Learning to play poker.
As a beginner you need to be aware that there is a steep learning curve to poker. At the very start, little information can take you a long way, however, as you improve, the newer information that you learn will not add so much to your game.
When you play poker online for real money, having knowledge of how the game works is vital. So, if you are a beginner, then you need to play close attention. Just remember, that no tips will turn you into an expert player in a few minutes.
Nonetheless, here are some tips to help you along the way.
Do not play too many hands.
A common mistake that many new players make is not being able to be selective enough with their starting hands. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that ‘any hand can be a winning hand’. This is all too common in beginners. You need a good starting hand, and you need to know how to recognize one. Some hands may be more likely to win than others, and this will help you to win more money, however, some hands will only be losing hands that will just end up losing you more money if you play them.
This is why you should be selective about what hands you choose to play.
Be cautious of over-bluffing.
Another common misconception there is about poker is that you need to bluff to win. You might see some spectacular bluffs in shows, however, these are either edited or fake. They often give the wrong impression of how much skilled players will bluff
While bluffing is an important part of the game, it is nowhere near as essential as you think that it is.
If you are a beginner to the game, then it is better to play your cards well than to have to bluff your opponents out of their hands.
Throwing in a good bluff here or there can be brilliant, but knowing when and how to bluff comes as an art from knowledge and practice.
Think about your cards and your opponent’s cards too.
We can often get so wrapped up in the focus on our own hand when we play poker. We may not consider the strength of our opponent’s hand. While it is nice to have a big and strong hand, it is not so nice if your opponent has a better hand than you do, so if you have any suspicion then prepare to fold.
A straight is a decent hand, however if there are four cards of the same suit on the board and your opponent pushes all in, really think about whether you still have the best hand.
Try to consider your position.
Table position is more important than you might think, this means literally, not figuratively or metaphorically. Position is even more important in Texas Hold’em. The best positions to be in are when you are the last to act on the hand, so, for example, this includes when you are on the button.
This means that you can gain knowledge about what kind of hand your opponents may have before the action gets to you. Having a good position in a hand can easily turn a losing hand into a winning one, it also gives you the experience of watching how others will play their hands too.
Don’t lose focus.
The absolute best way for you to pick up any tells from your opponents and how they will play each pot is to have a keen eye on them, which means staying focused. Even when you are not in the hand, it is still wise to stay focused on the game to get an idea of how your opponents play.
You should see what moves the players make when they do not have the best hand, and what moves they make when they are holding a winning hand. The more information you can gain from your opponents, the better. As you know more about how they play, you will have more opportunity to beat them as you can use their cues to your advantage.
Make sure you understand the rankings.
Finally, while it may seem like stating the obvious, you need to understand the hand rankings. This is important, and one of the first things you need to remember to do as you start playing poker. Learning general poker rules can be easy, you really need to spend some time working to understand the poker hand rankings.
You should be able to spot a losing hand, winning hand and so on. You should never be in the middle of a hand and have to think if you will beat a straight with a flush.