Best Poker Tips for Beginners
With a simple search over the Internet, you can easily find thousands of poker tips and tricks that claim to improve your poker skills and enhance your chances of winning in poker games. However, with so many suggestions, they can be confusing and difficult to learn — especially for beginners.
Since poker is a game of skill, it is important to identify what are the most important aspects that you should be learning at the start of your poker journey. Focus on the essentials could shorten your learning curve and help to delve deeper into developing your poker strategies, making poker profitable.
However, if you are an experienced or professional poker player, this article is not going to help you much but you can take it as a refresher. On the other hand, if you are new to poker, you will find this article very useful as it contains the most comprehensive beginner poker tips.
Learn the Poker Rules and Poker Hand Rankings
First and foremost, it is most important to learn about the poker rules and poker hand rankings regardless of the types of poker you play. If you have not learned anything about them, you can read more about our guides on poker rules and poker hand ranking.
In general, poker rules are easy to learn and they are most likely to apply to any poker variant. However, you should spend some time learning and get familiar with poker hand ranking. You will not want to be in the spot where you are in the middle of the hand and have to think about what beats what. Doing so will not only be wasting your time but also the other players involved.
The poker hand ranking applies to almost all kinds of poker. The list will show the poker hand ranking from best to worst:
- Royal Flush
- Straight Flush
- Four of a kind
- Full house
- Three of a kind
- Two pair
- One pair
- High card
Learn more about Poker Hand Rankings and Poker Hierarchy here.
Know Your Position
The position plays an important part in poker and every beginner should know more about it before playing the game. In poker, when you have a position on other players, this means that you are acting after them. This allows you to read and see what they do before you act.
You can consider this to be a significant amount of information. You will be able to tell if they are checking or betting, how long it takes them to decide, and predict what they are planning to do next.
For example, if you notice your opponent checks quickly, it could be a great sign that he is having a weaker hand. Similarly, if you see that your opponent raises the bet without any hesitation, it could a strong indication of him having a great hand and you might consider folding knowing that. With getting the right position, you can find many situations like these and whatever it could be, it is always better to know that information than to reveal it to your opponents.
The position you are in can give a great impact on the hands you decide to play — The later position you are in, the more hands you can open and the more pressure you can give to your opponents.
Start at Free to Play or Low Stakes Table
Every beginning player should always practice at free to play poker or low-stakes table. Although these tables will not give you great returns, they are very useful to learn poker strategy without wasting money while doing that. You should always remember that your current goal is to get familiar with the poker game and develop your strategies for poker.
There are many advantages to starting at free or low stake tables. You will be more comfortable playing because you are not risking a lot of money even if you lose on these tables. Then, you will meet opponents with similar experience and level in poker as you are. This means that you are not competing against experienced poker players which will only cause you to lose more money in the game.
Don’t Play at Too Many Tables
If you are new to online poker, you will notice that you can play many different tables at once. However, we would never recommend you to play at too many tables at first. Yes, playing at multiple tables could multiply your earnings, but it could also multiply your mistakes and losses.
As a beginner, your goal is to pick up the game, learn all the essential poker rules, and develop the best strategies for poker. Therefore, you should avoid playing at multiple tables, stick to one table, and make an effort to take in as much information as you can. Look at the play of your rivals and the cards they hold before the showdown. As we previously stated, if you focus on making the most of your position and adopt a tight-aggressive style, you can get fairly far.
Don’t Play Too Many Hands
One of the most common mistakes that every new poker player do is playing too many hands. In addition, the next mistake that they often make is staying in those hands for too long. You should only play your strongest hands to avoid many tough decisions post-flop. In other words, if your starting hands are not good enough, you should get out of the hand as soon as possible.
Additionally, you must decide whether to continue after the flop is dealt, which is the second-largest choice in the hand. Here, too, the general idea is simple: if the flop strengthens your hand, play should continue. You would likely be better off folding if the flop appeared to favor one of your opponents.
Hence, you should learn how to evaluate your starting hands. By getting familiar with the poker hands chart, you can do better predictions like whether or not the cards are paired, connected, or suited.
For example, the best starting hand is a pair of aces because they are paired and the highest-ranking cards in the deck.
On the other hand, a pair of 2s isn’t the absolute worst beginning hand, but you’ll almost surely have to fold the hand if you don’t get another 2 on the flip. With such a weak pair, you frequently won’t even see the flop with that hand.
By using this poker tip alone, you may start ahead of most of your opponents in low games who frequently play random hands. This can help you learn poker strategies more quickly and effectively while preventing financial loss.
Avoid Bluffing Too Much
Many new poker players often make mistakes by bluffing frequently. You won’t find many opponents who are prepared to fold in the face of bets and raises if you’re playing in a low-stakes game, which is the only game you should be playing in if you’re a beginner. In other words, bluffing only works when you are playing against experienced opponents who are capable of bluffing.
Next, another mistake related to bluffing that is often made by new players is when you are facing multiple opponents. When bluffing, the ideal situation is you should only be up against one or two opponents. The likelihood that three or more opponents will all call your bluff and fold is always far lower than it would be if you simply needed to frighten away one or two opponents.
Besides, when there are more players in the pot, it indicates that one of the opponents has a really good hand and he is confident about winning. Know your time to bluff and stay away if there are many players in the pot. You can never bluff when your opponents are holding a strong hand, right?
Learn to Fold
To be a better poker player, you need to learn how to fold correctly. Many new poker players will just call all the time and raise the bets out of nowhere — this is generally bad for your bankroll. New players always seem to play with any opening hand and folding their cards is typically a rare move. Then, they get punished for that by losing more and more money when the pot is getting bigger. Eventually, they learn that they need to fold some of those poor hands.
Commonly, new players will have problems with letting go of some of their hands — especially when they get a pair. Folding the cards correctly is one important aspect that you should learn if you want to become a better player in poker. Players in lower-stakes games don’t bluff as frequently, so folding one pair hands to aggression in these situations will benefit you much in the long term.
You should also notice that not all opponents are passive, therefore you shouldn’t fold these hands if you’re playing against a madman or someone who is really aggressive and raises frequently. You must be aware that different players require different strategies from you when playing against them.
Play Within Your Bankroll
Playing within your bankroll is another crucial piece of advice for novice poker players. You might wonder what a bankroll is. Bankroll simply means that you have set aside this much money in total to use for this game.
Spending and investing your money wisely will help you keep playing, raise your stakes, and even ensure that you keep the money you have already won at poker. In other words, it generally means that you should only play what you can afford to lose. If your main objective of playing poker is to have fun, losing all of your money is the least favorable outcome that you want to achieve.
Therefore, if you play online poker, you may check your total bankroll by clicking the cashier icon in the poker room lobby. You should set aside a particular sum of money as your poker bankroll if you participate in live poker games.
You can learn more about how to manage your bankroll better here.
Play for Fun, Not for Money
This is our final advice for every new poker player. Poker is most likely not the game for you if your primary source of happiness is from winning money at the tables. Anyone who does not have a genuine passion for the task at hand risks developing burnout. It is similar to any other job. If you don’t love what you do, you will eventually start to despise life.
You must be truthful in your response. If all the poker was free, would you still play? You have what it takes to succeed in the long run if the answer is yes.
These, in our opinion, are by far the most important poker tips that you should consider when you first start out. You’ll pick up the poker strategy more quickly and avoid many of the mistakes that other players make by using it.