We are only human we all make mistakes. It happens both while playing poker and in life. (Why are there so many divorces?) At least in poker, mistakes can only get you chips (money).
Let’s do a series that illustrates some of the more glaring – and avoidable – mistakes at the poker table that we might make, usually without even realizing it at the time.
If you misread your card, and then find it too late, spending a lot of chips, it’s your own fault for being so sloppy. Likewise, if you misread the failure due to your eyesight or sitting position at the table. (Maybe you forgot your glasses when you left the house that day.)
But what if you misread your hole cards because the dealer urges you to act? That’s a bad mistake too. But the real mistake here is that you allow the dealer to rush into a decision before you’re ready.
Dealers and casinos like to speed up games. Then they both get more money (chips) from the players as more hands are awarded: More tips for the dealer, and more rakes for the casino.
This mistake is easy to avoid: Don’t let the dealer tell you to act. It’s okay to take sensible time and it’s okay to tell the dealer that way. (It’s your money at stake, after all.)
Sometimes an opponent might be to your immediate left. Think of it as checked for you on failure. You are in UTG + 1 position, and will bet after catching the top pair, Queens, with kicker Jack. You want to protect your top partner, who is quite vulnerable.
But, before you can act, UTG + 2 is quick to announce, “check” and UTG + 3 immediately does the same thing – as if they’ve practiced – when you hold the chip in your hand, ready to put it on the rise. “Hey, I’ll bet,” you shouted out loud. The dealer responds: “Sorry, there have been two checks by the player after you. The check stands. “You missed an opportunity to protect your vulnerable hand. Turn to place a pair of 7 on the board.
This time it’s your turn, not long after you bet – surprise! – UTG + 2 increased. He is a pretty loose aggressive player. If he’s holding onto a partner that’s bigger than your Queens, he won’t be too anxious to see free turns. There was no way he was bluffing. It is most likely that 7 in turn helped his hand.
Nevertheless, you call a raise, and then the stakes are on the river after you check. Showdown: He appeared K-7, and took a pot with 7’s. You lose. This kind of thing happened to me a few years ago, and I’ve seen it happen to other people.
How can you prevent this situation? What did you do wrong?
Answer: Before UTG + 2 says “tick,” you should have announced the “time” or “I bet.” With the K-7 offsuit, he will most likely be folded. He gets a free card to see the turn – and connect.
On the other hand, it can be in your favor if your opponent who gets too excited to your immediate left declares before you act. He has given you valuable information – even better than telling you. Say you’re debating whether to invest more chips in this hand. He acted not in turn, making a raise. You know he’s a pretty tight player, impossible to cheat. Take him to his “words”; he had a big hand.
Now you can fold comfortably, safely because you have saved a lot of chips. It was his fault. This happens quite often. Welcome her right to make mistakes like that – and don’t complain. Make sure you don’t make this mistake. Wait for your turn to declare.