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Avoiding Mistakes

Poor hand selection

Two of the biggest mistakes in no limit cash games: Overvaluing your dominated hands, and playing huge pots with meagre holdings.

Poker is all about making good decisions and avoiding big mistakes. But matters at the poker table are rarely black and white: there is never one way to play certain situations all the time, and it is impossible to produce a strict guide for all circumstances.

Nevertheless, there are some situations that continually cause difficulties for players of all levels, and avoiding common mistakes can give you a significant advantage over many opponents.

If you understand why you should avoid these situations, you will also learn how to take advantage of your opponents when they get themselves into trouble.

This chapter is all about common mistakes and how to avoid them. They can be extremely costly in a no limit Texas Hold'em cash game.

POOR HAND SELECTION

We have spoken at length in the Poker Basics course and this course about the importance of correct pre-flop hand selection. Nevertheless, players still often get themselves in trouble by either over-valuing marginal hands, which turn out to be dominated by an opponent, or getting involved in huge pots with weak hands, which they end up losing.

Let's take a closer look.

Over-valuing dominated hands

Hands like  or  may look pretty, but they are not great hands.

Although they may be playable in position and if nobody has raised previously, they are exceptionally vulnerable if an opponent shows strength. As soon as an opponent starts raising, you have to muck them. You don't want to flop the second best hand, which can often happen with these kinds of holdings.


Click here to view examples as text
 
    1. You are dealt  on the button and action is folded to you. You decide to raise to $6 (three times the big blind) to pick up the blinds, but the player in the big blind re-raises to $21. You should fold, even though you have position. Your hand may be dominated.
    2. You have  again, this time in the cut off, and action is folded to you. You raise to $6 and this time the player on the button moves all in for $21. This time it is correct to call. You need to pay $15 to win $45 and odds are in your favor. You only need a 33 per cent chance of winning the hand to make this a correct decision.

 

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