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Poker Strategy

Five Common Beginner Mistakes for Texas Hold’em

Written By: PokerNet.com | December 31, 2011 | Posted In Poker Strategy

Most newcomers to the game of Texas Hold’em make the same mistakes over and over again. If you are new to the game and want to keep yourself from falling into the classic pitfalls of being a Hold’em novice, correct these five common Texas Hold’em beginner mistakes.

1. Beginners play too many hands.

Watch any newcomer to Texas Hold’em sit down at a table and you’ll see what an overeager poker player looks like. Beginners too often call totally worthless hands. Newcomers to the game want to play as much as they can, and they ignore the value of their starting hand in favor of their desire to get in on the action. Slow down and learn to play only your best hands like pocket Aces, suited A-K combos, and high pairs.

2. Beginners play too far out of their range.

Managing your money is an even more important skill than learning the best starting hands. Greed will wipe out a newcomer’s bankroll faster than anything else, and if you find yourself playing in games you really can’t afford (where your competition outclasses you and you can’t afford to lose the blinds) you will most likely get frustrated and walk away from the game entirely. Start your Hold’em career at low limits, where many online poker rooms have weaker competition and low enough blinds that your bankroll lasts longer.

3. Beginners ignore pot odds.

The concept of pot odds is a little bit on the “intermediate-expert” side for most poker beginners, but it is a concept that must be mastered before you can advance your skills. Think of it this way: if you’re playing a microstakes game and the other players at your table understand pot odds while you don’t, you’ll still be at a huge disadvantage. Pot odds strategy tells you when you should call and wait for another community card and when you should go ahead and fold. There are pot odds calculators available to help you learn this surprisingly simple poker concept if you can’t grasp it on your own.

4. Beginners don’t take advantage of online poker customization.

The outstanding example of this simple oversight is the large number of Texas Hold’em beginners using the traditional red-and-black deck. Most online poker sites offer a four-color deck that uses a unique color for each suit, making it easy for you to read a table. Choosing a four-color deck instead of a more traditional black-and-red setup is just one customizable feature of an online poker room that can actually improve your game. Don’t overlook these options.

5. Beginners overvalue their suited hands.

Yes, it is important to play your suited hands in most cases, but beginners often think that any suited hand is worth playing. The ranks of your suited cards are just as important as their suit. In fact, beginners should probably stick with the highest possible suited pairs when they’re just getting started, avoiding the pitfall of playing into the flop with any suited cards. Desperation won’t help you build a flush, only experience and luck can do that.
Believe it or not, you can avoid the beginner’s blues if you counteract these five common mistakes, read up on poker strategy, and play as much poker as you can while you learn the game.

Our special section features some of the best Texas Holdem poker rooms for both US and European players. For more game variations, visit our Poker Games section.

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