If you want to learn the best way to play poker, try figuring out what not to do when you’re at the table. We’ll start you off by showing you the seven most common mistakes people make when they play at Bovada.


How to Be a Great Poker Player

But first, a word about greatness. If you want to be a great poker player, start at the beginning by learning how to be good at poker. Greatness is mostly just a question of being good, but doing it more often and more reliably than your competition. The difference between good and great is actually quite small – but not everyone is cut out for that difficult journey. Meanwhile, just about anyone can become a good poker player with a little time and effort.


7 Poker Mistakes to AvoidCommon Poker Mistakes to Avoid

Ideally, when you play poker online at Bovada, you’ll be coming to the table prepared for battle, with a sound ABC poker strategy for beginners. But even these basic strategies take time to learn and execute properly. You’ll end up making mistakes along the way. Fortunately, you can speed up the learning process by identifying and correcting those mistakes ahead of time. Here are the seven most common errors to watch out for:


Mistake #1: Playing Too Many Hands

Playing poker is a lot of fun. Folding? Not so much. But folding is often the right play to make at the table. When you’re working on your poker starting hands, take them seriously and don’t open with hands that are outside your recommended ranges. By definition, marginal hands offer only marginal rewards, while leaving you open to maximum pain.


Mistake #2: Overcommitting on Aces

Here’s one of the easiest poker tips for beginners to remember: Never get married to pocket Aces. They might be the most powerful starting hand in Texas Hold’em, but fortunes can change with every street. Go ahead and get your entire stack in pre-flop if you want – in fact, this is usually the best way for beginners to play pocket Aces, always raising and never slow-playing. But if you’re in a multi-way pot post-flop with a scary looking board like Eight-Seven-Six, all of the same suit? Get ready to fold.


7 Poker Mistakes to AvoidMistake #3: Focusing Too Much on Your Cards

Phil Hellmuth talks about this one all the time: Don’t play your cards, play the player. The identity of your hole cards is very important, of course, but what you do with them depends on your opponents. What position are they in? How many chips do they have? Are they passive or aggressive? You need to pay attention to all these things if you want to play your cards right.


Mistake #4: Chasing

Calling down your opponents with a drawing hand and hoping to hit by the river is a great way to light money on fire. There are times when you’ll get the correct pot odds to chase, but for the most part, drawing hands work better when you raise instead of call. That way, your opponent might fold and let you scoop the pot right there; if they don’t, maybe you’ll make your hand anyway and still get to win.


Mistake #5: Making Inappropriate Bet Sizes

Bet sizing might be the one aspect of poker that really separates the good players from the great players. This is a tricky area to get right, so as a beginner, it’s highly recommended that you stick with a standard bet size for all your plays – maybe two-thirds of the pot. Making tiny bets or massive over-shoves should be saved for when you’ve had a little more practice, and you understand when and why it makes sense to bet smaller or larger.


7 Poker Mistakes to AvoidMistake #6: Ignoring Position

As mentioned earlier, when you look down at your hole cards and you see you’ve got a pretty good hand, you still need to ask yourself a few things. What position are you sitting at? If there are still several players between you and the blinds, a hand like Ace-Nine offsuit might not be worth opening. And will you be in position post-flop, meaning you’ll get to act last? Unsuited hands like that Ace-Nine don’t play nearly as well out of position as a hand like Jack-Ten suited.


Mistake #7: Going on Tilt

This might take a little more work than the others. It’s one thing to go into a poker game telling yourself that you won’t get overly emotional and make plays you know you shouldn’t. It’s another thing to catch yourself getting emotional mid-hand and cool off before you do something you might regret. One easy way to limit your losses during a cash session: Set a stop-loss. If you drop two or three buy-ins during a session, stop playing, even if you think you feel up to the task. Your ability to judge your emotional state will naturally be compromised in these situations. Just back away before things get worse, and come back later when you’re refreshed.




With these seven poker tips in your arsenal, you can drastically reduce the number and the magnitude of the mistakes you make while you’re still trying to figure out all the right moves. It’ll take more than this to achieve true poker greatness, but that’s the wonderful thing about poker – you only have to be one of the better players at the next table you join if you want to be a long-term winner. Make it one of the tables at Bovada Poker, and as always, best of luck on the felt.