Posted at Tue Dec 17 2013
1. Setting ace-high or better at the top.
There is rarely a situation where it’s correct for you to place ace-high or better at the top. If you do this, you are forced to make a pair in the middle and also a pair on the bottom to avoid fouling. It also makes it very difficult for you to play your hand the rest of the way. You want to play ace-high in the middle and queen- or jack-high at the top.
2. Setting the wrong kicker at the bottom.
Suppose you have 6 6 7 3 8. How would you set this? Beginners make the mistaking of setting 7 or 3 in the back with 6 6 instead of 8.
Why is this play bad?
If the back is 6![Image] (https://s3.amazonaws.com/Warren_Images/spade.gif) 6 7 or 6 63h instead of 6 6 8, you will get in trouble if you draw an 8 on the new few streets. You cannot put it in the middle because now, you are required to have two-pairs or better in the back to not foul. Thus, it’s better to put 8h in the back. If you happen to draw a 7 on the next draw, you can pair up the middle and still have outs to improve your bottom hand.
3. Punting away the top hand.
I’ve seen many players consistently set ten-high at the top because they don’t think the top have any value due to its lack of royalties. They also don’t want to foul. But ask any good OFC players and they will tell you otherwise. In order to scoop your opponent and gain an extra 5 points, you need your top to win. And if you consistently have ten-high, you won’t scoop any decent player. Usually, having queen-high with a good kicker at the top is enough to win.
4. Not playing aggressive enough for Fantasy Land.
Whenever you have a hand like AA23Q or AAQ77, you should play aggressively to get to Fantasy Land since Fantasy Land is worth a lot of points. We estimate that it is worth 13 points in regular OFC. So for example 1, you should set it Q / A / 223 at the bottom instead of -- / Q3 / 22A. For example 2, you should set it Q / AA / 77 at the bottom instead of -- / Q / AA77. Of course, if you act second and your opponent has your Fantasy Land outs, you should play it safe. However, if you act first, you must play aggressive.
5. Playing too aggressive for Fantasy Land.
While there are players who are too passive in searching for Fantasy Land, some players find any reason to play for Fantasy Land. I’ve seen many absurd and hilarious setups. Probably because it’s fun to go for Fantasy Land. For example, if you have K2245, you should play it safe and set it -- / 54 / K22 instead of K / 54 / 22. You have to get so lucky to get to Fantasy Land. Like all poker games, let the game comes to you. Don’t force it.
These are the 5 common mistakes we see beginners make in OFC. If you see others, please free to email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the mean time, sign up to Warren’s OFC Simulator and avoid making costly mistakes in OFC.