Poker Tips for Beginners
Playing poker can be a lot of fun and unlike what a lot of newbies might think, whether you win or lose isn’t just purely up to luck. There are lots of strategies out there with abbreviations, acronyms, and other jargon that can get quite confusing to someone who is new to the tables.
Losing too many hands may put you off the game in the long run which would be sad as poker is quite a beautiful game when you start understanding the intricacies that involve the cards, the hands, the pot odds, and how good poker players work.
We’ve put together some poker tips for beginners to help you get started on an exciting journey toward understanding poker strategy.
1. Learn the rules:
One of the biggest mistakes new poker players make is assuming that they’ll learn the game as they go along. Naturally, you will pick up on poker strategies the more you play but it is vital that you do some homework i.e., learn the basic rules of the game before you sit down at the poker table. Start by learning what the best hands are:Royal Flush
- Straight Flush
- Full House
- Two Pair
- One Pair
- High Card
Knowing what each of these means and their rankings will mean you won’t waste time during the game wondering if a flush beats a full house or not.
2. Play for fun:
If you want to start playing poker, the first thing to do is to play for fun. Learn to enjoy the game before dreaming of those big hands that are going to make you the big bucks. If you don’t have fun while playing, it’s likely that you will get discouraged and burnout.
Ask yourself if you would play a free poker game? If yes, then your chances of succeeding in the long run are high.
3. Know that it’s ok to fold:
A common mistake novice poker players make is they play too many hands, thinking that any hand can win. Choose the hands you want to play carefully. How do you do that? By studying the game, of course! Knowing how to distinguish a great starting hand from a bad hand can help you build your technique and prevent you from losing a lot of money until your game gets better. The top starting hands are:
- AK (suited)
Playing these hands are likely to make you money in the long run. However, if you’re playing with experienced players, they are sure to notice that these are the only hands you play. Let’s look at a few more hands that are not as great as the ones above but are still strong hands to start with:
- AQ (suited)
- AJ (suited)
- KQ (suited)
4. Position matters:
With Texas Hold’em, the dealer ‘button’ shows where the game should start. The person to the left of the button starts with the small blind and the game moves around the poker table clockwise. The button is the best position to be at on the table as you can see whether each player is betting, checking, or folding before deciding what you want to do with your hand. You can choose to play less strong hands when you’re on the button because you’ll have received plenty of information on the strength of hands your opponents hold depending on what they do. This position is also great for bluffing on pots where no one seems really interested in the game.
5. Don’t bluff too much:
Poker is a strategic game and a big mistake new players make is that they bluff too much. It’s better to learn how to play the game and choose your hands well before starting to bluff. Physical tells are not as common as you might think. Look for patterns in play instead. You can do this even if you are an online poker player. For example, does one of your opponents always bet more cautiously when they have a good hand? Or do they tend to bluff more when they have a mediocre one?
Pay attention to the game even if you have folded your cards. You’ll learn a lot simply by watching other people play. Notice how their game changes with their position. Take your time to make a decision. Remember poker is about taking calculated risks not about luck.
6. Build your mental game:
Playing poker can be mentally taxing, especially initially. There is a lot of information you need to take in and process. If you find yourself getting frustrated and making mistakes, it might be time to take a break. Start with tables with smaller bankrolls so that you only lose what you can afford to. Move up the ranks only when you feel more confident about yourself.
Learning to deal with losses and not overthink situations will take you a long way toward improving your game and developing your own poker strategy.
As you can see, there is a lot that goes into becoming a good poker player. The more you play and study the game, the more you will enjoy it. Remember playing poker is something for the long term. You’ll soon learn why poker is one of the most popular casino games out there. So, bring on that poker face and who knows, maybe we’ll be seeing you in the big leagues soon!