5 Rookie Poker Mistakes

The low stakes games online are filled with players making lots of errors. Poker is a game of errors, make fewer than your opponent and you stand to win more than you lose. In this post, I’m going to highlight the most common rookie poker mistakes. By knowing them you can be one step away from avoiding them and raking in more pots.

1 – Poor Bankroll Management

Players at low stakes tend to take shots too often. They over extend themselves and play in games where they are the prey. This is foolish cos they may be a winner if they didn’t throw it away taking shots. Poor bankroll management is keeping too little in your account and playing tournaments or cash games with very few buy-ins. If you can’t afford your stakes, drop down a level and play with enough money. It will ensure you’re better equipped to deal with bad runs.

2 – Not knowing the rules well enough

It’s staggering that some players sit at cash table or tournament now knowing the rules. You can tell this is the case because they call river bets with nothing or hold on to the river with ace deuce. This is just giving money away. Anyone not knowing the rules can find and download a poker cheat sheet. You can print them off your computer, stick them nearby and look at them when you play. That way you will know the rules and basics of Texas Hold’em.

3) Over-betting

Rookies tend to size their bets poorly. Sometimes this is in the form of a min bet, which accomplishes nothing. But, more often, its an over-bet. It’s irrelevant whether this is with a strong or weak hand to be honest. Over-betting is rarely the optimal play. By over-betting you’re either wasting a strong hand as they will fold, or you’re risking more than you need to in order to get your bluff through. Nine times out of ten, a pot bet will accomplish the same thing as a vast over-bet.

4) Going on Tilt

To be fair, this happens to players at most stakes, but its particularly prevalent with rookies. Tilt can be triggered by any number of things, a lost post, a bluff or a bad beat. Rookies can’t handle losing money or chips and will tilt far too easily. You need to be mentally tough to become a consistent winner so you need keep calm under pressure.

5) Giving away tells

Rookies have a habit of giving away the strength of their hand, especially in live games. They exhibit the obvious tells, looking back at their cards, acting too hastily or facial expressions that convey weakness or strength. In order to avoid this, you need to take the same time over your decisions and maintain composure. If you give away how strong you are, you don’t stand a chance.


In short, exercise cautious bankroll management, learn the rules properly, size your bets accurately, stay composed and aware and you will be ahead of most rookies. There are other mistakes players make too but these are the most common mistakes in poker. Try to avoid them next time you play.