Learning to play Poker...some Do's and Don'ts

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VegasGrinder

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Some Basic Advice on where to Learn to improve your game and where not.

1) Books. Lots of good Books with Great Poker Knowledge. I recomend Sklansky, Harrington, Caro and Brunson.

2) DVD/Videos. Lots of bad one but there are some decent ones out there. Especialy for Beginners or if you find your self playing bad hands such as A, Trash or Calling a 4X BB raise A, J off suit.

3) Experiance. Play Online and Live if possible. The more you play the better you will get. When you lose a Show down, Go through every move in your head and figure out where you went wrong. Ask yourself if you made the right raise at the right time...Should you have layed it down when you were check raised on the flop etc. Keep in mind that the low stakes games online have a lot of bad play. Most likely going to get sucked out on in these games. Sit-N-Gos start getting full tables of solid players at $50 ad up. The $20+ can be ok with only a hand full of bad players. Cash games $2/$4 Blinds and up will get you the better play.



Where NOT to Learn

1) TV.....I can not stress this enough. Do NOT use TV to learn how to play. You are watching 45 minutes of a final table. Final Table takes 3 to 5 hours in these Major Tourneys on TV. They only show hands where there is excitement. People bluffing or playing weak hands etc. Most of these hands you see them play, They do ot play those type hands earlier in the tourney.
Keep in mind at this point in these tourneys, they are paying a ante every hand and the blinds are extremely large. They are invested in every pot and the Blinds can eat you up quik. This forces them to play hands that normaly would get tossed in the trash.


2) Play Money and Free Rolls. This isn't Poker....This is just an Allin see who gets lucky game. No skill required here.
 
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railman305

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I agree with not watching TV, too many kids just love saying all in, its a joke
 
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superjord

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if you don't think playing for play money is a good way of learning how do you suppose you should learn without losing a load of money?
 
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mrjoetoyou

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i think real moneys the only way,

you learn to become numb to the fact its money,

and when you have bad beats your forced to imprrove your game or quit poker

(and we all know that quiting poker isn't happening)
 
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rossie75

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My great Grandmother Taught me to play, with pennies. Sometime you got to keep them sometimes you didn't but you never knew until the game was over, and when you lost what you started with you sat and watched. no "rebuys". After My Great Grandmothers Funeral i Played with some of my Family and Took the Worst Beat i ever had to them. that's a lesson well taught and lear:musicus:ned
 
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jbsit

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Benj253 said:
I think its best to learn with real money. That way you aren't too loose with it.
I agree. This was my first weekend playing with real money and I've learned more this weekend than I did in the past 18 months of playing off and on (8 weeks spread over 18 months). Currently I'm up about $2.50 from 4-5 hours of $0.02/$0.04 limit hold'em games on pokerstars. So far it seems that all you really need to at least break even at such a low limit game is some basic knowledge and the discipline to fold, fold, fold while you're waiting for the pot with your name on it.
 
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MOD2k4

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CHECK O OUT LEARNER AND SKLANSKY IF YOU MIX THE 2 OF THERE POKER STRATEGYS FOR 1 YOU WILL HAVE A BORING GAME BUT THE HANDS THAT YOU DO PLAY WILL HAVE EXCITING REWARDS
 
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rr_34

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I'm still fairly new but winning pretty well so far (meaning take or leave my advice - I may not know much). At least learning is still fresh in my head.

I don't like the ultra-low limit table games, because a lot of people play like it's a slot machine. (may as well play a freeroll). It's hard to prove out good techniques and build good habits there. I can win $ at quarter bb & up, but find it easier money & a lot more interesting to play single table low entry tournaments, or in a "steps" format (party poker has this - anywhere else?) It's a great practice format if you know you're not likely to win $ t first but can stretch your training budget by winning re-tries if you make the top half of the table. It lets you practice reading people, as they won't move you around like they do on bigger multi-table games. Some sites will also send you tournament recaps hand by hand which is a painful but helpful lesson for you to review later. Can't get that from ring play.

Also, start using the "notes" feature on players you meet. It's amazing how just being able to look up where you saw someone before and how they were playing helps later (big fish playing at a small table? someone you've routinely spotted playing multiple tables at once? good things to know!). I also found that my attention to detail got better when I started using my post-fold time trying to understand other players, recall their moves & patterns and write them down. Helped with deepening knowledge of the game beyond the initial natural focus on my own play.
 
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bobbymac48

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For some reason I have trouble reading players with straight draws.I might have 2 pair and guess my concentration is so deep i get caught on river quite a few times. How can I avoid this downfall in my game
 
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VegasGrinder

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Bobby, Always look at the Board and figure out what hands can matchup. This includes straights, flushes, oats or whatever. Also figure out what the 5 best possible hands are.
 
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bakl68

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Vegas, I agree. The poker on TV is more entertainment than actual "value," educationally speaking. And combining both reading and playing $$ games definitely offers players the best experience. Sklansky is a very worthwhile read, but he's very heavy on the numbers and calculations. Harrington, McEvoy, and Warren each have great books as well. I haven't read Brunson's SuperSystem (I or II) yet.
 
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CoachMKV

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Real money is the best way to learn the game. Someone going allin and the only thing you lose is the hand has no value and skill involved.
 
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hotrod13

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real money is the way to learn the most. I have a buddy that played play and thought he had learned all he needed to know. He won some real money on a freeroll, and played the same games (limit, sit & gos, etc.), and came back to me and said he had a lot to learn after he lost it all. He was used to those sit and gos where 4 dummies go all in the first hand, then there are just 7 people left (3 in 7 chance of coming in a winning place).


Also people who want to play real money and think they can't afford it, here are few suggestions I do to save a little extra to play with, keep your change nickels dimes quarters when you get change, it adds up real quick. Another suggestion which they have here in oklahoma is free checking with a free $50 bonus with direct deposit, but this bank let me direct deposit any amount so I deposit $5 a check, and got the free $50. Playing for money is fun, but don't play with money you can't afford to lose. Most sites will let you deposit as low as $20.

sorry for rambling on,

hotrod13
 
bubbasbestbabe

bubbasbestbabe

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I disagree about the freerolls. Nothing teaches you faster not togo all in by losing at them. Freerolls are the easiest to learn at as they don't hurt you in the pocket. when you are ready you go on from there.
 
schavin

schavin

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Freerolls can teach you

In freerolls you can learn. Mostly how not to play the game. Its another good place to pick up on how other people play. What do they use to their advantage? Do they use their time to think? Do they always jump right when its their turn? How much are they raising? How many people call. Look at what these people call with, when they called with it. Any experience is experience no matter how bad.
 
t1riel

t1riel

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I think you can also learn from somebody else's bad beats or stupid moves.:mad:
 
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ruffcut68

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I think you can also learn from somebody else's bad beats or stupid moves.:mad:

That is a great point.
Even if you can't afford the limits at the time watch some of the games and see what you learn!
 
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ocbengtson

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I think if you can last in a freeroll til the second break you get into some pretty decent play, at least better than the low limit ring games. I think the biggest mistake I see people make is overplay A-garbage, like calling three bets before the flop and what not.
 
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aarogorn_

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I think the freerolls are a good place to learn. First, fold for thr first hour and don't get cuaght up in the rookies that just go all in. Second it is a good place to experiement with different strageties. Practice disciplined aggressive play at different times during the tournament. Any practice is good, real money or freerolls.
I agree with the reading part, can't get enough poker books.
 
Chris_TC

Chris_TC

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1) TV.....I can not stress this enough. Do NOT use TV to learn how to play. You are watching 45 minutes of a final table. Final Table takes 3 to 5 hours in these Major Tourneys on TV. They only show hands where there is excitement. People Bluffing or playing weak hands etc. Most of these hands you see them play, They do ot play those type hands earlier in the tourney.
I highly recommend Poker After Dark, I think it's the best poker show ever.
You've got 6 pros playing a winner take all, there's little commentary besides the table talk, and best of all: they show almost every single hand.
 
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robert19876

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Never play "play money" online. It will make you a horrible player. I also find freerolls hurt my game.
 
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