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Avoiding a "Holdem Mentality" in Other Poker Games

30 May 2009, By: compncards

Poker is more than Holdem folks. Texas Holdem is where the majority of the money is made for many players, but there are still many other areas of the game where players can make a killing if they know what they are doing.

Some mistakes I see come from what I call the “Holdem mentality.” When someone has the Holdem mentality, they typically are overvaluing a hand or they are trying to use sheer aggression to win hands when they should be using more finesse.

I played an H.O.R.S.E. tournament the other night and I was reminded multiple times per round just how many mistakes people make in other games because they focus so much on Holdem. I saw someone hit trips on sixth street in Razz and called a bet from someone that likely had a made hand.

The hand that both frustrated me and showed me how much people get into a “Holdem Mentality” is a hand where myself and another player both were in a pot with a queen showing in a stud round. I had split queens and she had nothing. She catches a pair of queens and bets. When I raise her with a queen and ace showing, she takes a long time to perform her action. She clearly did not have two pair. In fact, she is slow in all of her actions until the river when she hits two pair and decides to bet. She rivered two pair and took a big pot because she could let go of a big pair.

Each variant of poker is different. Just because you start with a big pair or a good starting hand in a game, that does not mean you push it regardless of all other action at the table. A Holdem mentality will drain your stack in other games and players should be wary of applying too many Holdem concepts to other poker games.

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