Every experienced poker player knows that there are few things more nerve-wracking or unpredictable than playing against a newbie.
This is because they don’t know the basic laws of poker and can routinely make some pretty surprising and profitable mistakes.
But don’t worry, we are here to help, as new players don’t know some of these basic tips for poker playing, they’ll usually end up losing in the long run.
So here’s a quick refresher on how you can minimize your chances of making some costly errors.
1. Understand the mathematics
The first thing to remember is that poker is essentially a game that relies on mathematical probabilities that are always shifting throughout the course of the session.
So recognizing the value of your initial starting hand selection will be critical in ensuring that you can successfully see the game through its conclusion. And from here it’s a matter of calculating pot odds, recognizing betting patterns, and making that all important decision of when to play and when to walk away.
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2. Be aware of yourself and others
But although poker relies on universal laws of mathematical probability, the reason as to why it’s become such an enduring and popular game is because of the unpredictability of the human participants.
As such it’s essential to know your own state of mind when playing. Avoid playing when drunk or in a bad mood, and learn to watch your competitors as it’s only through capitalizing on opponent’s mistakes or mood swings that many games are won.
3. Get Help from the greats
We might all be as massively successful as the likes of poker stars like Phil Ivey, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t learn something of their trailblazing gambling formulas. Anything as simple as making sure that you use consistent bets in order to give your opponents no clear clues as your gameplay can have some surprisingly lucrative results.
What’s key about many of the poker greats is that they always master their own game without worrying too much about what their competitors are doing. So rather than worrying about whether your opponent has that missing ace, just be careful to focus on your own hand on a round by round basis.
4. Consider your stakes
Probably the most important thing to think about is how much money you’re willing to play with. Much as you’d budget for a night out, setting your limits for a poker session is critical if you’re going to enjoy yourself and not make some foolish mistakes.
This means that you can start by making small bets and then work your way up if the game is going well, rather then just blowing all of your money on the very first game.
5. Plan your losses
So this might not be the most pleasing tip, but it’s essential to plan your losses if you’re in the game for the long haul. This is because even the most skilled players will know when they have a hand that has no hope of winning, and will be able to walk away from this round without chasing down an unreasonable goal.
By doing this, you can not only stay in charge of the way the game is going, but you can consolidate your efforts for when that prize-winning hand inevitably turns up. And remember that we always learn so much more by losing rather than just getting lucky and winning.
6. Knowing when to bluff
This is one of the hardest poker tricks to master as any beginner to the game will inevitably end up bluffing just about every other game, whereas the true poker pro knows that bluffing should very rarely be used, if at all.
By focusing on making the big wins with the best hands you’ll be able to learn so much more about the game, and if on the rare occasion you do bluff, it can have the most devastatingly effective results.
7. Keep your cards close
This tip is kind of obvious but can easily be forgotten as all of the most advanced poker tips will come to nothing if your opponents manage to catch a quick glimpse of your cards.
It’s because of this reason why many top poker players will make an effort to memorize the cards in their hand and keep them face down on the table. Whereas many newcomers to the game will make the fatal error of getting carried away and letting their competitors quickly see which cards they have.
8. Practice makes perfect
Like any sport or game, it’s practicing and making mistakes that are key to improving your game. This is why playing for fun, or even taking advantage of welcome bonuses on online casino sites can be handy as they allow you to try out some new moves without costing you a penny.
9. Avoid tilt
But even if you’re finding success at LadyLucks, it’s important not to get too carried away. The concept of ‘tilt’ has been around for many years of describing the way that poker players can sometimes let their emotions dictate their gameplay, rather than cool, hard mathematics.
Thankfully, there are many poker experts like Jared Tender who can help you recognize poker tilt and take steps to avoid making those careless mistakes. And similarly, being able to quickly take advantage of a moment when a competitor is ‘steaming’ will also be one of the most surefire ways to drive home that winning hand.
So whether it’s understanding the laws of probability, governing your mood, or just getting some more practice at LadyLucks, there are plenty of simple measures you can take to improve your poker game.