In essence, poker is fairly easy. The basic rules of the game, as well as the hand combinations, can be learned and committed to memory within half an hour. However, it is not a complete picture, as poker also encompasses an intricate interaction between players, which takes years to master.
For new poker aficionados, it is a pretty hard aspect to tackle. So, here are five tips that will set you on a correct path to conquering the game of poker.
Familiarize Yourself with All of the Game Types
When it comes to poker, you have to remember that, even when you master one poker game type, there is a dozen more that you do not know. It is the poker’s peculiarity. With such a variety of game modes, poker will never tire you, but getting to know even the most popular modes will take some time.
For example, if we take solely no-limit Hold’em, there are many variations within this game type:
- full ring (nine or ten hands at the table and the game is very slow and thoughtful);
- short-handed (six hands at the table with a relatively lively game that requires a medium amount of action);
- heads-up (two hands and extremely aggressive playing).
Outside of game types, there are also various tournaments. Some are based on fake chips, and others on real cash. Moreover, some offer rebuys, and others have freezeouts. There are tournaments that have no predestined time table, such as Sit&Go, and there are official tournaments that start online and end in Las Vegas.
So, do not rush things, take your time, and explore the vast world of poker games. Nobody became a poker pro overnight.
The act of betting can be considered aggressive, as you are basically putting your hand up against the hands of other players in a figurative battle. So, one of the first things to master in poker is the art of betting.
Many newbies play and act too cautiously. When they have a strong hand, they rarely lead the game by raising and simply call most of the time. However, you can actively counteract this type of playing by raising and having them lose their chips. Even if you do not have a very strong hand, other players will have to pay up to see it.
When you are only starting out in poker, it may feel very uneasy and strange to bet your chips away. Nevertheless, you have to get comfortable with this action. Try raising and betting the way that you normally would, and it will give you a whole new perspective on the game.
Be Patient and Observant
Statistics say that most of the hands you receive will be losers. So, what to do when you have a bad hand? Just fold and fold it again.
According to the New York Times, nobody has ever won a game of poker by being completely passive. However, being aggressive does not mean that you should throw all your money into bad hands in the hope that you will get something great on the river. It is an excellent recipe for losing your chips immediately.
Do not be afraid to fold most of your hands and simply observe the patterns that other players utilize in their playing. Then, when the moment comes, you can surprise everyone by being extremely aggressive.
Get Some Practice and Start with Familiar Ground
Before jumping into high-wager and high-stakes real-life games and tournaments, always get your practice. Although playing with high sums of money is always fun and invigorating, you should not go all-in with your money if you are just getting started with poker.
First of all, try out some free options. Tons of big and trustworthy online poker websites can offer you free chips and tables to play. With such services, you can try out all your ideas and strategies in a scenario that is most approximated to a real game of poker.
Using free options will ensure that you are not going too big and too fast. When you start winning reliably, then you can move to small-stakes games and tournaments. It is a natural progression for all players, and you should not get in over your head.
Small-stakes games are wonderful for sharpening and polishing your skills. While free games are great for mastering the ABC poker, then in small-stakes poker ones, you can start playing the players rather than the game itself.
What to Choose?
If you do not know how to choose an online poker casino for yourself, here are some aspects you should always consider:
- loyalty programs;
- game types;
- functionality & features.
You should choose an online casino that employs only the newest practices and has the safest payment options. It means that the poker rooms should have such features as top-up, preferred seating, auto-rebuys, etc. Also, the service should have a reliable history of paying clients and payouts.
According to OnlineCasinoGems, Ignition Casino is a great example of the online casino described above. Lynton Limited established this service very recently in 2016. Although this casino is quite new, it has made a big stir in the online poker community and secured a respected image for itself by being a reliable one.
This casino has big entry bonuses ($1,000 and $2,000) and a payout speed of 3 to 10 days. The minimum buy-in is $20, so if you are an intermediate poker player, Ignition Casino is a great option for you.
Never Stop Growing as a Player
According to BBC, even when you develop yourself into a great player, do not become cocky. It is a straight road to losing all of your winnings.
Although the poker encompasses a great deal of luck in the game, relying completely on your instincts will only lead to losses. You need to keep your skills sharp and always evaluate any game you play without any bias or self-conceited notions.
Each win and loss will provide you with experience and knowledge. However, the table at which you play is not the only place where you can learn.
Read blogs, explore strategy books, watch tournament streams, and shadow pro players. This way, you will always be able to keep your mind strategy-oriented.
To Sum Up
Poker is a complicated game, even though it may not seem so at first glance. You play the cards just as much as you play other players at the table. Playing poker is similar to trying to keep a delicate balance between playing into the strengths of your hand and never revealing your playstyle to other players.
If you want to become successful at the game, you need to constantly analyze your own playing and make appropriate corrections to your playstyle. It may include everything from making more bets to studying the winning percentages of different starting hands.