I recently had a friend ask me an interesting poker question. What advice I could offer in terms of how a learning poker player should start out and not lose their shirt. What were some core fundamentals? He’d only played a few local poker tournaments and been to Vegas once. After a few thousand dollars invested he had only a clay poker chip set to show for it. It was a door prize.
As I sat there talking to him he had a single red clay chip set in the palm of his hand. I asked him about it. He said it was his last Las Vegas chip. He kept it as a reminder. He’d recently taken a trip there to play cards capsa banting. He had been drawn to the poker tables as a newbie and lost more then he could afford. What quick fixes could he make to reduce the chances of a recurrence?
I was the right person to answer this. I’ve sat behind my share of poker chip stacks. Everybody has heard the tight is right strategy. It’s not difficult to find a color coded starting hands chart to memorize. It doesn’t take rocket science to know to raise AA. What beginners need to add to their arsenal are some intangibles.
First and foremost you need make good decisions at the poker table. Take the time to evaluate each individual decision as it’s own unit. Don’t allow other players or the rare impatient dealer to “force your hand” too quickly. In fact, ignoring these other influences is an exercise in itself. If you observe, you will see that many others are also taking time when they need it.
That leads to the next key point. Observe. You may not have played as many hands as the shark to your right, and you may not be able to shuffle your chips as skillfully as she, but if you pay attention to the table while you are there you will not lose an advantage in terms of information available in that moment. By simply relaxing and observing individuals you will have some sense of how to make decisions against them when experience isn’t providing the answers.
None of the above advice will help if one does not stay within their bankroll. It is simply impossible to make solid decisions with the fear of losing money present. Make sure to be in a game where the color of chip sets you at ease. In other words, be relaxed and worry free when you are playing. Remind yourself repeatedly this is a game. The goal is competition and fun.
Whether you are playing Limit or No Limit texas hold em poker applying the above theories will improve even the first time player’s odds of booking a win. Complementing these ideas with the sheer data of the individual hands will build a solid core of poker success in the long run.