Top 10 Poker Tips for Beginners

Posted on by RTR Rachel

While you could spend years learning poker tips and strategy, in the beginning, it’s best to simplify things by focusing on just a few tips. This being said, here is a look at some of the best strategy for beginning poker players.

1. Set Starting Hand Requirements – You need to limit the number of poker hands that you’re willing to play in order to avoid wasting money and putting yourself in difficult situations. And the best way to do this is by keeping strict starting hand requirements based on the table size. Once you gain more experience, you can break out of these requirements and play more hands.

2. Put your Full Attention on the Game – Most poker players surf the internet, watch TV, or do anything other than focus on the actual game after they’ve folded. However, if you want to improve as a player, you need to put your full attention on the poker table and avoid other distractions.

3. Avoid Over-betting – One of the biggest problems that new players suffer from is over-betting when they have a good hand. And the dilemma with this is that you can make everybody fold when you have a great hand and want somebody to stay in the pot, or get burned when you over-bet with second best hand and the top hand calls. In any case, only bet the minimum amount that you think will get the job done.

4. Pay Attention to Table Position – This is a good tip to use in conjunction with starting hand requirements because the later your position is in a hand, the more information you’ll have on opponents and their betting patterns. This being the case, you should play a tight range of hands in early position, and a looser range in later position.

5. Try to define Opponents’ Ranges – Defining a range of hands involves watching player tendencies and betting patterns to figure out the range of poker cards they have. And although this will take time, you should continually be trying to define a player’s range, even when you aren’t in the hand.

6. Use Pot Odds – Pot odds, or the amount of money you must put into the pot versus your odds of making the hand, are very helpful when faced with tough calls. For example, if you need to call $20 in an $80 pot (4:1 pot odds or 20% of the pot), you should make this call if you have a 21% or better chance of winning the hand.

7. Use Implied Odds – Relying solely on pot odds can make you predictable, and this concept doesn’t take into account the people you’re playing against. This is where implied odds comes in because it account for all of the potential money that will be in the pot later on (if you make a call early in the hand). Much like defining ranges, this takes practice and studying your opponents to know if you are getting good implied odds to call.

8. Review Hand Histories – A great way to figure out what you’ve done right and wrong in a hand is to review hand histories after a session. By continually doing this after sessions, you will start to recognize patterns in opponents that can be exploited. You can also fix your own leaks this way.

9. Don’t Bluff Too Much – Mainstream television and other media outlets make it out to be like poker is all about bluffing. In reality though, experienced players spend much less time bluffing, and more time trying to put opponents on a range of hands and making long-term positive expected value plays. So only bluff when you have a really good read on an opponent.

10. Bet for Value – When you feel that you have the edge in a hand, it’s important to bet for value and take advantage of the favorable situation. Sure variance may take its course and you will end up losing the hand, but if you keep making good plays over the long-term, you will be a winning player.

Tip of the Day: Aside from all of the tips you can use on the table, make sure that you take advantage of a rakeback deal to earn extra money. Rakeback pays players back a percentage of the rake taken in a hand.

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