Tips for Beginning Poker Players
Poker doesn't have to be that complicated. Now, this may sound a bit shocking to new players but it's true.
If you can develop the basics and learn them well, there is no reason why you can't become good at poker quicker than most other people.
This goes for those that have a little or experience and want to improve, or even those of you that have never played a hand of poker in your life.
Here are some important tips for beginning poker players to help you win more hands and make more money from your game time.
1. Study The Basics
Before anything else, even before you are dealt a hand, the first thing you must do is learn the rules and the terminology. This includes knowing the strength of your hand; the last thing you need is making a bet with what you think is a good hand but in reality, it's complete garbage.
Another important basic is knowing the position of each player in the hand. Being in position on your opponents gives you an automatic advantage as you as you are the last to act in that hand.
This means you can see what other players do at every stage of the hand. Since poker is an information game, this can help you decide how you want to proceed.
Your position at the table affects the types of hands you should be playing too. The earlier your positons, the fewer hands you should play as your bets have to make it through more players. On the other hand, the later your position, the more hands you can play as you'll be later to act in the betting rounds.
2. Start With Small Stakes
The poker dream is all about playing at the highest stakes and winning millions of dollars playing the game you love. But if you're new to poker and you decide to jump into big games straight away, you will quickly lose all of your money. This is because you will make mistakes that high-stakes regulars will exploit.
Therefore, you should always start at the smallest possible stakes. This way, when you make a mistake, it won't cost you as much money. Also, the player pool will be weaker so you can capitalize on their mistakes too.
While you're still learning, it's far better to lose small than to lose big. As you play more often, the more you'll figure out how to play in certain spots and see the bigger picture.
3. Play Tight
Tight is right. This is a popular phrase in poker and it's for a reason. According to OnlineCasinoGems, one of the biggest mistakes poker beginners make is that they play far too many hands. As a result, even though they may not be playing at high stakes, they are still losing more money than they should.
Playing tight means sticking to playing only the strongest hands. This will mean you avoid making some awkward decisions later on in the hand. Of course, waiting for a good hand is not that fun, but at the end of the day, poker is about making money.
Playing the strongest hands will make you the most money. You will also avoid donating your chips to other players.
Many new players don't do this. They will play a lot of random hands because they just want to play.
What happens to these players?
They lose, plain and simple.
4. Stick To One Table
This next tip for beginning poker players is specific to those that play online. Just stick to one table at a time. At this stage in your poker career, the most important thing is to learn and absorb information.
Study your opponents. Make mental notes of the kinds of hands they are showing up with at showdown. Be tight and play in position. These are great strategies for new players.
Don't overcomplicate things.
Only start playing at multiple tables once you have a good grasp of the game.
5. Learn The Odds
Poker odds can help you decide whether or not you should continue with the hand. As noted by Infolific, here are some of the most common numbers to learn to help you decide if you should be calling your opponent's bet:
- Gut-shot: 4 outs
- Two overcards: 6 outs
- Open-ended straight draw: 8 outs
- Flush draw: 9 outs
Take these numbers are multiply them by 2 for an approximation of making your draw on the next card, or by 4 for an approximation of making your draw from the flop to the river.
6. Think About Your Opponent's Hand
Ok, so up to now, we've talked about what you should do with your own hand. Now it's time to put yourself in your opponent's shoes.
But don't think about the exact hand they have. Instead, think about all the types of hands they could have.
Consider the following:
- Your opponent's position: the earlier they act, the stronger the hands they should be playing.
- Post-flop action: do they continue betting? If so, do they always bet this way when they have a good hand or when they're bluffing?
- The board texture: are there a lot of draws out there? If so, this often means more bluff opportunities.
- Bet size: how much are they betting? Bigger bets usually indicate strength.
These are just a few but there is a lot to think about.
If you struggle with this concept at the start, don't worry. It's an advanced topic but you will understand it more as you play.
7. Don't Be Afraid To Fold
This poker tip for beginners shouldn't be taken lightly.
If you are playing with someone that hasn't played many hands but starts making lots of bets on one hand, chances are they have something good.
If you have top pair but they are representing something very good, don't be afraid to lay it down. New players find it tough to lay down a good hand but you need to detach yourself from the strength of your actual hand from the strength of your perceived hand.