Have you just begun your poker journey? Are your poker tournament winnings based mainly on flukes rather than a definitive strategy? Well, don’t worry, because the best poker players were once in your position. And just tweaking your poker game with some minor adjustments will take your poker game from ‘average’ to ‘wow!’ in a short time. Though the most important and guaranteed way of improving your game is practice, here are a few things every novice poker player should know.
Think in Ranges, Not Hands: Most players in a poker tournament know that in order to make the correct amount of bet, it is advantageous to figure out what cards your opponent may be holding. While most new players will try to guess a specific set of cards in their opponents’ hands, experienced players will try to guess a range of cards others may be holding. Guessing a specific hand puts you in a larger danger as chances of you being wrong are higher. Try to guess the combination of hands the other players may have so you can make a more accurate bet.
Don’t Hold on to a Specific Hand: Whether it be real life poker or a poker game online, most new players have a favourite starting hand. A specific set of cards that they want to play with every time they get them. But poker is a game of calculations and logic, not superstitions. No matter how much you like a particular hand, always play according to the cards laid on the table, not on your own reservations.
Hone a Specific Strategy: Though it’s important to have a flexible strategy that you can adjust based on the cards on the table and your opponents’ play, there must be a base strategy that you should be comfortable with. Resist the urge to change your gameplay just because you are bored or tilted. Winning in poker is not a factor of one game, but a large number of games. Even if you lose a game while applying your chosen strategy, don’t give up on it. If you consistently apply it on a large number of games, you will surely see a positive result.
Shift From Your Strategy Only for a Reason: ‘I wanted to bluff’ or ‘I wanted to mix things up’ are not good reasons to ditch your strategy, but there are plenty of reasons to do so. A seasoned player, for example, may deviate from their tested strategy and bet on a hand they would usually fold if they see that the table has a few recreational players, or they notice that the game has gone passive. Remember what Bruce Lee said,” I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times”. The more you stick to one strategy, the stronger your game will be.
Know When to Fold Pocket Aces: If you are new to poker, getting pocket aces will feel like the best thing that can happen to you, and chances are you are going to bet big. But an experienced player would know this does not guarantee a win. Look at the communal cards, and how other players are playing. If you see a player go all-in in this position, don’t automatically follow with a bet of your own. A good player keeps their emotion in check and does not stick to kings and aces, a novice player can’t let go of them.
No Tilting!: Tilting refers to a poor state of mind caused by frustration and a bad streak. This often pushes new players into making bets that they should not have. Losing control of your emotions in poker will only spell disaster for your game. Losing is part of poker and you WILL have bad days. Just take it in a positive stride and wait for your day, rather than forcing a win, this never happens.
Know Who You Are Playing With: One of the most common mistakes new players make is playing a poker tournament with good and seasoned players early in their poker journey. If you cannot locate a player who is playing a mediocre game, then that player is you! Not only will you lose your chips, but you may also lose the passion you have for the poker game online. Begin your journey by playing against players who are at your level, or under you. And once you become the top-dog on a table, then you can move on to playing with some seasoned poker players.
If you follow these tips, we assure you that you will see a significant improvement in your poker game online. Play as many games as you can and apply these strategies as often as you can. And before you know it, you will be a player that newbies look up to!