5 Tips to Help You Avoid Losses in Poker
We are all familiar with the expression “rules of poker can be studied in just a few minutes, but learning to play it until the end of life”, which reflects the accessibility of the game for any person, and the incredible complexity of poker aspects upon careful consideration. However, there are several universal tips designed to help you avoid the most common and painful mistakes that almost all poker players make (especially beginner players sin in them).
1. Refuse slowplay. Totally.
No-limit Texas poker has 1326 starting hand combinations. Of these, only a small part is a good card (we do not take into account the specifics of the game on the button), and therefore we will rarely come into play. In turn, this smaller part of the hands also in really strong combinations (two pairs and better) will fall infrequently. This entails the following thoughts: “I finally got there, I will try to collect the maximum amount of money from my opponent and lure him into a trap.” This psychological mistake in the long run can be very costly, for we will fall into the plug of two unpleasant outcomes:
- Opponents will collect the combination better and we will lose the hand, and with it a large number of big blinds or the whole stack;
- We still show the best hand at the showdown, but at the same time we don’t have enough money from an opponent who could pay us more.
There are special cases where the slow game is justified:
- Our opponent is a maniac and the best solution would be to simply let him bury by his own hands;
- We have an absolute nuts (quad of the flop), and opponents simply physically cannot have at least some digestible hand to pay us our value bets.
2. Do not play without a weak opponent at the table.
No matter how well we play against regular players, a significant part of our poker earnings comes exclusively from bad players. Therefore, we should strive to look for only those tables at which the fiches are present. For playing online, the best indicator that indicates the weakness of an opponent sitting in front of us is the statistics of your poker program for collecting and analyzing statistics. The most convenient way is to place the VPIP stat in your tracker's HUD (DriveHUD, Poker Copilot 6 or even Hand2Note); All interesting personalities that have a statistical value of 40% or higher fall within the scope of our interests.
For poker rooms that do not allow us to collect hand histories with the help of tracking software, there are a number of indirect signs that can be used to easily calculate a weak opponent.
3. You need to know your ranges very well.
Weak players are different from regular professional poker players by the intuitiveness of their actions and the dependence of their so-called “strategy” on their mood. We cannot afford such luxury, and our actions must be clearly justified by the advantage of the strength of the hand, position, our ability to bluff and much more. Remembering ranges for all situations preflop is a slow and painstaking task, but it pays off many times over your poker career. Clear ranges do not mean that we turn into robots that do not enjoy the game. Just with strong ranges, we will enjoy more often than our rivals at the poker table. The easiest way to work with ranges is with the help of poker calculators: Flopzilla and Power-Equilab.
4. Work on the psychological side of poker (fighting tilt)
Very often, poker players play in the minus not because of ignorance of the mathematical foundations or strategies of the game, but because of the inability to react adequately after the badbeats or in the downswing. All won a good game is played at the time of tilt. Sometimes also with additional money. Therefore, it is very important to study not only the strategic aspects of the game of poker, but also to develop a tilt resistance. Ideally - to achieve psychological balance.
5. Press Fold against raises of opponents on the turn and river
A more targeted recommendation, the utility of which is difficult to overestimate. There is a connection with the described phenomenon above, when players rarely get good cards that they want to win maximum with them, by all means, completely ignoring the information provided by their opponents by their actions. Sometimes this results in slowplay, and sometimes in the inability to throw a strong preflop hand into a pass, which turned into a pumpkin on one of the late trading streets. Most often, poker players overestimate the power of their overpairs, playing on a stack against opponents raises. We must remember that overpair = 1 pair, although strong, and the increase in our bet from our opponent signals, in most cases, the presence of a combination, stronger than ours. The money we save in such a situation in the long run amounts to the money won.