Poker is a skill-based game. Of course, luck does play a role too, but in the long run skill plays an even bigger role.
Simply knowing the rules does not make you a good poker player.
Here are some beginner tips and strategies for novice players that want to be successful at poker.
1. Studying Poker Away from the Table
In poker there is an age-old saying which goes
“It is simple to learn, but it takes a lifetime to master.”
Becoming really good at poker requires you to be a student of the game so that you are continually educating yourself and improving as a player.
Now, thanks to online poker sites available for India and the vast amount of knowledge readily available at your fingertips on the Internet, studying and improving your game has never been easier. Reading books, watching training videos, and studying poker off the felt will get you thinking about the game in a different way.
2. Start at the Micro Stakes Games
All beginners should start off by playing at the micro stakes or small stakes tables.
The micros are full of novices just like yourself, so it’s a much less intimidating environment to learn poker, and you’re not risking as much money. Pretty much every online poker sites accepting Indian players offers micro-stakes cash games for real money starting from $0.01/$0.02 and $0.02/$0.04. Of course, tournament players have plenty of low buy-in options to choose from as well.
Even though there is an increasing number of players who take the game seriously, if you build upon a solid foundation, you will be able to dominate the weaker players the micro-stakes games are full of without too much difficulty.
Most new poker players will sensibly begin at the micros, the problem is that a lot of micro-stakes players will be tempted to move up in limits after suffering a few losses as a way to try and quickly recoup losses. This rarely works out as planned, because as you play bigger and bigger games, the competition gets tougher.
3. Observing Your Opponents
Learning how to read your opponents and understanding poker tells is one of the keys to being successful at poker. It is important to watch the game closely so you can know how the other players at the table play in different situations.
With no face-to-face interaction picking up on tells doesn’t apply as much to online poker games but it is still an important aspect of the game because there is more to getting reads on your opponents than just physical tells.
It is all about getting a feel for an opponent’s playing tendencies.
Before you sit down at start playing, it would be a good idea to watch a few hands to get a feel for the table. If the majority of players at the table are the type you can beat (i.e. weaker opponents that tend to overplay their hands), then join the game. But once you get involved in the action, it is still important to observe your opponents, because each of them at the table will play differently.
Your observation skills are crucial to picking up information about each player’s tendencies.
- Do they bluff?
- Do they get sticky if they catch any part of the flop?
- Does the opponent always defend his/her blinds?
- Do they fold to three-bets?
By staying focused at the table, you will be able to answer the above questions as well as many others to form a picture about your opponent’s tendencies and how you should play against them.
Identifying the different types of players at poker is a rule of thumb to be successful at poker. Dig deep into this area and put it to work from day one at the tables.
4. Don’t Play Like a Maniac
The main aim when playing poker is winning the most money, not the most number of pots.
We’ve all encountered a table bully that wants to win every hand they play. Sometimes that strategy works, more often than not this reckless strategy backfires and they end up losing all their chips on an ill-timed bluff.
Don’t get me wrong, bluffing is an integral part of the game, and it is important to mix up your play so that you are not too predictable, but there is a time and place for aggression. If a situation presents itself where a bluff is likely to make your opponent(s) fold a better hand, then of course you want to pull the trigger!
Poker is about making the best possible decisions based on the information available to you and you want to take what you can get!
5. Your Bankroll and How it Can Affect Your Game
If you are under-rolled, you will find that your poker bankroll is dictating how you play poker. Allowing the size of your bankroll to influence your decisions is a terrible way to approach the game.
By being properly bankrolled for the games you’re playing, you will have the confidence to make the most optimal decisions even if it means risking more chips. Instead of second guessing whether you should attempt a bluff or go for value on the river, you will make what you think is the correct play in any given situation.
Observant players at the table will pick up on how you play, and if they perceive you to be a tight/scared player, they will no doubt be looking to take advantage of your playing style.
There are 5 ways to increase your poker bankroll on a consistent basis, with small losses and big wins.
6. Take Advantage of Poker Bonuses for New Players
If you’re new to playing online poker, it’s a good idea to take advantage of the many welcome bonuses that are offered by online poker rooms.
When you create account and make your first deposit, you don’t get the bonus money immediately, but as you play more hands and earn poker points participating in real money games, some part of the bonus amount is released into your account to keep you playing.
These useful tips for new poker players represent some of the most important poker strategies and playing tips that are used by winning players and should become ingrained into your mind.
As time goes on, you will get better at improving your actual play and this will give you the edge you need to boost your poker knowledge and online bankroll. And who knows, you may just become one of the biggest online poker winners this year.