Poker is celebrated as one of the biggest games in the world for numerous reasons. It’s intense, with high-stakes poker games enthralling poker players and spectators alike. It’s versatile, with many different variants and rulesets to choose from.
Most importantly, it’s fair. Unlike other casino games, poker is not a game of chance, with skill deciding long-term profit. The game’s randomness makes strategy even more critical since players must adapt to changing scenarios.
With infinite possibilities depending on your cards and opponents, beginners are often overwhelmed. Amidst the sea of tactics and playstyles, they must figure out where to start. If that sounds like you, this poker guide can help you with easily-digestible concepts to understand. Check out these tips for newbies and dodge these common mistakes.
Tip #1: Mix up your gameplan
As in any game against other players, having a varied and unpredictable playstyle is essential to victory in poker. Suppose you are easy to figure out and predictable. In that case, it will take the other players only a short time to discover your strategies and adapt. It would be best if you frequently changed your style and tactics to stay one step ahead of your opponents.
A great example would be bluffing and value betting with the same bet sizes, making it hard for others to tell what you’re holding. Another benefit of switching between different playstyles is that it teaches you the game. You can’t stick to one strategy in poker, and every playstyle has pros and cons. Switching up your system as the situation requires allows you to adapt to your opponents and their habits.
Tip #2: Utilize poker-tracking software
Poker tracking software is crucial for any online poker player. It’s one of the main reasons players prefer online poker, with over 100 million participants worldwide. These programs look at your games and analyze them, providing vital statistics to help you improve.
You can find an overview of your playstyle, prevalent habits, and much more that you simply can’t see without a machine. This knowledge can help you refine your strategy by fixing mistakes and bad habits.
These programs also analyze your opponents, opening up a new world of strategic adaptation. You can see how aggressive they are, how many hands they play, and how often they’ll fold to a strong bet during the game itself.
Tip #3: Start 3-betting more often
The 3-bet is one of the most robust tools in a poker player’s arsenal. It’s a highly aggressive move when a player re-raises after someone else has raised before him.
This level of aggression is practical for numerous reasons. Often, 3-bets will simply win you the pot outright pre-flop since many players are apprehensive about calling one. They can work well as bluffs because of how often people fold, and on the off chance someone does call, they build the pot quickly. Aggression is fundamental to poker, and given how confrontational 3-bets are, they are a critical tool all poker players must know how to use.
Now that you know what to do as a novice poker player, here are three examples of what you shouldn’t do.
Mistake #1: Playing too many hands
Playing too many hands in poker is a surefire way to waste money. Beginners can often make this mistake by chasing hands that are unlikely to improve. Their irrational dislike of folding usually stems from the idea that folding stops you from winning the pot. In reality, once you start considering folding, you should not be thinking of winning.
Instead, you should see folding as a way to minimize your losses. You’re never forced to commit any money to a pot unless you’re one of the blinds, so if you aren’t confident in your hand pre-flop, you should just fold. Remember that poker is a long-term game. The losses you get from playing lots of hands may not seem like much, but they certainly add up.
Mistake #2: Not considering position
Position is one of the most overlooked yet significant concepts in poker. It determines when you act relative to the other players, and it’s described in terms of “early,” meaning you act close to first, and “late,” meaning you act close to last. A late position is always better since acting after the other players gives you much information to work with.
For example, if you see everyone before you call, you could go for a big bet since nobody is likely confident in their hand. Likewise, it would be best if you didn’t play too many hands from an early position. Everyone can see what you do, and you essentially have to act blind since you don’t get to see others act before you.
Mistake #3: Having lengthy sessions
Poker’s an incredibly taxing game mentally. There’s a lot to keep track of during the game, from your cards to your opponent’s habits. Consequently, you’ll only do well marathoning the game with breaks. The more tired you get, the worse you play, inevitably leading to more losses. Being tired also makes you more irritable, which doesn’t go well with lousy gameplay. You should budget your time, taking frequent breaks to refresh your mental state.
Practice through online poker!
Now that you know all of these, it’s time to put them into practice. If you’re on the fence about starting training with online or live poker, online is better for numerous reasons. It offers unparalleled convenience since you can play from anywhere at any time.
Online poker sites also have more game variety than your typical casino. There are also benefits exclusive to online poker, like poker tracking software and promotional bonuses.