In every poker game there are sharks who consistently win and there are fish who consistently lose. As a beginner, you want to quickly become one of the sharks. Many who are new to the game are under the mistaken apprehension that all that counts is luck - getting dealt the right cards at the right time. This couldn`t be further from the truth. If you watch the results of poker tournaments and cash games, you will notice that it is the same players who win time and time again. They don`t win all of the time, of course and it is possible for the novice player to win occasionally, but skill and experience will always win out over the long term.
In order to become a winner at poker you will need to quickly get a grasp on the basic strategies involved in the game. The good news is that this is not all that difficult. And once you have understood these concepts, you will have already reached a point that many beginners never get to. Over time, building on these basics, you will find that you can become a consistent winner.
One of the first things to learn is the idea of bankroll management. Despite the fact that poker is a game of skill, in the short term luck does play a major role. You can suffer a bad run of cards that leaves you losing a few pots in a row. In order to cover yourself against these short-term losses, make sure that you have sufficient money set aside. Good bankroll management involves having at least twenty buy-ins for cash games and something like forty or fifty or more for tournaments. This may seem a lot, but remember that in poker you have to think about the long term.
The first game you will probably encounter as a beginner to poker is No Limit Texas Hold`em. There are many other variants of the game but this is by far the most popular, so you should make sure you learn it well. In Hold`em, every player is dealt two cards face down. These are you hole cards and they are followed by a number of communal cards that are dealt face up in the middle of the table. You can use one or both of your hole cards, together with some of the communal cards, to make the best five-card poker hand. At each stage there is a round of betting, so if your hand improves you can put more into the pot, or if it doesn`t and other players are betting strongly you can fold.
Many beginners make the mistake of playing too many hands and also bluffing too much. A better way to play if you are new to poker is to stick to very strong starting hands, such as aces, kings, queens and other high pairs. Playing very tightly like this may seem boring at first but it will be profitable. As you learn and get better at the game you can increase the number of hands you play.
Don`t forget to see if there is a Groupon deal
available before splashing out on cards, chip sets, or special poker tables, or before signing up for an online card room.