When you’re playing poker you’ll soon find that as much as it is important you approach the game in the right way, it is just as important you avoid some of the common pitfalls that could drag you down and lead to heavy losses. The first step to being able to do that is to identify the risks, and then take steps so that you are able to neatly sidestep them.
- Going ‘on tilt’
Being ‘on tilt’ is something that even experienced players dread. It refers to when your emotions cloud your judgment and cause you to make decisions that you normally wouldn’t. Normally poker players tend to go on tilt when they lose a hand that they really should have won because luck simply wasn’t on their side, or when they make a silly mistake that they should have avoided. As such players will make rash and emotional decisions to try to ‘chase after’ what they’ve lost – and often end up losing even more in the process.
Yet another common problem that poker players face is overconfidence. When you have a strong hand (especially right from the flop) you may often be so caught up in the thought that you’re going to win that you don’t notice there is a hand that beats it that is on the table. At the same time your opponent will look to take advantage of your overconfidence so that they are able to cash in on your mistake as much as possible.
- Not assessing the risk vs. the reward
New poker players in particular often do not assess the risk vs. the reward – or end up doing so incorrectly. Essentially whenever you place a bet you should be thinking of how much you need to risk (i.e. the bet) vs. how much you stand to win (i.e. the pot). After that you should compare that with an estimation of the odds you feel you have to win – and see whether or not it makes sense to actually take on that risk.
- Playing too tight and bleeding
As much as rash decisions are bad, playing too tight is just as bad too because your opponents will end up ‘bleeding’ your chips bit by bit as you end up folding a lot of hands just because they aren’t a ‘sure thing’. If you keep waiting for a ‘sure thing’ to come around you’re going to be waiting a long time – and odds are you’ll run out of chips long before then.
Now that you know the four common pitfalls that you need to avoid when you play poker, you should be able to take steps to do so. Frankly speaking you won’t be able to solve all these issues overnight and even experienced players are overconfident, go on tilt, play too tight or don’t assess the risk vs. reward properly from time to time – but at least being aware of it will help you to eliminate most of those cases.