Every experienced poker player starts out as an amateur playing poker with people they don’t know. If this describes your poker experience, then this article should help you improve your game.
Top 10 Poker Tips to Help You Get Better Fast
Things that are obvious to poker players with even a moderate amount of experience are not necessarily obvious to inexperienced players. We have narrowed the list down to 10 tips for now.
1. Play Poker Online
One of the things new players need to take into account is that poker players who play in land based poker rooms are a lot more experienced than players who play poker online. This does not mean that they are always better than inexperienced players for two reasons. First, there are some poker players who never get much better than they were the first time they sat down to play. Second, you might be a natural, better than most from the outset.
As far as getting better is concerned, that is the specific purpose of this article.
As far as being a natural is concerned, there are few natural poker champions and you don’t have to be a natural to be a very good poker player.
So, tip #1 is to play online poker. Here are a few good reasons why we, at Intertops Poker, think that this is the #1 tip:
- You won’t have any of the costs of travelling to a land based poker room.
- You can play a lot more hands.
- You won’t feel intimidated by your opponents.
- You can easily record every hand. This will be tip #2, by the way.
- You can play entirely within your general daily schedule.
- You don’t have to worry yet about tells.
2. Record Every Hand
If you are a sports fan, you know that every sport can be narrowed down to a body of statistics. Some sports are more conducive to statistical analysis than others. Fortunately, poker is one of the sports or games that are very conducive to statistical analysis. When you play poker online, you can record every hand not just the hands you play.
You will muck a very large percentage of hands before the flop so to record only the hands you play would reduce the collection of hands to a small number. In addition, you can learn as much or possibly more by observing and analyzing the hands other players played.
When you do record your own hands, you should also record exactly how you felt on each street and on each bet. This will help you when it comes time to determine if you will be a basically passive player or an aggressive player. It will also help you when you start to deal with your own tells.
3. Respect the Meaning of Position
If you aren’t one of the blinds, you have no obligation to stay in the hand. It’s not only okay to fold a bad hand; it’s the correct thing to do.
Sometimes it is also good to limp in. Here we want you to understand that to limp in in early position is usually a losing action. In that situation, which repeats again and again for all players, the proper move is to fold.
However, even if you have a bad hand but you are betting in late position, aggressive action might be in line if you feel that other players have limped in before you.
4. Play More Aggressively when You are the Big Blind
You bet in late position. Everyone who stays in the pot to you has either called or raised the big blind. You already have a lot of money, relatively speaking, in the pot. In this position and with this level of risk, it is usually good to be more aggressive.
5. Don’t Pigeon Hole Yourself
In the end, you might be a basically passive or a basically aggressive player. Most likely, you will be somewhere in between. When you are just starting out, pick your moments to try out a passive approach or an aggressive approach.
You can find pots where a bluff might not cost you much if you lose. You learn a lot about your opponents and about yourself when you go out of your comfort zone. Poker is basically about how to deal with being out of our comfort zone. So, try new ideas and pay very close attention to how the hand played out and how you felt all the way through the hand.
6. Never Play above Your Bankroll
Most people are not high rollers and most poker players need to be content playing for relatively small stakes. When you play in a low stakes game, you get to play a lot of hands that you might miss if you had a run of bad luck in a high stakes game.
There may come a time when you feel confident enough to enter a high stakes game that requires you to bring a larger bankroll. The key is to develop the confidence to do so over time. We refer back to the thought that few players are naturals; we all need to gain mountains of experience that we learn from and become more confident from.
7. Play Games You Like
Even though Texas Hold’em is The Game these days does not mean that it is your game. When you play online, you can find other forms of poker where it might be more difficult to find other poker games at a land based poker room with limited space.
8. Attend Poker Tournaments as a Spectator
You won’t become a better football or tennis player by watching others play but you can definitely improve your poker game by watching other players in a tournament. You see the good and the bad, the hero calls and the fantastic bluffs, and you see players of all skill levels.
You might at some point decide that one of the players you are watching is “you”. When that happens, sharpen your concentration and learn how “you” can get better.
9. Play when Your Mood is Correct
If you enter a tournament, you have to play in accordance with the rules of the tournament but if you play online you can make your own rules. It is very important to understand that you don’t have to set a rigid poker playing schedule for yourself.
There are many possible reasons to postpone playing for a period of time. You might have family or work responsibilities. These are the most obvious. You might not feel well. Poker is hard enough when you feel great so when you feel even slightly less than great it’s probably bets to postpone poker and play something else.
10. To Thine Own Self be True
We always urge every player to play ultimately for fun. By knowing who you are, you’ll learn which game you like the most and are best suited for, what your bankroll should be when you start a session, and whether you lean towards aggressiveness or passivity in playing poker.
There are great players who lean one way or the other. The key is that they know themselves. So, let poker be a great teacher and be true to yourself.