From professionals to beginners, everyone has leaks in their game – some more than others. The trick is to identify your opponent’s poker leaks while hiding yours. Once you spot a player’s weakness, such as folding without thinking, it allows you to exploit them and steal the pot.
Online poker tournaments entail playing against a large number of people, suggesting there to be many different skill levels on display; some good, others bad. To be successful when playing, you need to be able to read the playing styles of your competitors and react accordingly. When you’re not betting, you have the chance to collect intel on things such as how often people fold or whether they like to raise a lot. This information gives you greater insight into what cards an opponent may have, therefore improving your chance for success. We discuss the most common poker leaks and how to fix them.
What are poker leaks and fixes?
Poker leaks are areas in one’s game that consistently gives you a negative expected value (EV) and impacts your win rate. Once leaks are spotted, players look to plug and fix them to improve their overall game. This process is very important for beginners wanting to progress to intermediary status as it’s unrealistic to believe you will have no flaws in your game. Once leaks have been spotted, it’s time to find a remedy and turn your weakness into a strength.
There are a few simple steps you can take to find poker leaks in your and your opponents’ games. Remember, when it’s not your turn, this is your goal. Poker is all about collecting information to give yourself the best chance of winning. If you catch yourself losing while making the same move, such as raising the bluffs on turns and rivers, there’s a good chance it’s a leak in your game.
The most common poker leaks
Before entering a table, experienced players often have a set figure of how much they’re going to put aside to play poker online and commonly leave a contingency amount for a possible re-buy in. It’s your job to deplete your opponent’s bank rolls and exploit their poker leaks.
One of the most important tournament poker tips to remember is to be patient and don’t chase the game. Remember that you’re playing against a lot of people; some are aggressive from start to finish so let them make the mistakes before you enter the heat of the game. Take this time to read your opponents’ plays, notice how they bet with certain hand ranges and if they’re a tight-aggressive, loose-aggressive, tight-passive or loose-passive player. Read on for more poker tips for beginners while showcasing the most common poker leaks and providing ways to fix them:
Raising bluffs on turns and rivers
This leak predominantly happens amongst beginners as they’re often naive about how players react in certain rounds and what this may imply for them. Generally speaking, players rarely raise on the turns and rivers to ensure they build the pot rather than scaring players off (who then fold.)
Poker is all about maximizing the pot and this is seldomly done by aggressive play. If someone calls your bet, there’s a good chance they have strong cards.
A great way to fix this is calling bets on the turns and rivers rather than raising. Or reducing the number of times you raise in these rounds to maintain a level of spontaneity.
Playing on a tilt
From losing your first pot to experiencing a long duration of having weak cards, the reasons to tilt in poker are endless. When a player experiences this, it’s a hard uphill battle to regain control as your emotions take over, resulting in out-of-character decisions.
The way to fix this is by removing yourself from the game and taking five minutes to walk outside and breathe some fresh air. Sometimes a little break is all you need to refocus. Additionally, it’s important to remember that mistakes happen and everyone makes them.
Playing while exhausted
At times, this goes hand-in-hand with tilting in poker. When a player is exhausted, they tend to lose concentration and expose themselves to bad bets. Remember, rest is important and if you’re feeling overly tired during the day, don’t enter a table as you’re reducing your chances for success before you play.
Folding without thinking
This is the process of folding when it seems too tough or you don’t have the time to react. From playing fewer tables and being prepared for your turn to watching the game, there are plenty of ways to fix this leak.
Betting and never following up
This is usually seen by players who c-bet the flop often and then check the turn. And when anyone calls their bet, they sit back and allow someone else to take control over the round.
Before betting on the flop, try to get an understanding of how often you think they will fold – if they don’t fold often, then it’s probably best to ditch this strategy. Another way to fix this is by forcing yourself to bet on the turn as well.
Overall, poker is about maintaining a +EV strategy and understanding your leaks is one of the most effective ways to reach this level. Moreover, it’s just as important to identify your opponent’s leaks to exploit their frequency issues. Once you find this balance, you’re on your way to becoming a dominant player.
Test your skills on BetMGM
Now that you know how to find and fix your leaks, why not put your new strategies to the test? From online tournaments and games available 24/7, BetMGM is regarded as one of the best – and most exciting – online poker sites.
Register today and explore our extensive range of live dealer casino games, online slots and so much more. Also, be sure to look out for more poker tips on our site.