Ready to become a better poker player? If you’re working to improve your game, you need to stop making these 3 big mistakes if you want to improve. By incorporating these quick tips into your play, then you’re guaranteed to see a spike in your win-rate!
Especially in small games or tournaments, it can be easy to fall into these traps. We can get in our heads and make the wrong play. That’s why you need to learn to recognize these leaks so that you can plug them and beat your opponents who are probably also making these mistakes.
#1: Not Adjusting Enough to Exploit Different Player Types
Too many players make all their decisions based on their hands or even their spots, but they don’t factor in how their opponents’ player profiling affects their calculations. What can be a great play by default can be terrible against a specific type of player.
For instance, let’s saying you’re playing against a tight-passive nit. This player only gets in the pot when they have good cards and rarely makes a raise. So, if you’re holding a pair like pocket jacks that would be fine against another opponent, you should fold to a 3-bet from the nit because they almost certainly have QQ+.
#2: Playing Too Tightly with a Short Stack
While it is important to protect your tournament stack, you also don’t just want to bleed out a short stack when you could be making plays. Most players will only jam their short stacks when they are certain they’re ahead, and this means they’re leaving chips on the table.
Since your stack is so small, you’ll often find yourself in spots where you’re getting great pot-odds on a call or a shove so long as your hand has enough equity. If you’re looking down at a hand like ATs, don’t be afraid to get your chips into the pot before the flop, especially if you’re playing against a loose opponent who could have plenty of worse cards.
#3: Playing Too Passively Post-Flop from the Big Blind
It can be tough to keep the aggression coming when you’re in the big blind because it’s hard to play out of position. However, too many players just check-call with so much of their range that it becomes easy to play against them, and they lose chips in the process.
If you want to win pots out of the big blind, you have to battle. That means bluffing, keeping on the pressure, and forcing your opponents to react. A lot of players will put you on a good hand, and then you’ll win a pot that you otherwise would lose.