Poker for Beginners: 3 Dos, 3 Don’ts

Poker is a worldwide phenomenon. A card game that appeals to beginners and professionals alike, it has maintained impressive longevity since its inception in the 1800s. One of its biggest selling points is its strategy. While the basic rules are straightforward, the game is impossible to master. The element of chance in poker makes relying on a system infinitely more complex, as players must now adapt to many changing situations.

The sea of playing strategies available online can be overwhelming for beginners. This poker guide will show some you can try and some to avoid.

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Do: Play fewer hands.

When playing poker, remember that fewer hands are often better than more. Newer players may enjoy playing every hand, considering frequent folds “boring.” But by closing up and playing fewer hands, poker players can save themselves chips and potentially bank a more significant profit when they win. That’s because they did not waste their chips on poor starting hands.

It is often said in poker that you should not just play good cards; you should also play tight. This expression encapsulates the importance of only selecting guaranteed winners and minimizing your losses by avoiding blind calls or unwisely bluffing with weaker hands.

Do: Play aggressively.

Assertive play can be a great strategy in poker. It keeps your opponents from guessing what kind of hand you have, allowing them to bet on impossible odds. Aggression can help keep other players from getting more chips by forcing them to fold. It can prepare you for the showdown when playing against one or two opponents.

Knowing when to be aggressive and when to hold back are vital skills that allow you to take advantage of tight spots and win big pots. At the same time, try not to become too antagonistic and develop a reputation as a wild card. Overly assertive players will be easily picked off at the later stages of the game by those who have learned patience and discipline.

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Do: Start 3-betting more often.

Making the right move in poker games can be challenging to master. For this reason, one strategy to implement is 3-betting more frequently. Three-betting involves making a raise after another player raises. It can help control the game’s momentum and force your opponents to make a decision quickly.

It also enables you to gain pot control, allowing you to stay involved when you have strong hands while avoiding costly mistakes with drawing hands. Incorporating 3-betting into your poker strategy may put other players on alert and significantly increase your chances of success at the poker table.

While these tips can enhance your gameplay and strategy, here are some typical mistakes players make:

Don’t: Slow play

Slow playing in poker is a technique where a player will assess their hand and opt for an amount that won’t look too aggressive instead of betting the maximum.

While this can be beneficial in specific contexts, it is generally not advisable as it allows opponents to draw out excellent hands and get away with beating you. Slow playing can also lead to you checking behind on draws with strong hands and losing valuable chips.

Generally, when you have a solid hand in poker, it’s more profitable to bet heavily and put pressure on your opponents. This approach makes your opponents less likely to call or raise against you if they’ve got nothing or a weak holding, resulting in maximized potential winnings.

Don’t: Rely solely on luck.

Although luck is always a component of poker, relying on it alone is a surefire way to decrease your chances of success. Good players know how to read their opponents and adjust their strategy accordingly while recognizing the odds within a given hand.

Staying informed and in tune with the ongoing game action gives savvy players an advantage because they can spot potential weaknesses or traps set by their opponents.

As a result, the best poker players tend to be the ones who understand that luck can only take them so far. True mastery requires skill and finesse honed from practice and learning from mistakes.

Don’t: Play too passively.

To become a successful poker player, avoid playing without resistance. Taking a passive approach means letting your opponents call or raise more than they should, which can put you at a disadvantage.

The best way to approach poker is by proactively raising or betting when appropriate. As long as you exercise discipline and wait for the right opportunities, you’ll find yourself in a position to win more often. Being more active also allows you to control the size of the pot and how much money is at risk on every hand. So, if your goal is to make money playing poker, remember that aggressive strategies outrank passive strategies any day of the week.

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Improve your game with online poker.

If you follow these tips, avoid the mistakes listed, and keep practicing, you should see a marked improvement in your poker skills. With enough practice, you might even become good enough to make poker your career.

The best way to train is by playing online poker. With a wide variety of poker games and one-click access, online poker is supremely convenient. It also offers site bonuses and the ability to multi-table, allowing you to boost your profits as you become an experienced player.