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There are many important life skills that one should know in today’s world, and holding your own at the poker table is one of them. Whether you will just play once a year or once a month it is better and probably more profitable to rely on your poker skills rather than beginners luck. Once you know the basics of poker its easy to improve. Our beginner’s guide to poker will introduce you to some basic poker strategies, beginner tips and bluffing. As well as laying out the poker beginner mistakes NOT to make!
Poker Beginner Strategy
Overall, it is best to remain relaxed and try to have fun- it’s only a game afterall!
Keeping the above in mind, we have compiled a poker beginner strategy guide that will benefit beginners and maybe some intermediate players as well.
Don’t play too many hands
A very easy way to raise your poker game is to become more selective about what hands you play with.
Many amateur players fall into the trap of thinking that any hand can win, when in fact some hands are just more likely to win then others.
So, being selective in your poker games can help you both win money and save money!
Don’t bluff too much
A common belief among beginner players is that you most bluff to win. Again, it is better to simply play your cards rather than trying to bluff your opponents.
The real art of bluffing comes from many years of practice and just because the winners of the WSOP make spectacular bluffs does not mean it is a good idea for beginners to try the same.
This is a good strategy to remember while playing your first game or even if you are playing against other beginners as they will more than likely try to bluff you.
Remember suited cards are not the best
It is good to remember while playing your first poker game that suited cards are not actually as good as many beginners and some intermediate players think they are. Many players over-evaluate suited cards, when in fact the cards of the same suit only improve a hand by 2%. It is certainly not a hand to call raises with!
Think about your opponent’s cards
While you naturally concentrate on your own cards during a game of poker a good strategy is to keep in mind your opponent’s cards . It might be obvious but many players forget this simple manoeuvre.
The strength of your opponent’s hand is just as vital to a win or a loss as the strength of your own. If you think that your opponent has a better hand than you, you should prepare to fold.
Pay attention to the game
Another good strategy for beginners is to pay attention to the game even when you are not in it. For example, one of the fastest ways to learn your opponent’s body language and also improve your game is to concentrate on each game to understand how your opponent plays.
You will discover the way they move and play when they have a good hand and when they have a bad hand.
How To Bluff
- Practice your poker face
Developing an expressionless poker faces is vital for a successful bluff. It is a good idea to practice your ability to show no emotion and reveal nothing other than a few casual words exchanged during the game.
Do not give away any information and avoid expressing disappointment at seeing bad cards. Furthermore you could also wear sunglasses and a hat to hide a part of your face so that your poker face will be more effective.
- Read the Tells
Again, in order to bluff it is important to read your opponents and analysing their ‘tells’. This way you will see what way they play and react when they are having a good game of when they are having a bad game.
However there are some common tell tale signs of bluffing like eye twitches, lip movements and holding of breath, which are all considered signs of Bluffing. Shaking on the other hand is considered a sign of strength.
Furthermore, it is beneficial to watch the way the other players put down their chips. If a player puts his chips down strongly and far away from him it means he subconsciously feels his chips are already gone however, if that are placed close to them it means he thinks he will have his money back.
- The importance of action cards
Action cards can be either the fourth or fifth community cards, also referred to as turn and river cards. When these uncover a high value, a pair or an opportunity for a flush, they frequently cause a fierce new round of bidding.
A good strategy to bluff, therefore, is to take the lead in the bidding war that follows an interesting river card and force other players at the table to fold as it might indicate to them that you have the strongest hand.
Beware however, your opponent might just have the hand you are pretending to have!
Poker Beginner Mistakes
The following are the typical mistakes that beginner poker players make. If you want to improve your poker game and get your first win it is important not fall into the same beginner’s trap.
Remember DO NOT make the following mistakes:
- Do not play too many hands.
- Do not play scared – have confidence. Even if you never played in your life, play like you have.
- Do not make over-sized bets.
- Do not let emotion affect your play.
- Do not bluff too much.
Do remember that each game is a new opportunity to practice and learn from your mistakes!
Watch one of the best poker players Phil Ivey discuss his poker strategy in the video.