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The best place to play thousands of hands of poker at very low cost is in low stakes games.  However, there are a few mistakes that players make especially in low stakes games.  So, here we will talk about some of these mistakes and we hope you will be able to make major improvements in your game by taking these pieces of advice to heart.

Many Players Place Too Much Emphasis on Rake

The rake is the amount of money Juicy Stakes Poker takes from every pot in order to pay our bills and to continue to provide a great poker playing format.  The rake calculator gives an accurate picture of the size of the rake. 

Some players, after learning about the rake and how to calculate it, realize that, since there is a maximum amount of rake in absolute numbers that Juicy Stakes takes on any single pot, that the ratio of the rake to the size of the average pot is much lower in higher stakes games than in lower stakes games.  As a result of this unfortunate “insight”, some players leave the low stakes poker arena for higher stakes a long way before they are truly ready to make the leap.

In other words, these players allow the rake to compel them to play for stakes that are above their present skill level.

Actually these are two mistakes: over emphasizing the rake and trying to move up in stakes before their time.  The latter deserves a section of its own.

Trying to Move to Higher Stakes Too Quickly

Aside from the rake, many players have overdeveloped egos.  This prevents them from actually studying the game.  It leads them to thinking that their skill level is conducive to a rise in stakes level.

A lot of players lose a lot of money in this way!

As we said at the beginning of this article, low stakes games give you a chance to play thousands of hands at little to no cost.  The reason you need to play thousands of hands just for starters is that in any sports or endeavor that takes time to master, everyone who has set out on a course for ultimate mastery has to get as much experience as possible.

Musicians and singers practice the scales every day.  Baseball players practice the skills they will need in a game every day.  Football players kick the ball to themselves for hours in order to maintain just the minimum level of eye-hand coordination they will need in profound degrees during a game.

So it is in poker as well!  We need to “see” a lot of hands because only in that way can we experience the wide range of situations that can come up in a game.  How does this player play when her stack is low?  How does she play when her stack is high?

How does this player play in early position?  How does he play when he is the big blind?

All of these mistakes can be summed up either as the mistake of not paying attention to every hand or the mistake of trying to get to higher stakes games too quickly.

Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees

We heard that little ditty before we could read!  Yet, at low stakes poker, there are still a lot of players who believe that their stack will never run out.  This leads them to stay in hands that they should get out of; it compels them to continue even after the turn and even after the river have not improved their hand enough to warrant another bet.

Low stakes poker is played at really low stakes!  But, unless for us money truly does grow on trees, we can’t just throw our money away!  We need to stay within budgets that include how much money we can afford to play poker with.

Look at it this way: if you budget $1000 a year on poker, you might then be able to afford the big mortgage you took out when you upgraded your living quarters, the Hawaiian cruise you have long hoped to take (let us all hope that these cruises come back soon!), the second car you have wanted to buy, the addition to your home or finishing the basement in your house as a playroom for the kids, and many other purchases or expenses.  However, if you don’t have a budget for poker and you lose $5000 in one year playing in low stakes games, you might not be able to afford any of the “luxuries” we mentioned here.

This also leads us to another common low stakes poker mistake…

Many Players Play Too Many Hands

Since in the low stakes poker player’s mind, money does grow on trees when it is “picked” for low stakes poker, many players simply play too many hands.  Folding your cards has many salutary elements that the player who “hates” to fold never gets.

  1. Players who fold their cards at the appropriate time get to watch opponents closely and carefully.
  2. These players don’t waste money.
  3. These players develop good habits.
  4. These players develop a true sense of the kind of hands they should be playing.
  5. These players learn to deal with the boredom factor in poker.
  6. These players see bluffing in action without the pressure of having to analyze the bluff.
  7. These players can learn a lot about hand ranges and positional betting.

Let’s take a closer look at a few of these points.

The Importance of Observation

When you are in a hand, you don’t have the time to “learn” anything about an opponent’s tendencies.  These you learn about only by observation on the hands you don’t stay in.  Since most poker experts tell us to fold about 70% of all the hands we are dealt before the flop, doing so gives us a lot of time for careful observation.  The players who stay in the hand too long lose out on the chance to simply watch.

The Importance of Developing Good Habits

Everything we have spoken about here and in many other blogs and articles deals with the good habits we need to be great poker plyr0ers.  These include watching every hand, taking notes, playing at the stakes level that is best suited to our skill level, to respect the value of money even at low stakes, to get the best sleep, to exercise, to eat properly, and to stay away from alcohol during a game.

The Importance of Recognizing Hands

Some players have said that video poker is fast paced enough that it gives them a lot of practice simply seeing hands and knowing what is good in the hand and what is less good.  Seeing hands will also lead to developing a poker face which has no value in video poker but is enormously valuable in Texas Holdem and all of the other poker variations people play.

The Importance of Dealing with Boredom

Poker does become boring after a while.  Some people simply stop playing for that day or period of time.  Others work through their boredom.  It is just as important to work through boredom as it is to know when to leave the game.

The Importance of Recognizing Bluffs

Poker is bluffingPoker is a type of negotiation and negotiations are also often bluffs.  It is easiest to see a bluff in action when you are no longer in the hand.

Come to Juicy Stakes Poker

Juicy Stakes offers poker in several variations and many stakes levels.  As we said at the very beginning, the rake should be the least of your concerns as it is always limited.  So, learn to ignore the rake and learn to pay full attention to every other action that takes place at the poker table!


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