As a fan of online casino games, you’ll already know that Texas Hold’em poker is one of the most popular online poker variants across the globe. The reason why it’s a “go-to” for so many poker players? It’s easy to learn and easy to play, but every single game promises a different experience and plenty of thrilling twists and turns. As such, it’s often said that Texas Hold’em poker takes approximately five minutes to learn and a lifetime to master.
One of our main poker tournament tips to help you improve your skills and the outcome of your game when playing Texas Hold’em online is to become familiar with every aspect of the game. It’s important not only to brush up on the poker tournament rules and the various poker hands and strategies but also to familiarize yourself with the most common rookie mistakes. Read on for a list of these slip-ups and how best to avoid them.
What is Texas Hold’em poker?
Before we dive into the many possible missteps you can take when playing the game, let’s unpack the essence of the game itself. What are the rules of Texas Hold’em and how do they differ from other variants?
Texas Hold’em is a casino table game and community card poker game. As the name suggests, this poker variant finds its roots in Texas. The rules are quite simple. Each player seated at the table is dealt two hole cards that only they can use. Each hand sees up to five cards dealt onto the felt – the community cards. These cards are used by all players in conjunction with each of their two hole cards to create as profitable a poker hand as possible.
Mistakes that newbies make when playing Texas Hold’em
When it comes to playing this type of online poker in particular, there’s always an opportunity to hone your Texas Hold’em strategy. Remember, there’s no such thing as the perfect poker player! Instead of aiming for perfection, a more realistic approach is to keep practicing new and different strategies for any games you play. You’ll also need to start learning the game’s terminology, which can help save you from making some costly errors!
Let’s look at some of the rookie mistakes you should avoid when learning how to play Texas Hold’em poker online. Once you’ve read through them, you should have an idea of what not to do when taking to the felt.
1. Playing too many hands preflop
We understand that the game can start to feel a bit boring when the right cards aren’t coming your way. This is when beginner players tend to fall into the trap of playing too many hands before the flop, which is considered one of the “safest” ways to give their chips away.
An experienced player will stay disciplined and stick to the proper starting poker hand, despite being dealt poor hands for a long period of time. By playing too many hands preflop, you could land yourself in tricky postflop situations with weak cards in your hand. This could lead to great losses that could have been avoided.
2. Acting too quickly without thinking things through
It’s easy to activate auto-pilot mode when you spend a lot of time sitting at the poker table (or behind your screen.) This can often lead to making decisions without thinking them through, resulting in costly mistakes.
As a rule of thumb, when learning how to play casino games like Texas Hold’em poker, you should never act too quickly when your turn to make a move rolls around. Instead, try to calmly assess all the necessary information needed to make your next decision at the table. One thing that you can do to start making more informed choices is to read more about various strategies – which you are already doing right now – instead of having to learn the hard way! It’s also vital to know when to stick with your strategy and when a situation calls for some improvisation.
3. Missing the value bet
Missing a value bet is a common mistake in poker. When you’ve missed the value bet enough times during your session at the felt, your profit margin will be affected. So, if you think you have a good read on your opponent’s hand, you should take the risk because it could become expensive if you fail to do so.
4. Calling with the weaker ace
One of the most important Texas Hold’em tips and tricks to keep in mind is to never call down more experienced players with a weak ace. If your opponents are placing strong bets, you should strongly consider folding your weak ace hand by the turn.
5. Getting “psyched out” by your opponents
Yes, poker is a psychological game, so some pros will try to “psyche out” their opponents as a tactic to gain the upper hand. However, allowing them to get into your head will disrupt your game strategy, leave you vulnerable and, ultimately, lead you to make bad decisions.
Since you have no control over how other players behave, all you can do is develop some strategies to keep a clear head while playing. If you’re feeling rattled, give yourself a bit of space to make informed decisions (while not holding up the game.) One way is simply to be aware that other players might use this strategy of intimidation and do your best to stay strong – trust yourself. Educating yourself more about the psychology of the game is a great way to hold onto this mindset when the pressure’s on – there are many books written by poker players about this!
Another recommendation is never to play while intoxicated. This advice may seem obvious, but even a drink or two could lead to “going on tilt.” When a player is said to be “on tilt,” they’ve become emotionally overwhelmed and stressed during a game and will start making poor decisions, which can then snowball into disastrous consequences.
6. Bluffing too often
If you want to play online poker tournaments, you should learn how to mix up your betting patterns, as well as know when to fold. Take a cue from country singer Kenny Rogers’ song The Gambler here: learn when to hold and when to fold by constantly doing your research and improving your game.
Once you’re confident about switching up your betting patterns and folding, you can start to bluff. Of course, you’ll need to have a strong poker face so that your opponents can’t tell whether you’re bluffing. This is something that you’ll constantly work on as you refine your skills. More experience and confidence will help with this (especially as you become more adept at reading other people.)
Having said that, bluffing is a great strategy, but it shouldn’t be the only trick up your sleeve. Avoid overusing it because the more you bluff, the more your opponents will expect you to do it – and it’ll lose its intended effect.
7. Sticking to your plan and failing to adjust to other players’ behavior
As much as we recommend becoming a learned player and having some kind of strategy in place, you should also learn how to adapt to various situations and be flexible, as your opponents will often be unknown!
For this reason, being a perfectionist with your game plan won’t work. The reality is that the dynamics will change throughout the proceedings and you’ll never know for sure what your opponents will do. If you’re comfortable with deviating from your game plan, the way you approach the action will be more relaxed and open to all possibilities. This means you’ll also be ready to take on any challenge presented.
For example, if an opponent isn’t folding out of the big blind, you should attack them with stronger hands and make bigger raises. Having the ability to switch up your approach can give you a good advantage at the poker table.
8. Calling with a small flush draw in a multi-pot
A common rookie mistake is to “call” with a small flush draw when you’re playing against multiple opponents. Many players like to put money down on the flop, which can hurt if one of the players has a bigger flush than you.
We recommend that you avoid holding onto a small flush draw for too long when you’re playing Texas Hold’em. If you’re playing in a multi-way pot, there are simply too many ways for your hand to be beaten by an opponent with a stronger hand than yours.
9. Over-calling small pocket pairs preflop
Calling high bets for a low-value pair, such as those from a pair of twos to a pair of sixes, is not recommended. Once you have the basics down, it’s important to measure your bets fairly. You’ll learn quickly that over-calling an average hand will cost you in the long run.
Pay close attention to your bankroll while playing and ensure that you’re even more cautious about calling an average hand if you’re low on funds. It’s always important to play responsibly and to avoid chasing your losses if you notice you’ve been over-calling and have lost a significant amount of money as a result.
10. Not learning new strategies after your first success
As we’ve touched on more than once in the points above, to become a better poker player, you should never stop expanding your knowledge when you start winning a few games. Make sure you keep learning everything from betting strategies to the odds in Texas Hold’em. In the poker world, you have to keep up, because everyone else is just as passionate and determined to win as you are.
The truth is that poker changes all the time, with players getting better daily, so you should always work on improving your Texas Hold’em-hand strategies. One of the biggest mistakes that novices make is to think they’ve conquered the game after tasting their first success at the table. No siree!
Play poker online at BetMGM
Now that you’ve learned all about what not to do as a beginner, it’s time to put the tips we’ve shared above into practice and perfect your Texas Hold’em poker online strategies at BetMGM! We offer the best online poker in the US, along with a selection of many other world-class online casino games to choose from, such as casino table games, online slots and variety games.
We have all the best casino games for you to play when you register online – including an array of real poker games. The fun never ends as we also host daily online poker tournaments and live dealer casino games, which should give you ample opportunities to practice. You’ll gain valuable exposure to a wide variety of playing styles by sitting around the table with more experienced players.
If you’re completely new to the gaming scene, rest assured that BetMGM online casino is licensed and regulated to provide a fair and safe gaming experience. Enjoy exploring our menu of favorites!