8 Biggest Mistakes Poker Players Make When Playing with High Stakes

Last Updated on January 7, 2020 Author:Adrian Sterne

poker mistakesMaking a mistake while playing poker can cost you a lot. However, making a mistake when playing a poker game with high stakes can cost you even more — sometimes even a fortune!

I want to help you avoid this, so in this article I’ll tell you all you need to know about the 8 biggest mistakes poker players make.

In this article, I’ll talk about:

When playing poker on poker sites with high stakes, every second matters. So don’t lose anymore of your valuable time and start learning right now.


1. Cold Calling Raises

calling in pokerCold calling raises is a common mistake you cannot allow yourself the privilege of making when betting large amounts of money. Cold calling stands for calling more than one player’s raise at once. It is a move that could cost you a lot. For example, if one player raises, then another one re-raises, and you only call, you are cold calling. Why is this wrong? you might ask. Because it is weak play.

If two players are raising, and you are just calling, it means you are not sure about the strength of your hand. You are not confident enough to re-raise as well, which is a sign experienced players will definitely spot.

The rule of thumb says that if your hand is not strong enough to re-raise in this situation, you should fold straight away. When playing with high stakes, calling should be your last choice. Raising and folding should be your staple moves.

2. Fancy Play Syndrome

Fancy play syndrome (FPS) is a common condition that high rollers suffer from. When you’re a beginner poker player, you want to learn as much as possible and move away from basic strategies. Once you get some experience under your belt, you start employing more complex strategies, hoping they will help you win more easily. As a consequence, you forget about basic poker rules, which can cost you a lot down the line.

Therefore, fancy play syndrome stands for the style of play in which players complicate their strategy more than they should. This usually happens with those who start playing with high stakes and believe their prior game is not good enough anymore. However, most of the time, the basic, solid, aggressive play is the best option you have. Keep things simple and straightforward.

3. Choosing the Wrong Table

Do you know that old saying: “If you cannot spot the sucker at the table, it is probably you.”? That’s entirely true, and if it happens, it’s time for you to switch tables. Knowing you’re sitting at the wrong table, that you’re the weakest link, and doing nothing about it can cost you a lot in the long run.

Choosing the wrong table from time to time is inevitable – it happens to everyone, especially if you’re playing in a real casino. However, there are things you can do to prevent this. If you have a chance to observe the table before joining, definitely do that.

Try to spot the players who are often making mistakes. If after a couple of rounds you cannot see such players, then why would you join? There are probably easier tables elsewhere. But in case you like challenges more than your money, be our guest!

4. Not Folding When You Should

fold in pokerAs we have already mentioned above, when playing with high stakes, you should be very careful about calling.

Your two most common moves should be raising and folding. In addition to that, you should understand that there is nothing bad about folding. You should do it whenever you’re not certain that you have a strong hand.

In our opinion, one of the main things that separates really good players from average ones is knowing when to fold. Average players often let emotions and ego get the better of them and feel too proud to fold. Sometimes, they just evaluate their hands in the wrong way and assume that they have a better chance at winning than they actually do.

Either way, don’t be afraid to step down and wait for the next round to enlarge your pot.

5. Being Too Timid

Poker is depicted as a manly game in Hollywood movies for a reason. It is not the game for timid people who are not able to play assertively and take risks. The fifth mistake high rollers often make is playing too timidly. Sometimes, this is a part of their strategy, but that rarely works out. The best way to play with high stakes is to be aggressive but play intelligently.

What does it mean to be timid at a poker table? One of the signs is cold calling. The other one is backing off when you have already bet a lot of money because another player has raised a monster bet.

You should not let your opponents know you are weak. However, you should not play every hand till the end no matter the cost. Instead, you should learn how to evaluate your hand correctly and play the right hands aggressively.

6. Bluffing the Donk

Bluffing the donk is a popular term used by poker players to describe average players who try to outsmart beginners. This usually ends badly if not done the right way. Sometimes, the beginners’ ignorance about poker strategies can be a disadvantage rather than an advantage for you.

Imagine the situation in which you have designed the perfect strategy and you’re in the perfect situation to bluff your way out of a hand. You raise a high amount only to realise that your opponent is dumb enough to call. At the end of the round, they get lucky and win, while you end up scratching your head and wondering what went wrong.

As you can see, playing complex strategies against beginners can be tricky because their gameplay is unpredictable. A true professional playing with high stakes against rookies always keeps their game as simple as possible.

7. Always Playing with an Ace

Imagine a situation in which you’re sitting at the table, waiting for the dealer to serve you your cards, and an ace comes along. Your hopes go up, but it ends up being followed by a low card. What do you do, do you play aggressively, fold, or play slowly and strategically? Most inexperienced players would start playing aggressively, especially those who bet high. They might have lost a couple of hands before and they want to get back in the game.

However, an ace in your hand with a weak kicker does not mean anything. What guarantee do you have that the player next to you does not have an ace and a King or a similar combination? Unless the other cards on the table show promise for a straight or flush, be careful how you play in these situations.

8. Showing Your Cards

guys playing pokerAt the end of each round, players who don’t fold must show their cards. If all other players fold, you can show your hand but you do not have to. Our advice is to avoid showing players what you were competing with whenever possible. If you think you have a low chance of winning and everybody is just calling through the round, it’s better to fold than to show your cards at the end.

Professional players will take note of your cards, as well as memorise your posture, movements, and facial expressions and associate them with your hand. In future rounds, when you make those twitches, they will immediately know what kind of hand you have. Keep your strategy a mystery as much as you can and give your opponents as little material as possible.


As you can see, there are many things you need to think about when playing poker. If you plan to start playing with high stakes or if you are already playing without much success, you should think about these pieces of advice I’ve shared.

Of course, this is just scratching the surface when it comes to the mistakes you can make. Experience can teach you best. However, these are the mistakes that players make most often and that can easily be avoided.

Have you ever played with high stakes before? Have you made any of these mistakes? Let us know about your experiences, questions, and comments!

  Contact Me

Hi, I am the Chief Editor of top10pokersites.net, this site is dedicated to all thing poker. I have been working around the poker industry for the last 15 years, with different brands. The main purpose of this site is to keep you uptodate with the industry and offer you the best deals around.

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