Sticking to basics at the start of any journey is a fundamental rule. The same applies to Poker also. You just need to follow a few simple rules in order to actually learn poker strategies and make this game profitable. If you are a professional poker player, this information might not help you much. But, if you are just starting out playing and learning poker, it will save you a lot of time and money for sure.
Here, we provide you with a start-up guide on how to play poker for beginners. Now, this doesn’t mean you will win every time – not even the greatest poker players do that – but this will help you improve your understanding of the game.
So, let’s start-
The very first rule of playing any game is learning its rules. This very first step applies to Poker too. Before heading out to any live table, you should learn about the Poker Hand Rankings and the gameplay of the most popular poker game of current times i.e. Texas Hold’em. Nobody likes to look confused at the middle of a hand as it can give the competitors a winning edge. So, you must know how exactly the game is played, what are the rules, which poker hand is the best, are you having a winning hand or not, etc.
Learning about positions is another crucial step for beginners. The position is very important in Poker. If you have a position on your competitors, this means you are acting after them. This helps you to watch out their actions make a decision accordingly. You will get to know if they bet or check, how long they take to make a decision and are they playing bluff, etc. The later position helps in putting much more pressure on your opponents and gives you an edge over others.
The most profitable position in poker is Button (Dealer). You can play much more hands from the button than from any other position.
Once you are through with the Poker Hands and the gameplay, it doesn’t mean you are ready to win. There are many players who find no interest in playing low stake games and start playing with bigger stakes. Always remember – “Poker is easy to learn but hard to master.” You need to understand that your main goal is to learn poker strategy and not to waste money while doing that.
Starting with low stakes is beneficial for the beginners as you don’t lose much of your money in the process of learning it. Also, starting with the lowest stakes lets you play against weakest players or beginners and learn the game instead of losing money to the intermediates or pros. Apart from this, this lets you see the whole picture and know how the whole game looks like. You will get to know more about the positions, what poker hands you should play and how much you should bet.
Always remember, before putting big stakes, you should feel fully comfortable in any game that you play.
Again, if your only goal is to learn and understand the mechanics of the game, then forget about multi-tabling. Multi-tabling is for pros and professional high-stakes players who are familiar with the in and out of the game. As a beginner, you should leave the multi-tabling for the future.
For now, you should stick to one table; try to consider each and every aspect of the game. Try to understand the game as much as you can. Look at your opponents, watch out their hands at the showdown, watch out their behaviour i.e. do they call, raise, bluff a lot, etc.
Bluff is the most beautiful aspect of the game. In simple terms, a bluff is a bet or raise made with a hand which is not considered to be the strongest at that point of time. The main objective is to induce a fold by the opponents who hold a better hand. So, you see, here comes the mind or the calculative risk.
The competitors’ current state of mind should always be considered while calling out a bluff. If the competitors are well skilled and paying full attention to game it will be better for you not to bluff at that moment. The bluff must be performed in such a manner that your competitors cannot tell if you are bluffing or not.
Also, Poker is not only about calling a bluff but also of recognizing a bluff. As a beginner, you should learn how to recognize a bluff prior to learning how to call a bluff. The only way to recognize a bluff is to pay full attention to the table and calculating how many cards have been dealt, how many cards you have and how much is the possibility of the bluff. You should also consider the gaming style of the person that has called out the bluff.
There’s a rule for beginners – Play when you have a hand and fold when you don’t. If you take this rule seriously, you can improve your game a lot. When you have just started playing, it is hard to let go of any of your hand, but it is one thing that you need to learn if you want to be successful. Generally, players in the low stake games are not bluffing so much. So, folding the hand in these circumstances might help you in the long run.
However, there are a few maniacs or extra aggressive players who constantly raise the bet you should not fold your hands in this scenario. Each player has a different style of game. Not all players are aggressive and not all players are passive. You should start learning to know the different styles of game. It’s the first step of transformation from a beginner to intermediate. So, you need to understand this part of the game also. There are different types of players and you really need to play differently against them.
You are ready – Find a table!
By far these are the most basic poker tips that you should consider when starting out. These will help you learn and improve faster and also prevent you from many common mistakes that most players do. Once you are confident, you are ready to hop on to the next level – Beginner to Intermediate Guide.