If you feel like you’re in a rut when it comes to playing poker, there are some simple things that you can do to get you moving in the right direction again. The following tips are very easy to follow for even the novice poker player.
Joining an online poker site is simple
You can play free games without giving any credit card information. You should play the free games for a while to get the hang of how the game plays, what buttons to click, what happens when you click a button that you aren’t sure what it does. The free games have almost no value in learning to play to win though.
They are excellent for a novice, offering a way to practice calculating basic odds and discovering the relative strengths of hands. Positional is key when playing this game. You will find that some hands that you would fold in early position might be good raising hands in the late position of the game.
Sometimes you must bluff
You must do this from time to time so you don’t look like a weak player. A simple raise when you haven’t played in 10 hands will chase all the weak hands away. No one wins Online Texas Hold’ em tournament today without bluffing, but it must be used appropriately and at the right time. If you bluff and get re-raised, be careful as the opponent may have drawn a good hand.
Also, don’t call an all-in bet heads-up unless you have a real hand, since it’s likely that your opponent also has a very strong hand and is deliberately trying to pull you in. It’s best to have a good hand and to be the one calling the other player all-in, if possible.
Find the strong poker players
Within the first 20 hands that are played, you should have a really good understanding about the other players at the table. At least one or two of them will play aggressively. You’ll soon discover whom the strong poker players are at the table. As tempting as it is, try to resist the temptation of trying to beat them at risk of losing sight of the other aspects of your game.
Be aware of pot odds
There is a certain number of outs you have to estimate if calling is a positive expected value play – count the number of outs. In loose games, outdrawing becomes much more important, but then the pots are so big that you usually have odds for any half way reasonable draw anyway.
Don’t be afraid to raise
There are certain situations where you are setting yourself up for a big loss if you do not raise a strong hand. This will get most of the weaker hands that may get lucky (people trying to draw flush or straight) out of the hand before it becomes an issue. You want to raise when you have the top two pair on the turn, but if the board is three-suited (this could be a threat) do not raise.
If you’re having a bad time at the tables, take a break
You take refreshment breaks when you are playing with friends or at the casino. Likewise, you should take breaks while playing online.
I find that people lose the most money when they have lost discipline and are trying to force their luck. This happens most often at the end of a frustrating night. Before any of that happens, you have to realize that your luck wasn’t good that night and it wasn’t that you were playing bad.
Don’t chase away the bad players
If you have found a person that consistently plays bad cards, don’t mock them or get mad at them when they get lucky and win. Instead, become friendly towards that player and beat them much more often in the long run. The more they get lucky and win, the better. It means that they won’t learn from those mistakes in the future when they think that they are good.