Social players are individuals that take occasional weekend trips to Vegas or Atlantic City. They generally enjoy a game of low-limit seven-card stud and usually play on the $1-5 or $5-10 tables. In other words, they enjoy the game of poker and hope to win big but usually go home without a win. The good news is that you can be a social player AND win! If you are a disciplined player, you can be a successful social player. To correct the seven major mistakes made by the social player, you need to know what they are. If you want to improve your weekend poker trip, and have fun with different strategies, then the following information is for you!
Mistake One – Too Many Hands
Most social players think play too many hands. They believe they are required to play every single hand when in fact they should play only the hands where they have an advantage. If you are playing with a poor hand, rather than force a win, fold the hand! The problem, especially in seven-card stud, is that players want to see what might happen once all seven cards are out. The key is to change the way you play and if you see several aces on the board and you have a low pair with a kicker, fold! Better hands will come along.
Mistake Two – Watch the Board
The second mistake is not watching what is happening on the board. Pay attention to your hand and the opponent’s cards. Social players will look at their own hand and consider the possibilities that might develop instead of watching the board. This is especially true when more than one social player is sitting at the same table. Instead of paying close attention to the board and trying to win, they are often too busy talking. Now there is nothing wrong with being friendly but if you want to win, save the small talk for later.
Mistake Three – Straights
Straights, which are a favorite of social players, should be avoided. Unless you end up with a straight, do not play for them. In fact, the top poker players will tell you that they never play straights. Probably the most popular hand in poker is the four straight. Just imagine playing for a straight and getting beat by someone with a flush simply by trying to get the most popular hand. This is a costly mistake!
Mistake Four – Small Pairs
Most social players love small pairs and will continue to play on a pair of two or threes. If they had been paying attention to the board, they would have known that another player had a big pair. Unless you keep your eye on the board and feel confident with your hand, holding onto small pairs is a hopeless situation.
Mistake Five – High Pairs
Most social players get excited with a high pair. Too often, they will entrap themselves by slow playing. Generally, good poker players will play a pair of Kings or Aces aggressively early in the game to limit the field. When the social player starts slow playing, experienced players at the table are alerted to the situation. When playing multi-way pots, slow playing only increases someone else’s pocketbook. Remember, flush or straight draws can hit a big pair and push it to second place. This is why playing aggressively will force your opponents to play the small pairs and straights, thus winning you the pot.
Mistake Six – High Cards
The social player needs to fall out of love with high cards. What happens is that the social player will be dealt a face or Ace card in the first three cards. Since they are not paying attention to the table, they are confident that with a high card, if they keep betting, they will eventually get a high pair. The reason is simple – they love high cards. In this scenario, the social players will play the high cards all the time without regard to the circumstances. This strategy will cost them a small fortune!
Mistake Seven – Emotion
Never allow emotion to rule the game. For most social players, all it takes is one bad game for the entire night of gambling to be ruined. Unfortunately, they will lose several hands and keep playing while their anger and frustration increases. When you start a losing streak, sit out a few games, and strategize on how you are playing your cards. More than likely, you have been making one these seven mistakes and need to make adjustments.