6 Poker Tips For Beginners
The following are not rules or formulas,
because there are already plenty of those published, written
and compiled by people much smarter than I am, with better
calculators, to boot.
But this article could still save you thousands
of dollars, so stick around for a few minutes! I offer you
simple, general concepts that will guide you towards being
a solid player. If you're a newbie, they'll spare you a
lot of grief as you ascend the learning curve. If you're
an experienced player, you'll benefit from the reminders..
you're not perfect. That's right, I saw that idiotic call
you made last week. You know the one I'm talking about.
Ok, Just 6 points. Memorize them, say them before going to sleep,
and PRACTICE them... May the force be with you.
1) The worst hand in Texas Hold 'Em is 7 2 offsuit, right?
The worst hand you can possibly be
holding, is the -second best- hand at the table. While it is true that 7 2 offsuit
is the least likely hand to win from the outset, keeping
in mind the disaster that can take place when you push the
second best hand to a showdown, is much more important.
In many cases the difference between a great player and
a fish, is knowing when to dump a solid hand that is probably
second best. Calling with second best hand pisses you off,
right? Me too. So let's smarten up.
2) By far, the most common action a winning player takes,
You need to have good starting standards,
and fold mediocre hands; especially when there is a raise
in front of you. You need to be willing to let go of a hand
that doesn't improve. You need to accept it when there's
a likelihood that your hand is beaten.
All of this adds up to, you will be folding
most of the time. But relax; in a full table you only need
1 good hand every 2 or 3 rounds to steadily make money.
Patience, and aggression at the right moments, can make
you a big winner.
If you're unwilling to concede that you have to fold most
of the time, and don't understand this point, follow these
i) Log into your poker account
ii) Withdraw your cash
iii) Never go back.
3) Bad players would rather lose than be bluffed
Good players fold most of the time. Poor players, or players
on tilt, tend to overplay hands, cling to their cards, and
frequently refuse to believe that their opponents' raises
represent actual strength... we call these people calling
stations, for obvious reasons. They'll call bet after bet,
muttering something about 'keeping you honest', while donating
their bankrolls to pot.
Acceptance is key here. If you are a winning player, who
makes good decisions overall, you are going to be bluffed
out of some pots. This point can't be stressed enough -
the benefit you'll gain from your willingness to fold iffy
hands, where you don't have the correct odds to continue,
WILL make up for situations where you are bluffed out of
pots. If you fold a hand that ended up being the best hand,
who cares?? Feel good about the fact that you waited for
another, higher percentage situation. That nutcase in seat
#3 who just bet into you with a pair of twos WILL try it
again, in a situation where you have a monster hand.
4 Money that you saved in a LOSING hand, is just as important
as money that you won in a winning hand.
We hope this is self-explanatory... Look closer...
it makes perfect sense. Making a couple of 25 dollar calls
that you know you shouldn't make (when you were obviously
beaten), affects your overall profit just as much as a 50
dollar pot that you won.
If you find yourself frequently throwing in money just to
see what the other guy has, because there's a smidgen of
doubt in your mind, that maybe you can win this one after
all... if this is you, there's no way to tiptoe around it:
You suck at poker.
When you fold a hand which you figure to be
a losing proposition, you should feel good about it. David
Sklansky, of the the premier poker authors says he actually
derives pleasure from making a 'good fold'!
When you make a good fold it means that the
cards didn't go the way you hoped, and you lost...But a
lesser player would have lost more, with your cards!
that you put into the pot on earlier betting rounds has
little or no bearing on what the correct play is right now.
That was then and this is now. One of the
most exciting aspects of poker is that situations change
and tides turn quickly. The winner is often simply the player
who is best able to adapt to the situation. If you're playing
Hold 'Em and calling a bet on the river is a bad investment
(for example, there are 4 clubs on the board, you have no
club, and your tight opponent raises) you probably need
to fold, despite the fact that you put a lot of money in
the pot in earlier rounds, and it hurts to make the laydown.
Players who put in a lot of chips preflop
or on the flop often feel entitled to the pot. Feeling entitlement
is how people go on tilt, lose big, flip tables, start sobbing,
take out second mortgages, etc.
You are not in the game to take any particular
pot - remember this PLEASE- ... you are in the game to make
situation-dependent moves that will make you the most money
(or save you the most money).
6 ) Poker isn't a game of skill. It's a game
of chance - which can be played skillfully
Sorry. But it's the truth. Poker isn't always fair. The
best player won't win every time. Good play will not be
rewarded every time. But over time, the player who picks
better spots will maintain an edge. If you get your money
in when you're a money favorite, and fold when facing a
losing proposition, you'll gain in the long run.
You're playing for the long run. It's one big game, and
it doesn't matter how this session turned out. Got bad-beat
when you were a 93% favorite? Get over it, smart guy! You
know that if the same situation comes up again (and it will),
you'll get the best of it in the long run.
Remembering this will help keep you on your
A-game. You'll likely have incredible highs and lows, ups
and downs, good runs and bad runs. This is normal. What
matters is the long run.
Keeping this in perspective is important; when you lose
a coin flip, you don't feel bad about yourself afterwards,
or have an urge to take the life of the person who won.
That would be ridiculous. It was just bad luck. Try to treat
situations in a poker game with the same indifference.
With that, good luck! And if you suck at poker, please....
stop playing immediately. If you insist upon playing, play
me. Till next time, CN