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Play now!There are going to be times in poker where you do everything right and still lose.

There is nothing you can do when that happens. As they say, “that’s poker.” There are, however, times you lose when you shouldn’t have. You lost because you made mistakes. The goal is to recognize those mistakes and learn from them.

As more new players start playing poker there are going to be more mistakes made. As a good poker player you want to recognize those mistakes and not make them yourself. Let’s illustrate with a couple of examples. Let’s say you are playing No-Limit $10-$20 Hold’em and are on the button with a pair of 10’s. You had a few callers but no raises and it is up to you. What should you do? If you said raise, you are right. Raise that pot up and drive people out. If you slow play the 10’s it is very possible that hands like 8-9, 5-6, A-3, etc. will stay in the hand. If you raise the pot it is very probable these hands will fold. In fact, it is possible you can win the pot right there. If you are thinking that slow playing the 10’s will get you more money in the pot, then when an Ace, King, Queen, or Jack shows on the flop or if the board pairs you might want to think again. You can take this same example and apply it to Aces, Kings, Queens, and Jacks.

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Here is another example and this one happens to everyone. Let’s say you have pocket Kings and re-raise from middle position and drive everyone out of the pot except one opponent. The flop comes A-3-6. Your opponent leads out and bets. You have three choices. Call, raise, or fold. This is a bad flop for you. It shows an Ace out there and in all likelihood if your opponent led out with a bet he is probably holding an Ace. How often though will you call with those Kings? You call, even though you know you probably don’t have the best hand. And you do it all the way to the end. When the cards are turned over and he shows his Ace, you just knew that is what he had. Then why didn’t you fold? It is hard to fold a power hand like Kings, but there are times you just know that you are beaten and you have to do it. This is one of the biggest mistakes players make. They don’t fold strong hands that have become weak.

Admit Your Mistakes
Recognizing that you made a mistake is a good way to learn from it. You have to be able to avoid mistakes if you want to improve as a poker player. The only way to do that is to learn from them and not repeat them.


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