Are you on your way out to play your first poker game? Maybe some friends or family, or people from the office have invited you over for a poker tournament, and you’re really excited about it.
The problem with having an appointment is that you never know if that person will actually show up or not. You may have a job interview, or you may not (maybe you’re on a date). Either way, you have a general idea of how to proceed with the event, but the anxiety of actually getting there, and the anticipation of finally being successful at the game, can build up and cause problems.
The fact of the matter is that if you don’t know much about poker, or the poker game, you’re going to have a hard time getting the most out of the game. So, if you have a few tips about getting a lot more out of your game than you’re used to, consider the following 10 things you absolutely must know about poker.
- The number one rule for poker tournaments is to make sure you know how to play before you get involved in one. If you’re nervous about the game or feel like you need a little more practice, finding free games online or watching live games on television can help to ease those worries. If you’re not sure how to play, ask a friend who is familiar with the game to teach you.
- Be sure to dress appropriately for the poker game. Poker is played from the comfort of your home, but if you want to look smart and presentable, you should think about bringing a jacket or some other suitable coverage while you play. Bring just a small baggy t-shirt and a baseball shirt, and you’ll look just like one of the players you’re watching on television.
- Practice your poker face. If you’ve been losing at the poker table, it’s probably time to work on improving your poker face. Sure, you can hire someone to teach you how to do it or you can do it yourself in small bits at first. Start out with your left hand, and then slowly make your right hand, and try to maintain the same stance throughout the game.
- Don’t bluff unless you have a really good hand. If you have a really good hand, no matter if you’ve had a few drinks or not, you won’t get anywhere near as many suckouts or double-ups as you will if you’re playing smart.
- Learn the game. You’re not going to get anywhere in poker simply by playing a few hands or memorizing a few strategies. If you want to be a good poker player, you need to get hands on the game. Try to read as many books and strategies about the game as you can, but remember that you’ll never get ahead of everyone else.
- Know when to quit. Set yourself a boundaries. unlike in other sports, sometimes you’re going to get a run of bad luck. You peak and have a long downswing, so watch out. When you’re losing, set yourself a point you’re going to stop at and if you’re not up at that time, stop. Quit while you are somewhat up and don’t chase your loses with a higher bet.
- Protect your hand! This doesn’t just apply to blind protection, but also your stack protection. If nobody has bet before you, you don’t want to just throw away a decent hand. If the flop doesn’t look like it helped anybody, you don’t want to risk a big stack just to try to get back in the game.
- Know your position. This is probably the most important concept of the book. Position, particularly your position in relation to the button, is extremely important. As far as betting is concerned, you want to make sure you bet late when you have the best of it, and you can possibly get in position for a raise or re-raise.
- Know your opponents. Reading their play is incredibly complicated, but this is the first tip I’m going to give you. Just watch them. Will they play all their hands, will they fold their hand at all, will they call all their bets if they have nothing, etc. Just watch them.
- Feel the MPO777. Think about what it would feel like to actually be a professional gambler and how your life would change if you were actually good enough to win a lot of money. Try to imagine what you would do with all of the money you’d make and what you’d do with it all, and if you could do anything you wanted for the rest of your life. Then again, just imagine this for a second and realize that it’s not actually very possible, and you’re not actually that good.