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Basic Poker Strategy Tips for Beginners

The game of poker is bigger now than at any time in the past. Seen for a long time as being strictly for grizzled gamblers, it has a much wider appeal nowadays.

Much of the credit for bringing poker to a fresh audience must go to gambling sites on the internet. By enabling people to play it from their own homes, they have made getting into poker easier and more convenient than ever before.

That is not the only way they have opened the game up for new people though. The top online poker sites like 888 feature varied poker games for people of differing experience levels.

They combine that with enticing bonuses and promotional offers and even tips to teach people some of the basics. That is important, because the rules of poker can seem daunting for beginners.

Here we are going to outline some simple strategies that new players can deploy to get better at poker.

Why You Need Strategies

The ease and accessibility of online poker means that many more people are now playing it. That does not necessarily mean that they are all playing it well though.

Poker is an advanced casino game that can see overly ‘green’ players get eaten alive. If you just want to jump in and start winning money straight away, the slots will be a better choice for you.

Good poker play requires some grasp of the rules and basic strategy to avoid losing your shirt. While you may have limited control over the cards you are dealt, strategy will teach when and when not to play them.

That can be the difference between winning and losing. Read on to learn more.

  1. Avoid playing every hand

People who are new to poker often make the mistake of assuming they need to play every hand they get dealt. The thinking is something along the lines of “you have to be in it to win it.”

That is true, but it is not possible to win with every hand of cards. All playing a bad hand will do is increase the likelihood of you losing money.

Cutting your losses and folding on a weak hand is a smart and valid game strategy.

  1. Avoid bluffing too often

That leads nicely onto tip number two: don’t overuse the bluff. Bluffing is probably the most well known poker strategy and means trying to convince opponents that your hand is better than it really is.

Because everyone knows it, new players tend to rely on it too much. That is not helped by poker videos that show top players winning with amazing bluffs.

In reality, such players use this tactic sparingly in games. For one thing, the more it is used, the more predictable it becomes for opponents.

  1. Watch the other players

If you have a bad hand and have decided to fold, your time out of the play does not have to be wasted. Use it to watch your opponents as closely as possible.

Look for patterns in how they play and for ‘tells’. That means little things they do involuntarily that give away the fact that they have a strong hand.

  1. Familiarise yourself with the rules and hand rankings

The basic rules of poker are not all that complicated, as the goal is just to get the strongest hand possible. You cannot really know what a strong hand is without understanding the rankings though.

For example, a Royal Flush (ace, king, queen, jack and 10) is the best hand. Then there is a Straight Flush (five sequential cards of the same suit).

Other very good poker hands include a Full House (three cards of the same denomination coupled with two of the same denomination) and a Flush (any five cards of the same suit).

  1. Understand table position

Your position can really be crucial in poker. This is particularly true in Texas Holdem – but that is one of the most common types played.

The ideal table position is as the final player to bet on a hand. The reason for this is that it will give you the chance to assess the strength of the other players before making a move.

Table position can potentially help a weak hand work in your favour. It certainly makes sense to bet more often when in later positions.

  1. Play for low stakes at first

A lot of people deride low stakes poker games, but why gamble lots of money when you are learning the game? Playing for less cash will make you less nervous which is always an advantage in a tense, psychological game like poker.

It will also let you feel your way into poker by playing against less skilled opponents. You will know when the time has come to move up to higher stakes, because you will be winning too easily.

  1. Play when you are happy

Our final piece of advice for people new to poker is to restrict your play to times when you are happy. Playing when angry or melancholy will just lead to making mistakes.

Poker bets must always be based on sound strategy and thought, never on emotions. If you feel yourself getting caught up emotionally during a game, step away from it.

If you follow these simple strategies, you can experience success as a new poker player.