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Common Texas Holdem Beginner Mistakes

Ronald Norris
US players are welcome

The purpose of this article is to make you aware of common mistakes that many Texas Holdem beginners make and thus help you to avoid them in the future.

First mistake: playing too many hands.

When novice Texas Holdem players sit down in a game – they want to play, which often means that they willingly call even worthless hands like, say, 10 of diamonds and 3 of clubs. This is a serious mistake made by the majority of novice players. Fortunately, the articles on this site will help you understand how to choose good starting hands.

Second mistake: playing above your bankroll.

I think it’s obvious. Many Texas Holdem beginners don’t understand the importance of bankroll and money management. They become greedy and start playing unaffordable games, or enter games, where the competition is to stiff for their skill level. It is important that you start at low limits, where competition is not that stiff and have sufficient bankroll for a particular table. See our Bankroll and Money Management article for more details.

Third mistake: getting too emotional and going on tilt.

Bad beats, bad runs and frustrating sessions happen to each and every player, regardless of his skill and experience. Learn to handle any unpleasant situations and don’t let your emotions disrupt your concentration and force to make foolish decisions.

Fourth mistake: ignoring pot odds.

Although the concept of pot odds may seem to be difficult, it has to be mastered anyway. Many Texas Holdem beginners ignore pot odds thinking that they don’t need to know and use this concept in order to play in cheap and loose games. However, even a weak player will be stronger than you, if he is using pot odds and you don’t. If your hand needs to be improved, the pot odds concept will be very helpful in determining whether you should call to see the next community card, or it’s better to fold. See our Pot Odds article and check out our Pot Odds calculator to learn, understand and benefit from this concept in your games.

Fifth mistake: using a red-and-black deck.

Many Texas Holdem beginners use red-and-black deck, even if poker room software allows choosing between a traditional and a four-color deck, which has a unique color for each suite. For example the spades are black, the hearts are red, the clubs are green and the diamonds are blue. While this may seem a bit unusual, such a diversity of colors makes things much easier and prevents you from many pitiful mistakes. For example, there’s always a chance, even for an experienced player, to misread his hand. Four-color deck helps to avoid such mistakes and make faster decisions, which is especially important in fast-paced games.

Sixth mistake: being rude.

As well as any web or live community, poker room auditory has certain rules and etiquette. Many Texas Holdem beginners ignore both and get rude with other players thinking that it’s needless to be well-mannered on web, when nobody can punish them. Even if the rest of players won’t confront the snapper and help him lose all of his money, he won’t make friends, who can give a lot of useful tips and advice. Treat your opponents exactly like you want them to treat you. Besides of this, get used to Texas Holdem slang and use it if you don’t want to display your ignorance and thus show that you’re a beginner.

Seventh mistake: imitating other players.

Many Texas Holdem beginners learn to play by imitating other players. They either imitate their opponents at the table, or copy some world champion they’ve seen on TV. Both things are wrong and both can lead to disastrous consequences. First of all, many of your opponents can be bad players and copying their style of play will make you absorb their bad habits and trying to imitate one of those world champions you’ve seen on TV can be simply useless: what is shown on TV are almost always tournaments, where the hands are highly situational and therefore reasons of certain decisions have very little applicability to your own game.

Try to understand how to make right decisions at Texas Holdem, because successful game cannot be done through imitations, it is completed through understanding the complexities of the game and ability to make important decisions at your own.

Eighth mistake: superstitions.

It is a fact that all gambling involves luck and while luck itself tends to be evenly over the long run, players usually focus on the short run. Furthermore, because all gambling including Texas Holdem Poker involves randomness, players often tend to blame or chalk up their luck to certain events that somehow coincided with how they fared at certain games or hands. As a result, they start believing in “lucky jeans�?, “lucky glasses�? and other lucky stuff. While this is innocent and even funny, some players take these superstitions too far. They actually start to believe that a certain object or observance can make them the next WSOP winner or something. And although everybody has a right to believe in what he wants, such superstitions can badly affect your play and your progress in general, because if you start to believe that you win, when squeezing a lucky coin, then you forget about study, analysis and other things that really matter for your success. You cannot affect luck. What you can is to become a Texas Holdem pro and make yourself independent from bad beats.

Ninth mistake: overvaluing suited hands.

Holding suited hand is a plus, but you shouldn’t overvalue your cards, just because they are suited. The first two things to consider when valuing a starting hand are ranks of your cards and whether the cards are paired. Suit is worth to be considered only after these first two factors and just together with them.

For example, a hand like A of clubs and K of diamonds is much more valuable than hands like 10 and 3 of hearts or J and 7 of spades. A of clubs and K of diamonds is one of top starting hands, while suited 10 and 3 must be folded preflop.

Although this sounds obvious, many Texas Holdem beginners tend to see the flop holding any suited cards hoping to hit a flush, while the actual probability of flopping the flush, or drawing it during next rounds is less than 12 percent.

Also recommended:

  1. How Good the Players Exploit the Common Holdem Mistakes
  2. Five typical mistakes of Texas Holdem poker beginners
  3. How to Evaluate Your Own Plays
  4. Frequent mistakes of Texas Holdem players
  5. Five biggest mistakes of poker tournament players

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