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Top 10 Common Poker Mistakes

Hey everybody. This is Alex “Assassinato” Fitzgerald. I’m happy to be speaking to you. As the new head pro at Advanced Poker Training, my job is to get you to the next level. To accomplish that, I’m going to be sending you free strategy guides. These guides are designed to get you fast improvements in as little time as possible. Today, we’ll start our education by discussing the ten most common poker mistakes and how to avoid them.

Do you have any of these leaks?

Betting Without A Plan

The first of our common poker mistakes is betting without a plan

A poker player opens from early position with Q-Q. He gets called by three players. The board comes A-4-3 rainbow. The player with Queens now fires into multiple players.

You ask him why he bet there and he’ll say, “the Ace is in my range. I had to represent it.”

Yes, the Ace is in his range, but does anyone care?

What are the chances that three players cold called him and none of them has an Ace?

Is he getting value from Jacks? Is he getting an Ace to fold?

If he’s not getting worse hands to call or better hands to fold, then what is the point of the bet? What is the plan?

Always question your bets. What is the purpose of your wager? What is the plan?

Cold Calling Too Much

When someone opens in front of you, you need to be careful about how often you cold call.

If you cold call, you will likely end up in a multiway pot, because the tempting price will bring players in behind you.

Suited connectors, pairs, suited Aces, and suited broadways make two pair, sets, straights, and flushes. Those hands win at showdown frequently in multiway pots.

Unsuited big cards and suited-gappers are dominated often. They become the second-best hand frequently in multiway pots. That gets expensive fast.

If someone loose is opening, reraise them.

If someone tight is opening and you’re likely to be dominated, fold to them.

Calling Too Many Postflop Raises

Your opponents don’t want to raise postflop as a bluff.

They all have the same complaint. “No one ever folds to me!”

If they believe no one is folding to them, then the last thing they want to do is embarrass themselves with a failed bluff.

Most people don’t even know what pairs they’re supposed to be turning into bluffs. They likely folded their high cards earlier in the hand.

Occasionally, someone will get pissed off and raise a missed draw, but there’s not many of those combinations.

When in doubt, fold. Your opponents aren’t that skilled. They’re afraid to try a big play.

Calling Too Many Triple Barrels

Another of our common poker mistakes occurs when our opponents triple barrel bluff.

Similarly, your opponents can’t triple barrel bluff enough.

Most people have no idea how to execute a triple barrel bluff. They don’t know what bet sizes or boards will help them secure a fold. If they ever tried a triple barrel bluff that didn’t work, they felt humiliated.

One of the hardest concepts to teach a poker player is a triple barrel bluff. Most people will chicken out.

No one wants to risk their entire session on one bet. They’d rather “wait for a better spot.”

Obviously, some people can run this powerful bluff, but if you don’t know anything about the opponent you should bet against them having this capability. If you see them get caught in a large bluff, then you can change your approach. Until then, don’t give the nut peddlers credit.

Never Three-betting

If you’re on the button or cutoff and someone opens ahead of you constantly, you should take that personally.

Why do they think you won’t do anything about their weak raises?

Why do they feel comfortable stealing your position?

If the player is opening too much, then you need to start re-raising them and applying pressure.

Now, you can play those suited gappers and big cards you were folding before because they could be dominated. Heads-up, versus a weak player, those hands are good enough to take to war.

Calling Too Many River Bets

Your opponents still suck at bluffing.

It’s not just triple barrel bluffs they can’t pull off. It’s small bluffs too.

When they see a small pot, they believe their small bet won’t work as a bluff.

They don’t understand that some small bluffs only have to work a small percentage of the time to be profitable. They just feel stupid whenever their bluff bet gets called.

Due to this, most of your opponents can’t bluff enough. Give them credit and stop hero calling unless every draw on Earth missed. One missed draw is not enough.

Never Value Betting Thinly

When someone checks to you on the river and you’re reasonably sure you have the best hand, BET!

The entire point of the game is getting other people’s chips. The easiest way to do this is with value betting. Exotic bluffs are hard to pull off. Value bets get paid off constantly.

Don’t ever say, “this pot is big enough.”

No! The pot is never big enough! Unless you’ve stacked every player at your table, the pot is not big enough!

Don’t check back because you’re worried about a river checkraise. Your opponents are horrible at that play. You’re not going to face a checkraise the vast majority of the time.

Start value betting more. You’ll be stunned by what people call you with.

Never Overbetting

Another one of our common poker mistakes is failing to overbet.

You raise with 9c-7c. A player calls you out of the big blind.

The board comes 8d-5d-3c. The big blind checks to you. You bet 1/3rd pot. The big blind calls you.

The turn is a Qh. The big blind checks to you.

Please consider an overbet here.

You know what this player has. He would have threebet preflop with most of his overpairs. He likely would have raised sets and two pairs with the flush and straight draws on this board. What he likely has is a mediocre pair or a draw. None of those hands wants to see you overbet on the turn.

Do you think your opponents never fold to your overbets because they’re too suspicious? Good! Overbet this turn when you have A-Qo. Go for extreme value.

But trust me. Most of your opponents will not love calling overbets. Bluff them more.

Raising Too Much From Early Position

Let’s finish out this article with some fundamentals.

If no one folds to you, then don’t open your weak unsuited big cards or suited gappers from early position. You’re likely to find yourself out of position in a multiway pot with a dominated hand. Not good. That can get expensive quickly.

If people are constantly threebetting you, that won’t work either. You won’t have good enough of a hand to defend.

Just fold that trash. You’ll thank yourself later.

Last of our Common Poker Mistakes: Limping Preflop

If your hand is solid, come in for a raise.

If you limp, people will know you often don’t have much of a hand. They’ll try to raise you off of it. People are much better at isolation raising than they are at threebetting, so you should raise instead of limping.

If you raise preflop and someone cold calls you, then you will have all the premiums in your range but they won’t have the premiums in their range, because they likely would have threebet with those hands. This range advantage will help you bluff more postflop.

I hope you enjoyed these quick tips! Pay attention to our future emails for more strategic insights!


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Alex Fitzgerald

Master Poker Coach | Low-to-mid-stakes | WPT & EPT final tablist | $3.5M cashes | Best Selling Author

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