Poker can seem like an intimidating game when you first start learning how to play it. There are a fair number of hand combinations to remember and rules of thumb to take in. And, sometimes, it can seem like all you ever do is lose. Most beginners seem to make the same mistakes, which is why we decided to create a list of the 10 poker tips that are sure to improve your game.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a new or experienced player; you will find some advice here that may benefit you. Some of these tips may seem rather obvious, but a lot of people don’t actually realize the mistakes they are making until they say it out loud. As we have featured practicing as one of our tips, we have also listed the best online poker sites with free games, so that you can hone your skills with minimal risk.
A lot of beginner poker players make the mistake of playing every single poker hand. While you do need to place an ante before the game begins, you do not need to follow through every single hand before the flop.
Quite plainly stated, if you don’t have a good set of cards to start off with, you have the opportunity to abandon ship early. You will lose your ante but nothing more. However, if you keep taking chances on bad hands, you will soon find yourself with no money to play with.
2. Try to be Consistent
The one trait good gamblers have is consistency. And, we don’t mean consistency in winning. Rather we refer to a solid betting strategy. You should already know before the game begins which hands you will play on and which hands you won’t play on.
In addition, you should have a good idea of how you are going to bet on hands and implement raises. Remember, if you play stupidly, you are likely to give away that you have a good hand by raising a bet by a ridiculous amount of money. That’s no way to win anything.
3. Don’t Get Tilted
You should never gamble while you are behaving emotionally. By saying this, we mean that you shouldn’t let yourself react during a session to either positive or negative events. More often than not, when you go on a losing streak, you get annoyed – we all do.
But you shouldn’t respond to your frustration by losing your cool and placing ridiculous bets in the coming hands. Rather if you feel yourself getting angry with the game, walk away from it and come back at another time.
Although this occurs less often on a winning streak, you shouldn’t let the euphoria associated with winning overcome you either. This can also lead to bad bets.
4. Understand the Rules of the Game
This should really go without saying, but very often we see situations in which beginner players enter real money games with a very basic understanding of the game. The issue with this is that you are more likely to misjudge a situation and make a bad bet.
Rather than rush to lose money on bad hands, make sure that you learn how the variation you are playing works. In addition, you should have a full understanding of the possible hands in the game.
5. Be Patient
Time and time again, we have to repeat that being a successful gambler takes patience. You should not go into every game session, thinking that you are going to walk out a winner. This is especially true if you have just learnt how to play the game.
Instead, you need to learn that being successful may take some time and that it is only through practice and honing your strategy that you will eventually become a winner.
6. Watch Other Players
Make sure that you watch other players as you play the game. In an online space, this may not always be possible due to the nature of the game. However, in games featuring other real people, it should be a prominent aspect of your strategy.
Other players may have certain tells that indicate that they have good or bad cards. And, you should be exploiting them for your own gain. In addition, you should be working on to reduce the appearance of your own to prevent yourself from being read effectively.
7. Practice in Free Games
The only way to ensure that you develop a winning strategy is to keep on practicing as if you were playing a sport. This way, you get to learn new techniques, the rhythm of the game and find out what doesn’t work. Most casino sites offer you a chance to play free poker games, so there is ample opportunity to test your theories without risking any money.
Truly, the best poker players are those that take the time to sit and hone their craft and learn how to execute better strategies.
8. Be Aggressive
While we don’t think that you should play every hand, or make revealing bets, you should try to be aggressive on the hands you do play. This means matching bets and raising the stake (responsibly) when you have got a hand that you think may be a winner.
Your aggression should be governed by the ideas of consistency and patience. Also, don’t mistake being aggressive for playing while angry.
9. Don’t Focus Your Game Around Bluffing
This is where a lot of players go wrong. While bluffing is an integral part of poker, it should not be overused. You should be bluffing in situations where you have a hand that could possibly win the game.
However, too many players go overboard with this. Why would you want to practice bluffing in situations where you have a pair of twos, and the flop has given other players a perfect opportunity to make a straight? This is just asking for trouble.
10. Don’t Play Multiple Games Too Early
So, a lot of players like to play in multi-table games. Basically, this means that you are playing in multiple poker games at one time. If you are new to the game, we don’t recommend that you do this. Although poker is a game that is relatively easy to learn, getting used to the environment takes time.
You first want to make sure that you have a full understanding of how a poker game in a real environment works before throwing yourself into multiple games at once.