is right. It is a valuable skill, but it is not a strategy itself. Although in my humble opinion the skill element “intuition” is very well underrated, I think weak players overuse it because they have not enough indicators to gauge what the opponent might have. I think that your intuition fights against your curiosity/stubbornness and if stubbornness wins the fight, you lose.

Avoid These beginner Mistakes​​

After we have given you some advice on what to do, we also want to keep you knowledgeable on what things to avoid when playing poker. There are many things you can do wrong if you are not too experienced, and we are going to pass on some knowledge that we gained by playing poker professionally for years to help you avoid doing those mistakes.

Don't tilt

You work your a** off for days, weeks or years to build a big bankroll just to blast it away in a rage of uncontrolled anger driven decisions.

Your time is precious, and it’s not unlimited. You will wish back for the money/time you have wasted.

Tilt is very powerful, tilting one day can cost you your long time achievements and ultimately hinders every possible future progress.

Don’t let anger direct your decisions, stop playing as soon as you see a chance of rage coming near you. Tilt has destroyed great poker players with great minds that had great prospects, and you should care not to be part of these victims.

Amateurs poker players try to grind it up, don’t make any progress or maybe keep on losing for a little too long and don’t adjust their stakes to their shrinking bankrolls. Easy way to go broke.

You don’t want to be one of those players that don’t follow bankroll management simply because it is very unprofitable.

In poker, management is essential, maybe more important than skill. Don’t make a mistake and spend too much of your bankroll either so you can successfully climb up in stakes when you make a profit.

Not studying

You don’t become good by solely playing unless you are some sort of genius.

Playing poker can get you rewards instantly, but that doesn’t mean that you are maximising your EV.

“Work smart not hard”.

That is in poker truer than anywhere. Maximizing hours of play is not = maximising income.

Have theory sessions scheduled every week, make it your ritual to theorise more than your opponents and you will start beating them more often and subsequently make more money.

A Poker skill set has many different weapons. While most players don’t even Cary a butter knife you should go fully armed into the war zone and give your opponents a shaking experience post-flop.

They won’t dare to play you next time and fold pre-flop right away.

Amateurs poker players try to build a bankroll, don’t see any progress or maybe keep on losing for a little too long and don’t adjust their stakes to their shrinking bankrolls. Easy way to go broke.

You don’t want to be one of those players that don’t follow BRM simply because it is very unprofitable. In poker, management is essential; maybe more important than skill. Don’t make a mistake and spend too much of your bankroll either so you can successfully climb up in stakes when you make a profit.

Don't set monetary goals

Poker is a skill game, but you can’t expect to make money every week or even month.

The best players have long losing streaks, and that not due to faulty play.

Poker can be brutal, and you might face a long-lasting downswing that will ruin you mentally if you aren’t strong enough to fight through it.

The variance in poker can be harsh and energy-sapping.

You got to be prepared for months or weeks more likely without any income or very little at least.

Stop being unprofessional

You can consider yourself quite lucky to have the opportunity to make money playing poker.

Others have to work for a little amount of money with a boss they don’t like and without any prosperity in sight.

YOU, you can eventually get “rich” off of playing online poker and live your life quite freely on the way to financial freedom.

Be appreciative of your chance to make money with poker, and study the game.

Check out our poker videos or strategy section, get active in our forum, and you soon won’t have to complain about downswings anymore because the better you are, the less wild swings you will face.

Work hard but also smart. Combine smart work with hard work, and you will very soon reap the benefits.

Give yourself a schedule and comply with it.

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