Playing Too Many Starting Hands

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One of the biggest mistakes new players will make is to play too many starting hands in texas hold’em. If there was one leak you could fix in your game when you first start playing to stop spewing money left right and center, it would have to be tightening up your starting hand requirements.

It is important to always be straight with yourself when it comes to marginal hands. What I mean by this is you can’t expect to win at poker if you sometimes play a bunch of them and other days play a good tight game. Fluctuations in opening requirements like this are just steaming, losing touch with your greater poker purpose, to play your best game and get the money.

How can I prevent fluctuations in my decision making with regards to openers at the table? Simply remind yourself that you are in marginal situations and not a hand that shows a clear profit for you in the long run.

For example, let’s say you are dealt pocket sevens and you raise UTG, this is a fine profitable play in most games, but one that is quite volatile in the sense that you may see your stack grow or shrink quite a bit during a series of plays or hands like this, they are not no-brainers that show a clear profit, ie raising aces.

So be aware, know that you are in a marginal situation, sound off the alarms in your head and give it up sooner. Why? because there is just a bigger chance that you are beat when you play these hands than there is with your sure long range winners.

Examples of other marginal situations where you should be straight with yourself: 44 in the small blind vs a late position open, KJo in early position, KTo in early position etc.

It is always personally satisfying for me to wait for strong starting hands when toy have good position in the hand, because tight/aggressive play with solid starters in position is how the money is made by the good players in most games.

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