5 Common Mistakes To Avoid in No Limit Hold’em

No Limit Hold’em, or NLHE for short, is far more popular then Limit Hold’em (LHE) games and the main reason for this is very straightforward.

In No Limit games the sky is the limit in terms of the size of bets you can make during any betting round. Although a subtle difference in the rules, it actually changes the game in a big way, as it allows players the option to make really big bets that can pressure the other players into folding by making them believe you have a very strong hand.

But since the pots can grow much bigger when you’re playing the no limit version of the game, this means any mistakes will feel like they have been compounded as they will prove to be more costly. Although it goes both ways, the pots you win will tend to be much bigger, hence the reason that good players get attracted to this form of poker.

You’ll just have to make fewer mistakes than your opponents, and it starts with avoiding all these common mistakes outlined below:

1. Playing too many starting hands

Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes made by novice players in NLHE is that they play far too many starting hands out of boredom, frustration, or lack of discipline. Patience is an incredibly valuable skill to have in no limit hold’em. Trying to push the action or always wanting to be involved in a hand is going to be a recipe for disaster.

Pay attention to the tight players at your table and tighten up your calling requirements when they enter the pot with a raise. For example, you should drop hands like King Jack and Queen Ten, these are trouble starting hands that can easily be dominated against a tight players open raising range. Even when you flop top pair, you can’t be very confident if you have the best hand when they continue betting. If the stacks go into the middle there is a small chance you will have the winning hand.

2. Slow playing too much

All too often you see inexperienced poker players trying to trap their opponents by slow playing their monster hands, and then they wonder why their pocket aces have been cracked. The more players that are involved in a hand, the less likely it is that your premium hands like big pairs will actually win as they lose value considerably.

Most of the time, you should look to raise or re-raise with hands such as AA, KK, and QQ in order to make worse hands pay more to see the flop. Not raising pre-flop with excellent hands and then going too far with them after the flop is very common at the low stakes online tables. By limping in and checking to allow players to see additional cards for free, you’re just allowing more opponents an opportunity to make a better hand.

3. Calling with weak hands when facing a bet after the flop

This is another common mistake you will see made by bad players. Instead of determining what types of hands their opponents are representing with their bets, they are only thinking about their own hands, and if they catch a piece of it, continue calling to hit miracles.

Quite often, you see this happen when someone is playing speculative hands like suited connectors. They will flop second pair not hitting the type of hand they had hoped for yet still become committed to the pot.

4. Over and under betting the pot all the time

Bet sizing is something else that weaker opponents get wrong a lot of the time. Either jamming the pot and betting too much when they have a monster or betting way too small and not getting enough value from worse hands that would have called a larger sized bet.

Perhaps with online poker and the ease of which players can click the “bet pot” button has resulted in players getting carried away with this play, but it doesn’t ignore the fact that if a smaller sized bet would have got calls then it’s a bad bet.

5. Playing with scared money

Generally this happens when a player is playing outside of their bankroll which forces them to focus too much on the actual money they’re playing with instead of being focused on making the optimal plays.

In no limit hold’em especially, you can not be afraid to lose the big stack of chips in front of you. If you just sit around waiting for pocket aces or kings even if you get paid off it’s not going to be a hugely profitable strategy since the large majority of the time you will not be dealt these hands.

Fear can also easily turn into paranoia, making you believe that every time an opponent bets aggressively they must always have the goods, instead of trying to think logically through the hand. This can result in you folding all but the very top of your range, and the observant players will pick up on this and you will quickly become the target at the table as they will recognize you are playing with scared money.