The top 10 Most Expensive Texas Holdem Mistakes Beginners Make

This article was posted on February 25, 2014

Articles have been written on the mistakes beginner poker/online poker players make, which end up costing them money and in some cases drive them to quit the game altogether, even on the pages of this website, but this piece aims to cover more ground than any of those done before.

The interesting thing about these frequent beginner mistakes is that they can be avoided/corrected with relatively little trouble, and they are therefore an excellent starting point for radically improving one’s game.

Texas Holdem (and Omaha for that matter) is a positional game. One can literally see the money follow in the wake of the dealer button as it goes around the table and with that in mind, and considering all the free information available on this subject out there, it is indeed difficult to comprehend why so many rookies completely ignore position. Every poker strategy move described in various articles/strategy books works better from position. The reason why position lends one such a huge advantage is so straightforward it barely bears repeating and re-iterating.

Aggression is fashionable at the online poker tables these days, there’s no denying that fact. Fortunately for good players though, beginners often find a way to botch up aggression too: they’re aggressive for the sake of aggression, blissfully unaware of the when’s and where’s which make or break this strategy approach.


Most beginners do not care how many tells they give away, which is indeed a major mistake. Thinking about the image one generates at the table in the eyes of the other players is something that calls for a higher level of poker thought, a level that most beginners are obviously unable to attain, and therefore balancing their range is never something that they will ever pay any sort of attention to.


A much easier-to-address mistake is the improper sizing of one’s bets. Bet sizing can indeed be responsible for the loss of quite a bit of revenue that could’ve been taken down. Bet sizing is about optimizing the amount of chips one deploys in a given hand: when in possession of the best hand, one obviously wants to make the biggest possible bet that will still be called by an opponent. When bluffing, one is aiming to make the smallest possible bet that will still force the fold. Bet sizing is a never-ending balancing act at the green felt.


Playing too many hands is probably one of the most basic Holdem beginner mistakes. Beginners are impatient and they want to be in the middle of the action all the time. They also have this notion that profitable poker is about making hands and that leads to them chasing draws way too far in a hand: a straight path to killing off one’s bankroll.    

Ignoring the number of opponents at the table is another huge problem. The fewer players there are, the looser one’s ranges should become, the more drawing hands there are around the table, the tighter one should get. All this is just basic odds and probabilities calculus, so it’s not exactly difficult to address/weed out.


Many beginners play with scared money, something that never allows them to make optimal decisions. Many of them get sucked into the emotional aspect of the game, and when one combines these two leaks, he basically gets the recipe of tilt, the biggest enemy of any bankroll at the green felt.

Over valuing suited pocket cards is another beginner issue. This problem stems from the fact that starting hands such as suited connectors and suited one-gappers do indeed make excellent implied odds hands, but exploiting such hands isn’t for any situation, and it does not justify an attempt to hit a flush every time one happens upon suited pocket cards.

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