Mistakes Even Advanced Poker Players Make

Posted October 5, 2009 by Andrew in Articles

Just because you’re an advanced poker player doesn’t mean that you’re not bound to make mistakes once in a while. Poker players are human after all. Yet knowing what possible mistakes you can make will definitely help you avoid them, so here are some of the most common errors that you can make in a poker game.

Mistake #1: Missing value bets

Value bets depend on the kind of poker game you’re playing. For limit hold ‘em, the bets are small in relation to the pot. Thus, the other players will probably call your value bet even with really weak hands. For no limit hold ‘em, however, you have to be more precise in determining what your opponent is holding.

More than that, you should also think about what your opponent thinks you have. The trick is in not betting too much when you think the other player does not have too strong a hand. This is because you want him to call you on your bet.

It’s said that knowing how to value one’s bets is the difference between a great player and a good player. The situation is not always the same, though. That is why you need to be totally focused on the game in order to get the maximum value from your bet.

Mistake #2: Lack of attention

The last statement above brings us to the next mistake that even advanced players make – not paying enough attention to the game. Of course, it could be a tactic to pretend not to pay attention. However, a real lack in this respect could be your downfall, no matter how good you are. Sometimes experience can be to one’s disadvantage. The knowledge of different situations and knowing exactly what to do in each can lead to laxness on an advanced player’s part. Do not make the mistake of multi-tasking when playing online. Checking e-mail, playing several games at the same time, and chatting – all at the same time – can distract you from your game. Even the best players can’t pay full attention to a game with all of that going on.

Mistake #3: Selecting games without thought

This leads to poor game selection. More often than not, egos get in the way of selecting a good game. What happens is that advanced players think they can win at any game they choose simply because of their skill and experience. This is not always the case, though.

Just because you’re good does not mean that you should always go for the highest game your bankroll can handle. Big doesn’t necessarily mean good. Check your stats and your betting record if you play online. If there are easy or soft games going on, go for them. The highest expected value is what you should consider when picking out a game to play online. Determine which games you excel at and then stick to them. Do not let your ego get in the way of winning poker games online.

Mistake #4: Betting too high when experimenting with new games

Trying out different types of poker is a normal quest for many players. This is especially true for those really advanced players who have become excellent in their poker game of choice. Ironic as it may seem, sometimes consistently winning makes it a little boring. As a result, new games and variations are often tried out by players.

So what’s wrong with that? Absolutely nothing. However, there is something that is not quite right in playing too high when you try out a new game. It’s true, it is still a poker game, isn’t it? So how can anything go wrong? Well, poker is poker, for sure. Yet different poker variations have different rules, different odds. You may be an expert when it comes to no limit Texas hold ‘em poker but that doesn’t mean you are the best when it comes to Omaha poker or Caribbean poker. The chances are that there are players at the table who are much more skilled than you are at this type of poker. The best thing for you to do would be to observe a bit and stay conservative for a while, increasing your betting as you go along.

Mistake #5: Messing up on free card plays

Advanced players are expected to know this trick to the T. The idea is that you can “coerce” the other players to check or call your bet. The result is that you can see the turn and river cards for a smaller total amount, hence the term free card play. Normally, this technique is employed when you are in a late position.

Simple as it may sound, it’s not as easy to actually carry out a free card play. Even advanced players mess up on this at times. Knowing when and how to do it is the key to success.

Mistake #6: Prolonged tilt

Tilting is part and parcel of any poker game. Even the most poker faced person at the table probably has his moments of tilting – even if they do not show it. The good players are almost always able to control their tilt, or at least recover from one quickly. However, even the best player has his weak moments. Playing on extended tilt will definitely cloud your judgment and drain your confidence – and your bankroll. The idea is to try and know yourself really well. If you sense that you are on tilt, snap out of it. Either that or stop playing for a while. Otherwise, you might end up doing things you will later on regret.

About the Author


Andrew Keyes is a poker enthusiast, a writer, researcher, speaker, and consultant. You can visit to get poker articles along with winning poker tips, tested poker strategies, the latest poker news, free poker tools, cool poker resources, and more! Visit today and you can download some of the best poker bots for automating your poker play!