Below are articles and other resources that can help you as a beginning Poker Player learn what you need in order to play successfully against other beginners. Poker is a deceptively difficult game to play at a very high level, but at the beginning and intermediate levels, nearly everyone who plays enjoys the thrill of the challenge of it. Luck does play some role, so there are people who’ve never played a hand who end up winning big pots in their first games. The real key to long term Poker Success is to learn as much as possible about the game, control your emotions, and play smart. Anyway – GET ON WITH IT!
How Should Poker Beginners Get Started?
You’re on the right page. Read this page from top to bottom and get started with some of the suggestions. This is how I got started, and from what I’ve heard from other Poker Pros, I went about it the right way.
Poker is a game of skill and a game of chance. Chance is not the major portion of the game, poker skills are FAR more important. Still, an 8-year-old can get dealt a pair of Aces and get a couple of aces on the flop taking down a massive pot – including some of your money. It happens. Don’t get rekt, just regroup and keep playing according to your skillful strategy.
People who play poker successfully long-term – for years and decades and scores of years are those who focus on getting better. There are many ways to do so, but probably nothing beats playing MANY hands and getting used to seeing all sorts of Poker Hands and all sorts of Poker Players.
What do most people do? They play Poker a couple of times with friends, maybe with the family during get togethers. They like it. They win some, they lose more. They lose a lot more if they’re playing against any skillful players, but for the most part few people are skilled if they’re not playing regularly and making real effort to get better.
The harsh truth about playing poker is that for someone to win, others have to lose. That’s the cold harsh truth. You can be a winner or a loser. You know what feels better? Right. You need to be a winner.
Another truth about playing Poker is that the winners don’t ALWAYS win. It’s impossible. Luck does play some part. Winning Poker Players who support themselves solely on their Poker Winnings lose hands. They lose at a table. They post a loss after an entire session. A winning player can post a loss after playing a marathon 20 hour session, and you know what?
That’s normal. I mean, that’s within the range of normal for great players. You win some, you lose some. You know the song. Wait, you do know the song, right? (link here)
So, great players can have a losing session, a losing day. They can have losing WEEKS and MONTHS, and some even say they have losing YEARS. Is that true? I don’t know. I’d question my abilities after a couple of losing months. It would take a lot of fortitude to keep playing after losing for 12 months, or even losing 7 out of 12 months. Seems like it would be time to study a helluva lot harder, or start playing more fish.
Fish are the players that are easy to beat. Sharks are the ones who beat the fish. Most people who play in live Poker Games are slightly to mostly fishy. They may think they’re good. Probably they had some good hands or a massive heater (good luck streak) in the past and they think they are better than they are.
When you play for money, when you play to win, YOU MUST PLAY FISH.
At least there has to be 1-2 fish at the table, right? If you can’t find the fish at the table, then it’s probably YOU.
Online games can be tough, but you’ll find there are still tables of fish playing loosely (not conservatively) where you can win consistently.
There are many Poker Players shooting Poker Vlogs on YouTube. Some of them are very entertaining. If you love Poker, and you want to see what some skilled players would do with their hands, most of them cover some selection of their hand histories for the world to see. This can help you immensely.
You know what I’ve learned as I watch these semi-pro players?
Some of them have real issues with playing conservatively and folding their junk hands. One guy, I won’t mention his name, but he says a number of times in every video as he recounts his hands… “I just couldn’t find the fold.” Problem is, he lost 80% of those hands. He gets attached to the thrill of winning when he doesn’t have a winning hand. It happens sometimes, sure, about 20% of the time in his case. I’m guessing on percentage, but it’s not large.
Truly great players can reign in their undisciplined play.
If this player I’m talking about could just reign it in, he’d be banking even more money each session. Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for the occasional loose play. Maybe you get a read off a player (a tell) and you want to test it. But you can’t play your entire life like that – testing tells you’re not sure about. It’s a great way to start losing long-term and then you wonder what happened!
Anyway. There are plenty of ways to play poker, and you’ll find your way. Choose a smart, emotionless way to play and you’ll have a more productive time of it. You won’t have the most fun – the most highs and lows – but you’ll probably continue playing longer if you’re playing conservatively and winning fairly often. At least I would!