Playing poker is an activity that you can enjoy doing online and it rewards skillful players. In this article we’ll discuss the most common reasons that novice and some experienced online poker players lose when playing a No Limit Texas Hold’em poker tournament.
1. Playing Bad Hands
Winning poker players will tell you that you do not need to play every hand! Poker players tend to feel that they have to make the best of it. If you’re dealt one of the worst starting hands in Texas Hold’em they’re not worth playing and you should instantly fold them.
Solid players typically play tight. This means folding crap hands and playing the odds when they are holding stronger cards. Stay away from playing number cards that are off suit. You’re not playing the odds there. Play broadway cards, suited connectors (e.g. 9s8s), one gap connectors (e.g. Jc9c), AT+, KQ, and any pair since you can hit a set and win a really big pot.
Re-raising: When playing low limit Texas Hold’em tournaments, players that re-raise (3-bet) either have a premium hand or they are bluffing. Weak tight player players will only re-raise when they have a very good hand. Therefore, if you’re facing a re-raise from this kind of player when you have a weak hand then it’s time to fold instead of calling in extremely bad shape to try and get lucky.
2. Don’t Overvalue Suited Starting Hands
The biggest mistake that most novice tournament players make is playing any suited cards. Suited connectors have good speculative potential but that doesn’t mean you should play any suited unconnected junk hands. You will only make a flush around 5% of the time. Simply put, it’s hard to make a flush, and even when you hit a low flush, you can’t be super confident you have the winning hand if all the chips go in the middle. Play the cards that are suited and connected as they have greater potential of flopping something big.
3. Overplaying Small Pairs
So you got 44 in the hole and you are looking for that other 4 on the flop. What if the flop comes and there is no other 4? Should the poker player continue to play to see if it comes on the turn or the river? If you hit it on the flop that’s great, but your odds of getting the other 4 on the turn or the river drops significantly after the flop. Therefore, unless that pair will win without the third 4, it’s time to fold! It is common to see novice players call with 44 on flops like K-Q-6 when there is a very good chance that flop hit their opponent. Calling in situations like this to try and hit a 2 outer is just burning money.
4. Chasing Cards to The River
Most poker players will chase the card they need all the way to the river card. Top online poker players play good cards they don’t chase.
Gutshots: A gutshot is a straight draw where only one card in the deck makes your hand, so there is very little chance that you will hit the card you need. Doing this consistently even in low limit online poker tournaments is a great way to get rid of your stack. If however there is other cards (outs) that will produce a good hand also then it might be worth a small bet to see the next card.
Backdoor Flushes: This is even harder to hit then the gutshot. This is when a poker player is looking for those two perfect cards of the same suit on both the turn and river, so you need a runner runner to make your hand! Stop praying and fold this hand.