Poker takes a lot of time, effort and brain power to fully grasp and understand. But once you have the basics under your belt, then it should be smooth sailing. Poker is not one of those games where the more you learn the better you play. The basic rules of the game are simple, and never change. What does increase with time, is your experience, ability to read other players and your confidence.
Poker is a fabulous game, full of fun and excitement. If you are new to poker and don’t know your way around the table, then here are 5 essential tips for your next poker party:
- Don’t Over Bluff: a concept that has been made popular by the media, poker on TV and the movies is: the more you bluff, the more chance you have of winning. This is not always true. Bluffing in poker is not as essential as you may think it is. If you watch a lot of poker on TV, remember that these games are often not live and edited to show the best hands. It may look like the players are bluffing more than they actually are. If you are new to poker, then stick to playing you cards as they come, bluff occasionally, but don’t rely on it to get you through.
- Don’t Overplay Your Hands: a common misconception made by amateur poker players is “any hand can win”. This is incorrect, but there are hands that are far more likely to win then others. While you are building up your experience level, its best to stick to the hands that you know have a large shot of winning. Be selective, and play the hands that feel comfortable for you.
- Know the Rules: this might seem like a bit of an obvious statement, but it’s a really important one. Knowing the ins and outs of poker and educating yourself properly on all possibilities and potential situations, can really help you. Remember that each card room or casino may have their own version of the rules, so make sure to familiarise yourself with these too.
- Stay Focussed on the Game: Paying attention to each hand, each player and the way they play or react to each pot will serve you well. Even if you are not participating in a hand, keep an eye on the other players and watch the way they play, get to know their responses and body language. The more information you can pick up and learn from your opponents, the easier your game will become to play and the better you will become at reading the people you are playing with.
- Table Position: where you sit at the table is important, especially in Texas Hold ‘em. The best place to be, is the last person to respond to the hand. This gives you a chance to see how everyone else reacts to the hand, and it’s much easier to make a decision once you see how everyone has played.