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Poker Tips: Online and Real-Life By Simon Fitzpatrick 11.12.13

Poker Tips: Online and Real-Life

By Simon Fitzpatrick 11.12.13





It seems that everyone and their grandmother is playing poker these days, whether online, in a casino or round the kitchen table. Whether you’re new to the game or you’ve been playing a while, a few tips never hurt anyone – especially as a refresher course. If you play a lot it’s easy to fall into bad habits, so here’s a recap of fundamental strategies. We’ve concentrated on Texas hold ‘em because of its popularity, though of course many of these ideas will translate to other poker games.

General Tips

Fold more. Unless you’re one of those people who almost never plays a hand, if you’re a relatively new player you probably need to do this. After you’ve played thousands of hands it’ll be the ones you did play – and lost money on – that’ll you’ll regret, rather than the ones you didn’t.

Revise your starting hands. Not just the obvious unsuited low pairs, which hopefully you’re throwing away anyway, but how strongly to bet on playable but potentially troublesome hands like unsuited A-10.

Revise positional play. This is really basic stuff, but so many new players either ignore it or don’t understand it. Just remember it’s good to be the dealer; post-flop, you’ll play last in any hand, and might chance playing more marginal cards.

Bluff less. And when you do, be sure that you’re bluffing against a player who’s bluffable. The only way you’re possibly going to know that is by playing against them for a while.

Don’t drink. Easy to say, harder to do for many – particularly if you’re the kind of person who really wants to play after a couple of beers! If that sounds like you, at least stick to lower stakes games...

Concentrate on the table cards more. Lock your hand into your head so you don’t have to keep looking at your cards (unless you’re doing that as some kind of bluff), and spend more time working out possible hands from the flop. Watch your opponents more while you’re at it!

Online Tips

So, you’ve logged on to a site like http://www.gamingclub.co.uk for the first time. If you’re new to the online game, or just new to a particular site, start with the lowest possible stakes and use it as an opportunity to get comfortable with the software.

Once you’re OK with the game itself, start thinking about the various bonuses on offer, the variety of games (not just hold ‘em) and the time issues of the particular site you’ve chosen. Watch a few games first – you might be surprised how quick they can be.

If you’ve found a site you like and you’re planning to play online a lot, think about making your playing area more comfortable. Anything you can do to improve lighting and overall comfort will help.

There’s a multitude of software designed for the serious online player out there – some swear by it, some hate it, some sites don’t allow it, but it’s worth thinking about.

Live Tips

If you’re new to casino play, tip #1 is – keep your mouth shut! At least at first, and for your own good, just listen to the dealer and concentrate.

Keep your chips tidy. It’s something you don’t have to worry about online of course, but you need to know what you’ve got to play with. Also, you don’t want to look too much like a novice.

As always, start low and be careful until you stop feeling intimidated. If you don’t stop feeling intimidated – go home. Arrange more live games with friends until you’re comfortable playing against strangers.

(Images courtesy of pokerstockphotos.com, inohow.co.uk, whatasuckout.com, casinogames-x.com)