Since Poker is a beautifully simple, and at the same time also complex, game of psychology, mental tenacity, experience, and wit, foraying into in-depth strategies and layered approaches would require the penning of entire volumes of information. For the purpose of our desired outcome, which is to gain a basic understanding which common Poker pitfalls to avoid, we will focus on only the most common mistakes people tend to make.
Steering clear of the following common pitfalls is the first step toward getting off to a great Poker start.
Hold Off On Multiple Hands
While it’s true that playing more than one hand of Poker at a time can potentially mean winning more money over a shorter period of time, the same is unfortunately also true about losing. When just starting out, playing multiple hands at a time will burn through your available bankroll faster than fire through a field of hay.
Instead, rather focus on playing fewer hands – and only one game at any given time. This will allow you to give your undivided attention to everything happening on the felt. Also, remember that throwing away (folding) multiple hands in a row beats raising repeatedly only to lose your entire bankroll in only a couple of hands played.
Don’t Expect A Social Game
When heading out to an actual Poker game played at the casino for the first time, forget about expecting the same pace and approach as that of the typical game around the dining room table at home. Doing so will only lead to a culture shock of note. Not only will the pace be much quicker than the pace you’ll have grown accustomed to at home, but the format too, will likely be a great deal more formal.
However, arriving prepared and knowing what to expect will soon lead to the realisation that the game can actually be a whole lot more stimulating than anything you’ve experienced alongside your friends on home felt.
Remember: You’re No Island
A classic pitfall when just starting out is losing sight of the fact that you’re playing not only against the player who last flopped out, but also against every other player participating in that particular round. One or two players flopping out may improve the odds of your own hand – but that doesn’t mean that flop isn’t also improving the hands of some of the other players remaining in the game.
Predictability Is Your Enemy
Be prepared to even go as far as purposefully losing a hand here and there if it means keeping your opponent’s guessing. Always checking on a weak hand or raising the bet on a strong hand will soon allow your fellow-players to read you like a book. And since in Poker, you’re up against the other players seated around the felt instead of against the dealer and the house, the element of surprise is your greatest ally.
Don’t be afraid to mix up your style with a bluff or surprise checkraise every once in a while. Let purposefully playing bad hands every once in a while, work for your good.