The Eight Mistakes In Poker

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The Eight Mistakes in Poker

by David Sklansky

The Eight Mistakes in Poker

by David Sklansky

A Note from Two Plus Two: Recently a post inour forum mentioned David Sklansky’s essay the “Eight Mistakes in Poker.” The fact is this may have been David’s most important poker  column. However, it appears in the poker section in Getting the Best of It which has not been  as widely read. Therefore, we would like to share this essay with our internet family.  Not too long ago, I was trying to decide on what my next poker article should be about.  Normally I would pick some sort of bad play that a novice was likely to make. I would dissect  it and show why it was wrong. Then I would give the correct play (in most circumstances). Since I have seen hundreds of bad plays in poker I had plenty to choose from.

Then something hit me. With all the arguments and analysis as to how to play a poker hand, there are really only eight things you can do wrong in a flat limit game. after all, there are  really very few options in poker. When it isup to you to bet, you can bet or check. When  there is a bet to you, you can call,raise or fold. Thus any “badplay” that you might make  during a poker hand must fall intoone of eight categories.

Upon realizing this I had the subject for this chapter: Define and analyze the eight general mistakes in poker and give some specific examples where they might come up.

I consider the following chapter one of my most important and useful to the serious poker player and have thus placed it first in this section.

What makes one person a winning poker playerand a second person a losing one? Assuming they both play in equally tough games, the obvious answer is that the winning player plays  better.

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