The eight mistakes in poker

Sklansky These errors were made by all the players and, of course, there are worse than others, as also the bad players are more likely to do it regularly.

By David Sklansky
Source: Forum 2 +2 - "The Eight Mistakes in Poker"
Translated by Thomas 'PokerEven' -



When playing poker, there are only 5 possible actions. If it is the first to speak, you can check or bet. If someone has bet before us, we can call, raise or fold (How bet or raise is another specific problem in no-limit which will not be discussed here).


Since our actions are limited, all the mistakes we make in poker can be classified into the following categories:

  1. Checker instead of relying
  2. Bet instead of checker
  3. Follow instead lie
  4. Follow instead of raising
  5. Lie instead of following
  6. Lie instead of raising
  7. Restart instead of following
  8. Restart instead of sleeping

These errors were made by all the players and, of course, there are worse than others, as also the bad players are more likely to do it regularly.


Error # 1 Checker instead of relying


One of the most common and serious errors. When the cards are to come; it is usually correct to bet with an average hand. This is true even if you think that at this stage you have the second best hand.
Bet accomplishes two things: 1 - your opponent may fold if his hand is not as good as you thought; 2 - if not set, you have shown strength, which could allow you to steal the pot later.


Checker instead of the usual error bet is too passive players who let their opponents play draws then they had planned, for example, to check-raise on the flop. Thus, with A A Table J 8 2 You can not allow you to check and risk leaving your opponent a free card and give him the chance to hit any color or suite.


Error # 2 Building instead of checker


This error is not as common and serious than the previous one, it is often the preserve of bad players looses / aggressive which, with an average hand, will build on the river then they will follow if they are already beaten. Some players attempt a desperate bluff while you send all signals that you have a big game this error will also ...


In general, instead of relying checker keeps control over the size of the pot. You want to play small pots with marginal hands and big pots with your monsters. Think of the money saved as money earned!


Error # 3 Watch instead lie


This mistake is made by many players in the first round of implementation because they have not integrated the concept of pot odds. Thus, many players looses / liabilities will continue to pay you because they think they have the odds on their draw or because they have the second pair and hope to reach the second or the set. These "calling station" are a godsend for serious players. Moreover, sometimes try to ask your carpet on the river when you have the best game, they often interpret this "overbet" as a bluff and you sometimes follow with a very average hand ... I love it!


Error # 4 Watch instead of raising


This is probably the worst and most common mistakes. When the pot starts to get big, you should try to reduce the number of your opponents by boosting implementation thereof. Most players who act this way do so because they think they have a better game than the player on their right and if they think they have the best game to the table, then they will simply follow to trap their opponents. These players are probably wrong, because it really takes a monster to afford to slow play in a pot played by many players. In this situation, therefore restart even if you are not sure of being followed. Even when you think you have the second best hand, it is better to revive that follow give you a chance to win the pot immediately, especially since playing this way position you will regularly get a free card later . Whenever you follow up your opponent, think about the stimulus: you will be surprised that the recovery is often the right decision.




Error No. 5 to bed instead of following


This error is not so common, but it will be expensive. This is most often a symptom of good players rather than bad. When a good player makes this error, the table is usually full and it wants to save the last. It is not certain of the quality of his hand, the pot has grown and the last of his opponent is expensive if he loses. For example: you have A 9 Table 9 7 4 2 2 You beat a lot of possible hands, but if your opponent bets to the pot at this point, you have to make a very difficult choice (beaten by color, TT +, set, full, etc ...). No miracle solution, it is necessary to practice reading his opponent to estimate the range of possible hands preflop and define whether your expected gain is positive or not.


Error # 6 Fold instead of raising


This happens especially when you miss an opportunity to bluff a tight opponent can throw his hands on the latest betting rounds. This could be effective, for example, by making a check / raise on a neutral river. Choose your good times and your opponents because in case of failure, this technique is very expensive. You can also make this mistake when you draw to play, but not good odds, a semi-bluff raise here is often better than going to bed because, in addition to the chance to hit your draw, you must add the likelihood that your opponent folds


Error # 7 Restart instead of following


This happens especially when you negotiate a family pot and all the cards are out: the player located to your right bets, you think you are ahead and he will follow you, but nevertheless, the player or players on your left which probably would have paid with a worse hand than the first player go to bed. So, you lose their implementation in addition to taking an unnecessary risk. Be careful also not to over-play your top pair - top kicker, many players used to raise with TPTK and will of course followed by the players who fight


Error # 8 Restart instead of sleeping


This error is normally done only by experienced players because they know that in many situations, it is better to raise or fold than simply follow. Many very aggressive Vegas players make this mistake, this is not a terrible mistake and, secondly, that their maintenance gamer picture maniac. Usually this error is made on the river; the player thinks being beaten but believes it in front of him a coward "weak" and the stimulus for the player to sleep. In this situation, it will often re-raise here and will drop instantly.


When selected strategy on a whim, you can never be sure not to make a mistake. A mistake will cost an additional bet - or more - unnecessary or whole pot ... Obviously, the second result is the worst and usually results in a error 1, 4, 5 or 6 are the errors more expensive and rarely pro.


Leaves to make mistakes, it is better to lose one or two errors made by 2, 3, or 7. But remember that the best way to win at poker is to play relatively few hands but to play aggressively .