Not mine .....but good advive for the newer players......
The poker scene has grown immensely in the last few years as many new players have entered the poker world. But the poker world is a predatory one, with concepts of evolution and natural selection in full force. The strong survive and the weak go broke and find other pastimes.
Nobody takes up golf and plays like Tiger Woods. But for some reason, many new players come to the poker world expecting that they can and will do well with little practice and preparation. The fact is, many, many people enjoy golf, with no expectation of playing on a competitive professional level. They ó we, actually, as I am a bit of a duffer myself ó play for the fun of it. And thatís how it should be. Of course, thereís an element of competitive drive. Whatever we undertake, we like to do well. Some people have more competitive spirit than others, but pretty much everyone would rather win than lose. And poker is like golf in that way.
And like golf ó or any other competitive endeavor ó practice and preparation make your game better, and increase your chances of besting your opponents. And also like golf, there are some basics that you just have to know, both for the game to be fun and for you to have a chance to win.
If you are new to the game, you need to learn how to play. If you donít have some clue, poker will be an expensive hobby and no fun. Like most things in life, there is a hard way and an easy way to learn. You can try to acquire poker skills from experience, the school of hard knocks, learning from your errors and trying to get a conceptual feel for the game by expending effort and time to do so. For some it is an effective school, but reading and discussing poker can dramatically shorten the time and cost to develop skills. Finding and studying quality books or getting a mentor who has the ability, time, and desire to help you with your game is a much faster road to prosperity.
That said, there are some basic errors that many people who are new to the game seem to make, errors that are quite easy to avoid. Most of these players play way too many hands. They are just excited to be there and wanna play. But correct poker strategy
requires patience to wait for good situations. Experienced players have the knowledge to differentiate between playable and unplayable situations. Inexperienced players do not, and for that reason, if you are new to the game, you ought play only premium hands. There is not enough space in one column to address correct hand-selection strategies. Several poker books
have good general guidelines, but keep in mind that guidelines are generalizations and that correct strategy is based on situational analysis.
One common weakness in new players in holdíem is overvaluing suited cards, as you have only around a 6 percent chance of making a flush, and that includes the assumption that you are going to stick around to catch runner-runner when one of your suit is on the board (which is generally not the correct play). New players tend to overplay suited connectors and gappers, without thinking through how much trouble 10-high or 8-high flush draws can be in against quality hands.
Another leak in many new playersí games is that they find themselves playing too many dominated hands, hands in which one or both of their cards prevent them from having the best hand if they make only one pair. For example, you call a double raise with A-10 and find out that one of your opponents has a pair higher than tens wired in the pocket, and another has an ace with a higher kicker, thereby creating a situation in which you must hit at least two good cards for your hand in order to make the best hand. As your knowledge and experience levels grow, you can loosen up over time, but if you are inexperienced, it is generally better to make your errors on the side of being too tight, rather than too loose. It is also important to understand that hands have greater value in late position than they do in early position. This is because you can base your decisions on a greater level of information after your opponents have checked, bet, and so on.
As is the case on the golf course, a big factor in how youíll do over time is choosing the right people to play against. In a foursome with your club pro, youíre not likely to do well. You need to choose the poker game
you play in with this thought in mind. Generally, in poker, the higher you play, the tougher you will find your opponents to be. This seems to be most meaningful above the $5-$10 limit. Below that level, you are almost always competing against other amateurs, and their edge against you, especially if youíre reading this, is not likely to be significant.
Another error that beginners (and many experienced players, for that matter) make is letting their emotions get the best of them. Poker is full of bad beats. Itís disappointing to lose a big pot on the river, especially to a slim draw. But that does not justify getting mad and either treating your opponents disrespectfully or throwing good money after bad. If you donít have the emotional strength to maintain control, leave the table. If it is a repetitive issue and you continuously lose control, find a mellower hobby!
It is important when starting out in poker to understand your limitations. Many beginning players think poker is just common sense, and that because they are smart, they will automatically be good. While mental skills are an important component of poker, there is much to be learned. If you really are smart, it will still take you significant time to acquire strategies, feel, and situational-play knowledge. So, if youíre just starting out, donít think you are going to take the poker world by storm immediately, and donít play at a level at which financial loses can damage you economically.
It is also important to understand your goals. Somebody who has visions of competing on the tournament circuit someday should approach the game quite differently from somebody who is looking to have some fun in a competitive way, and perhaps make a few bucks at it. What you expect from your time playing poker will determine your playing style, the games you should choose, and much more.
Too many inexperienced players do not protect their hands. If you make a hand and think it might be good, donít be intimidated into calling when players behind you are yet to act. As a general rule, play your hand as the best hand, and charge others to draw. If you let your opponents draw cheaply, they are often making a correct bet in doing so, and you do not want to give them opportunities to draw correctly when they can be avoided. So, when you make a hand that you think might be good but could be outdrawn, play it aggressively when there are players yet to act behind you.
Along the same lines, donít play in a manner in which your opponents can consistently read you. Mix things up. Iím not saying that you should go crazy, by any means, but every once in a while, play a hand differently from how you would normally play it. A good time to do this is early in a session, against observant opponents, as it will have more impact than after you have been in the game for a while because it creates deception for a greater duration of time. If your opponents can read your playbook, it will not be effective.
Poker is a complex game, with much to know. Learning to play well is a process, and it can be an expensive one. If you start with the important fundamentals, and reduce the major costly errors, your learning curve will be shortened and the cost will be greatly reduced. So, if you are new to the game, keep your thoughts on some important fundamentals: Play quality starting hands, while keeping your position in mind. If you make a hand, play it aggressively and donít let your opponents draw cheaply. Donít try to step up too quickly or put yourself in games that are over your head, either in quality of opponents or financial stakes. Donít let your opponents get a line on your play; mix it up, but donít overdo it.
And most importantly, make every day a learning experience.
Ours is a wonderful game, and all of the new players have made it even better. But the best thing for you and for poker is for you to survive economically! Put some time in on the driving range and putting green, work on your swing ó and make your game a more fulfilling and rewarding experience!
Not mine ....but good advice anyway.........