18 November 2019

Top 7 Poker Tips for Beginners

There are plenty of poker tips saying what you should and shouldn’t do. If you are new to the game, this information overload can be confusing. You may also find a lot of conflicting information depending on who you listen to. We have written this article to clear it up once and for all.

If you have experience with the game, this isn’t going to help you very much. If you are starting out, it will save you a lot of time and money.

For reference, we will be focusing on No Limit Texas Hold’em as it’s the most played poker variant.
So with this in mind, here are 7 poker tips for beginners.

1. Learn The Basics

The first step to the game of poker is to understand the rules and terminology. It’s important to know the strength of your hand before you start playing too. The last thing you want to be doing is thinking your three of a kind beats a straight.

It’s also vital that you know the position of each player. Position plays a very important role in poker. In-position players have an advantage in the hand as they are the last to act so ensure that you have this nailed.

When you’re in position, you will know if they want to check or bet and the size of the bets too. This information can help you decide what to do next.

In poker, it’s a lot better to receive information than to give it to your opponents.

Position also affects the hands you play too. When you’re in early position, you should be playing fewer hands as you have other people to act behind you. On the other hand, when you’re in late position, you can be a bit looser as you’ll be the last to act after the community cards are dealt.

2. Start Small

Most players want to make it to the highest stakes and play in the biggest casinos (great list here) as quickly as possible. But if you’re new and you have the money to jump right into the biggest games, you will lose - and quickly! High stakes regulars are quick to jump into games with weak/new players and will jump on any mistakes you make.

For this reason, you should start small. Not only will your mistakes not cost you as much as money, but the players around you will also be weaker.

It’s a lot better to learn the game and lose a small amount than still figuring it out and losing a lot! The more you play, the more you’ll understand the positions, the actions people tend to take on certain cards and see the big picture.

3. Play Tight

There is a saying in poker that “tight is right”. Lucian Marinescu, partner at OnlineCasinoGems, agrees and thinks beginners should stick to this style of play:

“A lot of poker beginners play far too many hands. As a result, they lose a lot more money than they should be at their level. It’s important that while you’re learning how to play poker that you play only the strong hands (guide, here) to avoid making awkward decisions after the flop. Sure, you’ll be playing fewer hands than you’d like but it’s all about making money. This will ensure you make money with your good hands and avoid paying someone else off with a weaker holding.”

You will find that many players at low stakes do play a lot of random hands. Don’t do what they do.

4. Play One Table

This poker tip for beginners is for online players. When you’re first starting out, stick to playing at a single table only. The most important thing at this stage is that you are constantly learning and absorbing as much information as you can.

Reserve the multitabling for when you have a more in-depth knowledge of the game.
Study your opponents and the hands they have at showdown. Being tight and playing in position on a single table is the best approach when you first start playing.

5. Learn The Odds

Poker odds are important for calling an opponent’s bet ie pot odds and knowing the chances of hitting your draws. You can then make a decision based on the odds.

Pot odds help understand if you are getting the right price to continue with your hand.

To help, here are the number of outs that will improve your hand:

Gut-shot: 4 outs
Two over cards: 6 outs
Open-ended straight draw: 8 outs
Flush draw: 9 outs

From here, multiply the number of outs by 2 for an approximate probability of making your hand on the next card, or by 4 for an approximate probability of making your hand from flop to river.

6. Think About What Your Opponent Can Have

It’s well and good thinking about your own hand, but you must also have an idea about what your opponent can have too. But instead of putting them one exact hand, think about all the possible hands they can have.

Here are some factors to consider:

Your opponent’s position: what could they be playing?

Action after the flop: if they check, are they weak as they always bet when they’re strong?

The board texture: if there are lots of possible straight and flush draws, this creates an opportunity for more bluffs.

Bet size: how much are they betting?

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 in 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.

© The Test Pit

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