Among the many common mistakes poker players may encounter, leaks is probably one of the easiest to spot, but also one of the most difficult to contain. Most poker players have at least one leak, where they are consistently running into failure or inadequacy in achieving a win. Poker players are continuously working on their weaknesses, and among them is controlling their leaks in the game, as one major leak could have them losing the whole round. In order to be a good poker player, one who is able to win hands without losing many, you have to understand what leaks are and you need to learn how to avoid showing them in a game.
What Is A “Leak” In Texas Hold'em?
Since leaks are a commonly exploited weakness in poker matchups, it is not uncommon for opponents to play off of these disadvantages. A leak, in general, is a move or play by a player that is detected upon, and played off of, by their opponent. A major leak usually ends in a loss to the leaker, as the opponents will notice these actions that will eventually cost the person’s win. Examples of leaks are bluffing continuously, playing too many hands, limping (which is “calling” the bet on too often of times). Plugging leaks are essential to becoming a better poker player, but some leaks are harder to contain than others.
What Are Some Common Texas Holdem Leaks?
There are several different leaks, but there are some major ones that are very noticeable, and very critical to one’s chance of winning the match. These leaks are usually targeted towards beginners, but some veterans of the sport still exhibit them in usual poker games.
1. Folding Often- Usually done by hesitant players, by folding often, you are showcasing you are hesitant to play the match. If you are constantly folding in a row, not only are you losing the rounds, but you are also just donating chips or money to the pot. You dont have to call every raise, but if you think your hand is good enough to progress, trust your gut and avoid the fold.
2. Not Containing Expression- Have you ever noticed in world poker contests, the majority of the players wear sunglasses or other facewear/eyewear? This is because they are trying to control their emotions and expressions, in keeping a straight “poker face”. By controlling your emotions, once you have a very good hand, you will be able to keep your opponents guessing. On the flip side, if you have a bad hand, by keeping a somber expression, you could bluff without them even realizing it.
3. Playing Wrong Opponents- Some rookies of the contest think they can play the veterans of the sport, and this is a very bad mistake, as well as a major leak. By playing at a table full of champions, you will find it extremely hard to adapt to their style, as their aggression could be a fatal blow to your finances, as well as confidence.
What Needs To Be Done About Leaks?
The first thing you need to do when you decide to control your leaks is to recognize and evaluate what they are. Are you constantly going all in, in an attempt to bluff, only to find your opponents calling it? Are you constantly calling bets, because your hand is too weak to play, but too strong to fold? There is a wealth of possible leaks you may own, and all differ in type and play, but they all have one thing in common. If you don't fix them, they will end up costing you the hand, and possibly the entire game. You need to recognize your leaks, and this may take some time to experiment with, as some leaks aren't easily recognized or noticed. If you are constantly losing rounds, even when you have strong hands, then you are probably displaying one or several major leaks. After you have recognized what leaks you own, then you need to realize the players you are playing. What's great about leaks is that most casual and even some seasoned players have noticeable ones, so you can attend to leaks you may notice throughout your game. If you notice erratic or misplaced behavior by an opponent, chances are this is a leak that can be pounced upon. The third thing in controlling your leaks, simple, work on them. While your leaks may be easily recognized and otherwise worked on, leaks sometimes require patience in battling them. Utter dominance of them will come in time, for now, just be patient, and learn to showcase minor leaks, instead of major ones.