To learn poker you need to understand the cards and their values. Poker is essentially a very straightforward game, played with a standard 52 card deck. The cards are ranked in descending order starting with Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten and so on.
It's a good idea check out the free money games offered at most online poker rooms when you're starting to learn poker, so you can test out how the game works online, get comfortable with the odds and the room's software. Take a look at RakeTheRake's schedule of freerolls - free-to-enter poker tournaments - if you want to get some no cost, no risk online poker tourney experience.
Beginner's Tips to learn poker:
- Understand the rules of the game
- Don't play too many hands to start with
- Avoid bluffing too frequently
- Try to analyse which cards your opponents may be holding
- Analyse your own position in relation to your opponents
- Don't jump in at the high limits
- Don't pay too much for draws
- Remember that suited cards aren't as valued in poker as other card games
- Aim to play against players who are also trying to learn poker and perhaps are worse than you!
- Check what other benefits are on offer at the online poker room you're playing at. There are a variety of extra ways to boost your bankroll, from sign up bonuses when you join a room, on-going deposit bonuses when you top up your bankroll to VIP rewards such as points you can redeem for other things such as merchandise or even buy-ins to tournaments. And then there's rakeback. Rakeback gives you a % cash return on the rake you have paid, every month for as long as you play. For this reason it is often considered to be the best poker bonus of all!
The importance of Poker Strategy
Poker strategy is an important element to the game. In fact much has been written about whether poker is a game of chance or based on strategy and it seems to be a definite combination of the two.
In essence there are two main ways to win at poker, these are:
- Hold the best and highest ranking hand in the game.
- Use the skill of bluffing to mislead and convince your opponents that you actually DO have the winning hand. This is a skill that needs some practising to ensure you keep a straight, or 'poker face'. The great thing about bluffing is that if you become good at it and your opponents believe you and fold, then you can take the pot without having to reveal your hand - meaning they will never know if you were bluffing or not!
To bluff effectively you must understand not only the rules of the game, but also the hand rankings, as the higher the hand ranking then the stronger the probability of winning the pot.
When you start to play online poker some of the useful tips you would usually use in a casino become null and void. For instance, one of the key elements used in poker is the bluff but if you cannot see your opponent's face this becomes impossible to do.
The first and most important poker tip to learn is which starting hands are good enough to carry on with and which should be folded pre-flop. The best starting hands are pairs from the tens up to the aces. these should always be followed through to the flop and then you can decide if you want to go further.
Betting on a good starting hand can lead to a small pot so always take your time and see where the game goes. If you have a good hand and someone raises the bet use the call to your advantage and try not to engage in a battle too early. If you use the other player's raise to increase your bet they may become aware of your hand and fold early. Keep it simple and it can pay dividends.
A very good poker tip is knowing when to fold your hand. If your starting cards are not good enough to carry on, do not keep betting and hoping that the turn will go in your favor. By doing this you are trying your luck and adding to a pot which is going to another player. If you know when to fold then this will not only save you money but will teach you to be a disciplined player.
There are many poker tips available to every new player and taking time to learn and understand them is a key element of becoming a very good player.