Fold the big blind too often Some players love to play any two cards and they frequently find themselves in a pot that they can not win. Rather than winning the pot, they fold the hand and watch their chips leave on the table. While this is a quick way to lose money, it is a mistake that can be costly. This mistake is commonly known as folding to the big blind.
The primary reason that many players do not get a lot of value out of their hand is because they do not understand the point of folding. The proper play is not to call, but to fold. There is a fundamental theorem that applies to the game of poker: maximize your range of starting hands. When you play less than optimal hands, you will not maximize your winning percentage.
On the other hand, understand that when you do play superb hands, you will win more in the short term. The big blind is not designed for you to win the hand, but to protect your chips. You can preserve your chips by folding weak hands. Don't be afraid to do so because it is an easy way to win chips in the short term. Don't be afraid to call the big blind with those hands, since you will probably lose your chips against the pure hands anyway.
Secondly, there are certain hands that are worth pushing all-in with pre-flop. If you are looking to win the blinds easily, these hands are important: A-A, K-K, Q-Q, of course. There are a few ways to get these hands. You can either push all-in before the flop or you can win the blinds by shoving. These are the hands that I play and that you should as well. Some people get all-in with top pair, top kicker early, but I think that if you have half-decent cards, you will win the small amount by shoving. The main reason why you should push with these hands pre-flop is because you need chips.
Some people make the mistake at pushing all-in with A-A and end up losing their chips. They try to chase too hard for that. You need to take a step back and wait for a better spot. Some people never get that lucky, but if you hit, that is more than enough to win you a lot of chips.
Your third option is to push with middle pairs in addition to A-A. You really want pocket 7's or 8's or something similar as long as the deck texture is not too high. You are not hitting nearly as often as you would like with these hands and you will be out unless you have a few people in the hand against you. If you raise and have 4 callers, you are finished with your hand. Betting lower doesn't seem to help much unless you have a good read on your opponents tendencies.
Many people think that push or fold is the most passive strategy, but if you know your opponents and have a read on them, you can be confident to lead out with a bet pre-flop when you have a premium hand, such as A-A or K-K. You will win more often than not if you have this hand and it is a hand that people often cross to other players with. The problem is that you may lose 1 in 5 times if you have these hands and the flop is 2-7-9. Your opponents will make half the pot and you will be paid off with a draw hand most of the time.
If you do not have a premium hand, you should fold pre-flop about 75% of the time. On the other 25%, you can either push all-in or call a standard raise. If you are called, you will be looking for a better spot later. If you hit the flop well, you will still be paid off a lot of times if you have this hand. You can also call the big blind to see a flop. This is a very safe way to play a small ball.
Join a poker tournament. You will find a lot of new people having an impact on your poker game. These guys are the best because they are extremely aggressive and they know that their team stands a better chance of winning a tournament than yours. They do not have to do babysitting for you while you go to do so. This gives you an opportunity to find other players that you can fish for bluffs or even cheap wins if you have a relatively strong hand (A-A or high pair).
Tournament poker is different from cash games in that the other players are not blinded by a need to quit the game before losing all their chips. In cash games, unless you have a very strong hand or have a lot of chips to spend, nobody has any reason to get out before they have lost their entire stack.Fold the big blind too often