7 Deadly Poker Sins Losing Players Commit

By in Poker on
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Stop poker table cards chips

The majority of poker players struggle to win on a consistent basis. But the truth is that it’s not hard to win when you play poker if you know a single secret. I’m going to share this secret with you on this page, and I’m also going to give you all of the other tools you need to win.

Your lesson starts with the mistakes that losing poker players make. Learn how to avoid these poker sins, and your game is going to improve quickly.

By the end of this article, you’re going to know what to avoid and what to do to win more hands at the poker table.

1 – Emotions

Poker can be an emotional game. The thrill of winning a big pot can bring elation, and the crushing feeling of losing a big pot on a bad beat can make even the most level-headed poker player steam.

But if you want to win more hands at the poker table, you have to learn how to eliminate emotion while you play. In fact, if you quit playing every time you start feeling emotional at the poker table, your results are going to improve.

When you make poker decisions based on emotions, it leads to more mistakes. And let’s be frank, mistakes will cost you money. The truth is, everything that happens at the poker table is based on strict math and odds and expectation. Nothing happens based on luck or chance, even if it seems like it.

The more you learn about how poker works, the easier it is to play without emotion. If you’re favored to win a hand before the river seven out of 10 times, this means that you’re still going to lose three out of 10 times. You don’t have any reason to be upset if this is one of the three times you lose.

2 – Over Betting Their Bankroll

Even if you play perfect poker, you’re going to lose sometimes. The best poker players put themselves in a position to win and win more often than they lose, but they still lose sometimes.

If you don’t have money to play poker with, you can’t take advantage of a good situation or game, even if you can easily beat the game.

When you look at the two things you just read, you should see why it’s important to have a bankroll that’s much larger than what it costs to buy into a game or tournament.

You need to have enough money in your poker bankroll to stay in the game, even when you’re losing; that way, you can take advantage of games that are profitable. The worst thing you can do is run out of money as a poker player.

You can find many different suggestions for bankroll size, but the main thing is to have enough so you can keep taking advantage of profitable situations even if you’re in a long losing streak.

3 – Ignoring Expected Value

Every decision and situation at the poker table has something called an expected value. Expected value can be positive or negative. When you get in a positive expectation value situation, it means that you’re going to win in the long run.

When you get in a negative expectation situation, it means you’re going to lose in the long run.

The thing that winning poker players do is put themselves in positive expectation situations more often than they get in negative expectation situations. This might sounds simple, but it’s not as easy as it sounds.

The first thing you need to do is learn how expectation works in poker. Then, you need to study and practice until you can put yourself in more positive expectation situations than negative situations. Once you learn how to do this, you’re a winning poker player.

4 – Playing Too Many Pots

Find five or 10 winning poker players. Watch how they play with a close eye on how many pots they play. What you’re going to find is that in almost every case, the winning players enter fewer pots than losing players.

If you took my advice about positive expectation in the last section, you already know why winning poker players play fewer hands. They play fewer hands because they understand that the player with the best starting hand has the best chance to win the hand.

Now, Start Keeping Track of How Many Pots You Enter:

Keep track of this until you know what percentage of pots you play. Every game is a little different. But if you’re playing more than 20% of the pots, including the blinds, the odds are good that you’re a losing player.

Your position also plays a part in how many hands you play. You should only play a few hands from early position because you have to play out of position the entire hand. You can play more hands from late position because you have position later in the hand.

5 – Ignoring Their Competition

Do you pay attention to what’s going on after you fold your hand? Smart poker players are always watching the other players to see if they can learn something they can use later. Losing players aren’t paying attention so they miss opportunities.

You need to watch everyone at the table when a hand is being played. See, if you can learn how each opponent plays certain hands, how often they bluff, and what kind of hands they enter the pot with, then you can use all of this information to make profitable decisions. But you can’t take advantage of this information if you don’t pay attention enough to gather it.

6 – Never Studying the Game

If you want to win more playing poker, you have to become a true student of the game. This means reading about the game, watching others play the game, and thinking about how to improve your game as often as possible.

You can access more articles, videos, and books about poker than ever before. You can learn everything you need to know about poker strategy if you look for the information.

Start Building a Library of Good Poker Books and Articles

Read a little bit about playing better poker every day and watch as many good players as you can. Anyone can learn how to be a winning player if they’re willing to act like a hungry student.

Winning poker players never stop learning. Losing poker players never start learning. It’s your choice. You can become a student and learn how to win, or you can keep losing by ignoring all of the available information.

7 – Not Controlling the Level of Competition

I mentioned a secret that can instantly turn a losing poker player into a winning player, and I’m going to share it with you here. I warn you that many people will read this and either ignore it or say that it’s too hard to do. These people are going to continue losing when they play real money poker.

Your results at the poker player are a combination of your skills and the skills of your competition. When your skills are better than your competition, you win more than you lose overall. This should give you a clue as to what the secret is.

All you need to do to be a winning poker player is put yourself in games where you’re the best player. This sounds like common sense, yet almost nobody tries to do this.

Some players think it’s impossible to find games where they’re the best player, but this simply isn’t true. If you can’t find a profitable game, create your own game and only let players worse than you know about it.

You still need to work on improving your game, but if you just find games where you’re the best player, you’re going to start winning.


The worst sin a poker player can commit is letting emotions come into play. When you make emotional decisions, you stop using the information you have in the best possible way. The second worst sin you can commit is ignoring expected value.

Other sins that poker players commit that cost them money include betting above their bankroll, playing too many pots, ignoring their competition, and not being students of the game.

These are all costly mistakes, but you can overcome most of them if you learn the big secret to winning poker. When you control who you play against, you can quickly become a winning player.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...

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Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry fo ...

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