Basic Strategy: Common Poker Mistakes

Find out what common mistakes players make and get some advice on how you can avoid them.

It doesn’t matter how good any poker players is — there’s always room to make improvements in one’s game. While the big mistakes can be glaringly obvious and easy to compensate, it’s the dozens of little ones that can keep a good poker player from making that leap onto poker greatness. We’re going to go over a few of the more common mistakes and help you make better decisions before you even get to the table.

Picking The Right Stakes For The Right Game

This is likely the most common error poker players make — they get bored with the game they’re playing and they start jumping around to try to find something else to play. What happens is that they believe they can move from $1/$2 Texas Hold ‘Em online poker to $1/$2 Omaha and expect to do just as well. If you’re moving to a game where you have little experience, go for stakes much lower than what you’d normally play at. It’s the best way to gain experience without breaking the bank.

Don’t Move Up Before You’re Ready

Newer players experience this more than anyone else, but experienced poker fans can sometimes find themselves falling victim to hubris and moving up to stakes that leave them punching above their weight. It’s easy to understand why you might be impatient and want to earn more money playing, but you don’t want to risk your entire bankroll because you’re bored. If you find yourself getting kicked around at higher-stakes tables, don’t let it continue – step down immediately and consider it a lesson learned.


We talked about tilting in online poker yesterday, but it deserves reiteration: if you find yourself playing emotionally, step away from the table. While tilt can seem heartless enough at lower-stakes games, you don’t want to engender any habits that can hurt you later in your career. Don’t be afraid to take a break and walk away, even in a tournament situation. Sitting out for a few hands and just paying blinds can be much less costly than playing angrily.

Own Up To Your Mistakes

When you’ve made a bad call at the table, admit it. It’s one thing to face a bad beat on one hand but if you’re bleeding chips regularly, then you need to take a good, hard look at what you’ve been playing and how. Admitting that you regularly read certain players incorrectly or can’t bluff in some circumstances is the first step you can take towards improving your game.

Correcting Your Mistakes

Every player has problems in their game, and the difference between a novice and someone that’s able to make a career out of playing online poker is that the pro will take the time to identify and repair the problems in their game. Take time today to analyze your game and take a good look at how you can repair your current problems before you head back to the tables.