Common NL Texas Holdem Mistakes

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A List of Common NL Texas Holdem Mistakes

I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed a cash player below NL200 who doesn’t have cracks in his game. I’ve found that up to NL100 you can see a number of common errors and bad mistakes from players at these levels. I’ll outline the most common leaks below.

Players Who Call Too Much

Basically these stakes are full of lots of nits who call way too much and for really bad odds. A lot of the time in NL25 and NL50 you’ll get players sitting down who have no clue what they’re doing.  They start calling ridiculous odds of like 2:1 for a flush draw on the river way less than the 5:1 necessary to break even.

However it’s not just flush draws, it’s the limpers from the blinds who call 3bets with J7 or the fools who call huge overbets on the river with an inside-straight draw.  Against these opponents you need to play tight-aggressive and overbet with your big hands to extract value.

Players Buying In for Too Little

Here’s a tip for you, if you see someone who buys into the cash tables for less than 50xBBs, he’s very likely bad at poker.  The regular grinders at this level who play loose-aggressive poker rarely buy-in below 100BBs (or at least definitely no less than 80BBs).  This is because being deep stacked gives you so many crucial advantages in the game such as the ability to bully.

Paying Off ABC Players

Just because someones bad doesn’t mean they’re never going to have a hand, and the point to this story is to stop paying off weak players with your chips.  If you flop the nuts or manage to lose with a strong hand then fair enough, but if you’re paying off a tight opponent who’s 3-barrelling you then you gotta give him credit.  Most new players don’t know how to triple-barrel properly and usually they just shove all-in anyway on the turn or river if they’re bluffing.

Overvaluing Hands

Overvaluing hands is a really common mistake that even good players make in online poker strategy (see how to play AK on missed flops for example).  You gotta know when you’re behind by the time the river comes, but before that you’ve got to let go of your mid-pocket pairs or AK in multi-way pots when you miss.  Remember that AA isn’t worth much with more than 4 opponents limping to see the flop.  The chances of someone hitting something bigger than your top pair are very high.

Rag ace hands get people in alot of trouble on the flop.  If you hit top pair but have a low kicker be prepare to fold these hands with one or more opponents raising. 

Also, you should always fold to pre-flop 3bets unless you have JJ or higher.  In short-handed games this is the MINIMUM hand required because of a well-known principle called the gap concept.  So next time, don’t get upset when you end up shoving with 77 against a 3bet pre-flop, and end up losing to KK saying “how was I meant to know?”


Getting your best sizes right is very very important in No Limit Holdem.  If you get your bet one of two things is going to happen: your opponents get the right odds to outdraw you losing you chips in the long-run, or you’re overbetting pots meaning you’re risking more chips than you should have to and you’re also not inducing callers with weak ranges properly – losing you even more money in the long-run.

Your pre-flop bets should be 3-4xBBs, your check-raises and pre-flop 3bets should be 3x opening raise, continuation bets should be half-pot, your big bets on the flop shouls be pot-sized, your min bets are ¼ – ½  pot, and your value bets on the river need to be 1/3 – 1/2 against tight opponents.

Remember that overbets (betting more than the pot) should only be done for two reasons: either to force your opponent to fold or to get extra value from extremely loose “call stations”.  In no other situation do you need to waste this much chips betting.

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