The Most Common Mistakes You’re Making When Playing Poker

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BetMGM Sep 06, 2022, 12:53 PM

If you’re new to online casino games – or already have firm favorites like Texas Hold’em poker – you’re bound to make a few mistakes along the way. But practice makes perfect and while you can never confidently claim to have it all figured out, sticking with it will certainly improve your gameplay.

This applies to both novice and experienced poker players.

Whether you’re still finding your feet around the Texas Hold’em poker table or are enjoying the thrill of online poker, we’ve mapped out some common mistakes to watch out for. Below are seven mistakes that you may occasionally make during online or live poker tournaments.

1. Emotional gameplay

With poker being a game of skill, tact and a bit of luck, you can’t afford to let emotions get in the way. There’s a reason why this age-old casino game spawned the phrase “poker face.” 

Even without saying a word, your facial expression and emotions speak volumes. Emotional gameplay can lead you to make bad decisions, cloud your judgment and get in the way of rational thinking.

2. Excessive bluffing

Perhaps experienced poker players have this one under control, but for beginners, excessive bluffing may be something you do without intending to. While bluffing effectively is a key part of succeeding at poker, be careful not to take it too far.

When you understand that poker requires a certain level of tact and mental fortitude, you’ll realize that you need to be strategic with your bluffing. When you do something too often, it becomes ineffective and your opponents may eventually start calling your bluff.

3. Letting fear get in the way

Whether you’re playing live poker online or casino table games, letting fear get in the way of making smart calls will always affect your gameplay. When it comes to poker, you need to be confident and emotionally and mentally strong to play at your best. To truly put up a good fight, you can’t let imposter syndrome or the fear of losing take over your thinking.

Your instincts can be useful when playing online poker tournaments, but fear may make you fold even when you shouldn’t!

4. Playing too many hands

One of the most well-known poker tournament tips is that playing too many hands could very well be your downfall. This goes back to strategy and foresight when playing poker. If you don’t understand what a good starting selection looks like or how to make it work for you, you’ll find yourself playing every hand just to avoid being left out of the action.

It’s a bit like having your hands in too many pots – you’ll end up pulling in different directions and achieving poor results.

5. Overestimating your abilities

This is a common mistake that applies especially to novice players that are becoming more confident in their gameplay. Understanding the basics of poker and improving your strategy along the way is great, but don’t let that fool you into punching above your weight!

Don’t be pressured by anyone – including yourself – to play against opponents that are way above your league. This is the fastest way to lose all your chips. Overestimating your abilities and pitting yourself against far more experienced players will always affect your chances of succeeding at poker.

6. Failing to fold when you should

Regardless of what game you’re playing, the last thing anyone likes to do is accept defeat. For many, that’s what folding means, right? However, that’s not entirely true. Folding when you should means you’re aware of the odds against you and your realistic chances of winning.

While poker is a highly competitive game and may feel like the survival of the fittest, sometimes folding is the best thing to do! Avoid committing to a hand that’s not promising simply because you don’t want to be seen as “weak” or “the one that gave up.”

Poker isn’t like a game of sports where bowing out may be seen as accepting defeat. On the contrary, folding at the most opportune time indicates that you are well aware of the direction the game is going in and that you’re strategic enough to avoid losing.

7. Playing for too long

Once you’ve immersed yourself in the thrill of poker, it’s not unusual to find yourself playing for much longer than you should. While this may not seem too bad of an idea if you know your way around poker, it could affect your gameplay the longer you play.

With poker being a game of tact and strategy, you need to perform at your optimum mentally. Playing for hours on end without a break will likely impact your thinking and overall approach to gaming – so be careful!

Improve your poker gameplay at BetMGM

If you’re ready to put these tips and tricks into practice, why not explore our online casino? With a wide variety of casino games to play, you’re truly spoilt for choice. Avoid these common mistakes and you might just emerge triumphant when you sign up at BetMGM.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.