To many, poker is not just an exciting game of skill and peril but a way to make money. However, before raising the stakes in one of the world’s most popular casino games, you should review some beginner strategies to get you started. Whether you’re playing poker for the thrill of it or you consider it a lucrative career option, you will definitely gain the upper hand by reading the poker tips we’ve collected for you.
Allow us to deal you in!
1. Get familiar with the poker rules and hand rankings.
Just like any card game, poker has its own specific set of rules for all its variants. You can’t just wing it when playing poker since you are risking your money and your pride. Therefore, after choosing the type of poker you will play, you should review its specific rules and hand ranks. While the goal of every poker variation is to deprive other players of their chips with the best hand or sneakiest bluff, you should know whether your three of a kind beats a flush or whether you will have to draw cards or use a shared set of face-up cards.
2. Use position to your advantage.
Next, you must learn all about the importance of position in poker. Perhaps one of the most important tips you will learn is that acting in position (after most players act) gives you a crucial advantage. Even most poker pros will fold good starting hands if they find themselves out of position since playing last in each street allows them to get important information about the other players’ hands, control the size of the pot, and bluff more.
3. Don’t start at high stakes.
You will undoubtedly want to experience the excitement of playing for larger stakes when you start playing poker. However, a beginner’s primary goal should be to learn the strategy and get some first-hand practice without wasting money. Playing at low stakes against other newbies will also help you acquire an overall clearer picture of the game and useful instincts for acting at the right moment in different situations.
4. Study the odds.
Every good poker player calculates their odds of winning a hand and the pot odds they are facing at each call. That way, they can determine the expected value of their actions. Optimally, players should strive to make as many positive EV calls as possible to increase their winnings over the long run. In essence, the ratio of the current pot size and the contemplated call is compared to the odds of winning the hand. Good EV calls are those where the odds of winning are greater than the pot odds.
5. Go easy on the bluffing.
While a valid strategy at the high-stakes professional table, bluffing is not a necessary skill for beginners. In fact, novice poker players should rely on the strength of their cards in most situations. Naturally, as you progress towards bigger games, you will play against tougher competition who bluff more. Hopefully, you will have mastered the art of bluffing with time and practice, and you will be able to anticipate it or use it successfully.
6. Learn when to fold’em.
Playing every hand, especially as a beginner, is not advised since poker newbies generally lack the ability to bluff—meaning their calls and raises are backed by strong hands. To avoid losing all your chips, you should learn to discard your cards against passive players who raise the stakes all of a sudden. Then, as your mastery of the game increases, you will start spotting different types of players, and you will know how to respond in various situations.
7. Have patience.
Patience is key to mastering poker, especially after learning many useful tips like those above. Instead of jumping straight into a game after reading this, you should take your time to absorb all of these tips and begin to apply them slowly. Then, when you are playing a new game, carefully assess your hand, position, and odds of winning to decide whether to fold or hold.
Before Placing Your Bet
Learning the right poker tips and tricks is crucial for new players since they may develop bad habits and practices that will harm their game for a while. Therefore, we’ve listed only the most efficient tips for the start of your poker journey. Before putting on your poker face and upping the ante, remember to have fun with this exciting game—it will motivate you to improve further.