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May 15, 2012

Learn Poker: Poker Tips for Beginners

By RTR Dennis

You can never learn too much poker strategy – especially in the beginning. So while we’ve covered beginners poker tips before, it’s definitely worth expanding on the subject. That said, let’s look at some extra poker tips that will help you catch up to more experienced players and earn some serious poker cash in the process.

1) Come up with a 'Bankroll Management Plan'.
Before you play a real money poker hand, it’s important to decide what stakes you should be playing based on your bankroll. Experienced poker tournament players usually have at least 50 buy-ins for their prospective stakes, while no-limit cash game players ensure they have 20 buy-ins or more. However, beginners might want to have around 75 tournament buy-ins and/or 30 buy-ins for cash games. For example, if you played tourneys with $10 buy-ins, your bankroll should be $750; assuming you play $1/$2 no-limit hold’em, you should have $6,000 (if each buy-in is 100 big blinds).

2) Realise that opponents aren’t always bluffing.
One of the most over-glamorized aspects of online poker involves bluffing. In fact, TV shows and movies are constantly portraying poker as a game won by miraculous bluffs. However, the reality of the situation is that bluffing doesn’t happen nearly as much as people think, so it's important that beginners are aware of this. So, for example, if you have A-K on a board of A-T-3-7-T, and an opponent goes all-in on the river, there’s a good chance that they hit trips 10’s. Assuming you call their raise just to see if they hit trips, you could lose a lot of money.

3) Look for a top rakeback deal.
We covered this point in our last lot of poker tips for beginners, but we think it’s imperative to reiterate this tip because rakeback is so crucial. By getting the best rakeback deal, you’ll make extra poker cash whenever you player poker - whether you win or lose. For example, with the 30% rakeback deal at PKR, you would be getting back $0.30 on every $1 you paid in cash game and tournament rake fees. As you can see, rakeback deals can have a very positive impact on your long-term poker profits.

4) Find Weak Competition
Breaking into the online poker world is a much easier process when you can find weaker opponents. The best ways to do this include playing at smaller poker sites like PKR, Poker Heaven and Minted Poker, as well as looking at lobby statistics. In regard to the latter, you specifically want to look at the flop-viewed percentage and average pot size. A higher-than-average flop-viewed number indicates that there could be fish at the table who are seeing too many hands. Combine this with a high average pot size, and you’ve potentially got some loose-aggressive fish who will spew a lot of money!

5) Be Careful with Draws
It’s always nice to hit a flush or straight and win a big hand. But the reality is that you’ll be missing flush and straight draws far more often than you connect on them. And this brings us to the next of our poker tips for beginners: Don't over-pay with draws. Pots odds are always helpful when considering whether or not to play a draw, and there’s a simple formula for calculating this: [(your outs x 2) + 1] – [Percentage of pot you must call].

As for “outs,” this simply refers to the number of unknown cards that could make your hand. So if you had 8-9 (offsuit) on a board of T-J-3, you’d have eight outs since there are four 8’s and four 9’s that could make your straight. Assuming somebody bet $10 into a $90 pot ($100 total), you’d have to call 10% of the pot to stay in the hand (10/100). Using our formula [(8 x 2) + 1] – [10], you should definitely make the call because your chances of hitting the hand (17%) are greater than the percentage of the pot you must contribute (10%).

That's it for this lot of beginners tips, but if you'd like to learn poker for free, then you should take advantage of RakeTheRake's free training offer with DragTheBar.