Poker is a skill-based game and, while like all other casino games it contains an element of luck, making the right decisions has a huge impact on whether you win or lose long term. That’s why knowing the rules and odds of the game you’re about to play is of utmost importance. If you’re just getting started and want to know how to increase your chances of winning, have a look at the tips presented below. While nobody in the world can guarantee you’ll win each and every single hand, these tips will certainly help you perform better and hopefully walk away with more cash than you had to start with.
Play Within Your Bankroll
First thing to do is decide what is the amount of cash you can afford to lose. This is not to say you should start playing expecting to end up with zero, but might impact how much money you’ll bring to the table, as well as help decide which table to choose. If you believe parting with $100 won’t bring you down to tears, set that amount as your loss limit and play $2 or $5 games, rather than $20 ones.
Begin by playing low-stakes poker and a single table. This will allow you to prolong the game and focus on your actions and their results, both enabling you to learn. There’s plenty of time to „upgrade“ and play fast and for big bucks. If you’re playing against others, be aware that high-limit tables attract more experienced and skilled poker players, and that’s surely not the environment you want to be in when new to the game.
When playing for real money, every hand and every decision matters, and making even small mistakes costs you money. You need to stay 100% focused 100% of the time, so make sure there are no distracting elements in your environment (TV, music, other people…) that would prevent you from maintaining your concentration. If you feel your thoughts moving to a different subject, take a break before resuming your game. It will still be there after half an hour, don’t worry.
Choose a Game and Master It
With so many poker variants out there, it might be tempting to start jumping from one to another. Don’t do it. If you stick to one game for a longer period of time, you’ll get to learn it faster. And you’ll maintain focus, as mentioned above.
Be Selective When Choosing Which Hands to Play
Many new poker players fall into a trap of playing too many hands, too often starting weak and hoping the next card will change everything. Just because something can happen, it doesn’t mean it will. If you enter the pot with a better hand more frequently (than other players), you’ll also win it more often. Unless you’re playing live and have the opportunity to bluff your opponents into thinking you’re holding a valuable combo, be more selective about which hands to play. A computer cannot be bluffed.
Don’t Continue Betting Just Because You’re Already In
A common mistake beginners make is persisting in playing a hand just because they’ve already put lots of money into the pot. You will not win by throwing bad money after good, so judge your odds objectively before deciding to proceed. To be able to do that, apart from staying focused, you need to know the odds inside out. The longer you play, the easier it will be, but you might want to have a cheat sheet and/or an odds calculator handy.
Don’ Get Too Emotional
Whether you win or lose, keep cool. Emotional play often results in bad decisions and money lost. Getting ecstatic after winning big could entice you to proceed by betting recklessly. Becoming depressed or worried after you lose could send you chasing your losses – a bad, bad practice whichever online casino game is concerned.
There’s More to Life than Poker
We get it, you love the game and so do we. While indulging your passion occasionally, or even on a more regular basis can be a good thing, living and breathing poker 24 hours a day certainly is not. Set your playing schedule and stick to it. The rest of the time should be dedicated to other valuable things in life – your family and friends, sports, others form of entertainment, your work and, let’s not forget, sleep. The healthier your body and mind are, the better poker player you’ll be.
Poker is a hugely exciting game which can and does make some people winners. Don’t make a mistake thinking it’s a matter of luck. Those who win (consistently) have almost certainly played tens of thousands of hands, learnt the rules by heart, and keep all the above in mind every single second during the game. You are not necessarily in it to win fortunes, but the game will certainly be more enjoyable if you don’t lose every time you play. So play smart, and don’t forget to have fun while doing it.
To get started playing online poker see the USA poker sites we recommend. These poker sites have outstanding reputations for fair play and easy banking options. You can always rest assured your money is safe and when you request a withdraw from any of our recommended poker sites you will receive in a timely manner.