Some of the actions we do when playing poker can lower our advantage over other players, and implicitly diminish our chances of winning in the long run. What’s very interesting however is the fact that many times we are not even aware of the importance which these apparently harmless gestures might have. In this article, we will discuss about a few of these losing habits and why they should be avoided:
Showing your cards to the other players
When you are showing your cards to the other players, you are giving away valuable information. Especially when you’ve just bluffed and won a hand, or when you’ve decided to wait for a river. In these circumstances, your actions give your game strategies away, something which can make it much harder for you to bluff your way to the pot again.
Throwing money at the pot when it’s obvious you can’t win
Sometimes we start with a pretty good hand, then the flop or the 4th street really messes up our hand. If you’ve already committed a pretty penny to the pot, you might feel tempted to call a large bet even if it’s pretty obvious you have no chance of winning anymore. Sure, you might be hoping for a miracle, but try to think about the actual chance you hit the card you need. Is it worth calling? Throwing money into the pot won’t win you the hand. It will just increase your losses.
Playing the same way, throughout the game
A player can be either loose or tight. Playing Tight means playing only good starting hands, while a loose style refers to also playing less strong starting combinations. It’s generally a good idea to alternate the two styles throughout the game. If you don’t, the other players might realize that you either have a strong hand whenever you call a blind or, if you’ve only played loose so far, they’ll assume that you’re likely to have a weak hand and try to scare you away.
Not raising or betting enough
Pre-flop, if you have a good enough hand, you should always raise to discourage any loose players who might otherwise be tempted to enter the game with a very weak hand. Whether they’re hoping they will get a very lucky flop or that they can later on bluff their way to the pot, you shouldn’t give them the chance to try their luck. If you are going to raise pre-flop, you should always raise at least 3-4 times the amount of the big blind. While you have no guarantee you will win, mathematically the odds are in your favor. You should take advantage of that and make sure that you reduce the possibility that one of the players with a bad hand gets lucky.
Paying attention to our own behavior is the key to understanding that of others, but also the key to winning more hands and becoming more disciplined. We hope that becoming aware of these losing habits will help you do just that.