Sports & Gaming

Pre- and Postflop Mistakes

Daniel Negreanu

Lesson time 10:08 min

Daniel breaks down the most common mistakes players make as hands progress past the flop to teach you how to avoid them in your own play.

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Topics include: Preflop Mistakes: Limping In • Heads-Up Postflop Mistakes: Folding Too Often • Postflop Mistakes: Getting Attached to Premium Hands • River Mistakes: Calling Too Often and Missing Value • The More Raising That Happens, the Stronger Your Hand Needs to Be • Don't Fall Prey to Reverse Implied Odds


One of the things I think is interesting about poker is that there's more than one way to succeed. You have some players who have a strategy where they play a lot of hands before the flop, and others who are much more conservative. And yet both can be successful. In some cases, they could have an equal win rate. And the reason for that is because the most important decision isn't the one that comes pre-flop. It is an important factor, absolutely. If you're playing rubbish hands, that's going to lead to compounding errors on the flop turn and river. Having said that, the crux of the most important decisions come later in the hand when the pot gets bigger. Obviously, on the turn, there's a lot of important decisions that need to be made with one card to come. You know, do I have the right equity to continue. Am I ahead? Am I behind? Should I be betting? Should I be check-raising? And then, when you get to the river, well, now all the equities are realized. So you're simply in a situation where you're forced with a simple decision. Do I have the best hand or not? Right? So the player that has the better ability to make good decisions on the turn and the river, specifically, are the ones that are going to thrive in the long run. Of course, pre-flop play matters. Decisions on the flop matter. But obviously, the bigger decisions are the ones where the pot size is larger and has a much bigger impact on your yearly earn. So that's why you can see a player who has a conservative style and another one with an aggressive style before the flop. Both have equal win rates in some cases. Some of the more common mistakes I see pre-flop is, number 1, first and foremost, people just limping in. OK? Now, sure, we can theoretically discuss limping strategy and developing ranges for that at a very high level. But it's not ideal. The best way to play is, if you have a hand that you think is good enough to call with and you really believe so, you should go ahead and come in for a raise. That gives you a chance to win the pot two ways. You could win what's there. It's never a bad thing. You pick up the small blind and big blind, and sometimes the Manny's. Otherwise, you know, you are keeping a balanced range, which helps your aces and kings when you do have them. So basically every time you come in first, you're always the raise guy. It no longer allows people to pinpoint you so drastically. Like, oh, if they limp, they have 7 8 suited. When they raise, they have pocket aces. So number 1 most common mistake I see players make is limping in rather than raising. The second part of that, which is probably part of why they're limping, is they're just playing too many hands from bad positions. So sure, you know, 6 4, or 6 5 of spades, those types of hands, they look pretty and they're nice, and you definitely want to see some with them sometimes. But not if it's raised under the gun, and you're next, and you've got some crazy maniacs behind you ...

About the Instructor

Put yourself across the felt from Daniel Negreanu, the biggest live tournament poker winner of all time. The six-time World Series of Poker champion teaches poker strategy, advanced theory, and practice through hand-reviews of his winning games. Learn how to sharpen your mental game through demos on reading opponents and spotting tells. Join Daniel at the table to increase your win rate, grow your ROI, and get your game “in the money.”

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Daniel Negreanu

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