I’ve been playing poker for over 5 years now and I often think back to when I started playing and I wish I could do several things over again. 5 years ago there wasn’t a million poker strategy sites on the web, and I just had to learn by losing.
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If I would have followed a few simple poker tips back then, I would have easily won a ton more money than I did, and lost a hell of a lot less too. So I thought some of you would find my “Top 10 Poker Tips” useful and hopefully it will save you some money too.
#1 – Don’t play every hand or play too many hands
When my wife and I started playing poker we played almost every hand. One of the biggest mistakes new players make is playing too many hands and playing hands out of position. We will skip the “position” part and just focus on the playing too many hands part.
The bottom line is that you should be playing only good starting hands if you are a new player. You can open up your range as you get more experience playing poker, but for now just fold those suited connectors.
#2 – Stop Bluffing!
I think a majority of poker players have seen all the big name pros pulling off huge bluffs on TV, but playing online poker is not TV, and bluffing is an art and not something you should do on a regular basis. Don’t get me wrong, bluffing is a part of the game, but it is not a huge part.
So, the next time you are playing poker, just forget about bluffing and work on playing a solid game of poker.
#3 – Don’t keep people honest
What I mean by this is that you do not need to take a stand against another player just because he’s playing too loose. You do not want to be the table sheriff! even if you are sure he is just betting and bluffing.
I hear players say “I know you got me, but I have to keep you honest”, which is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard at the poker table. If you think you are beat, you probably are. It is not your job to be the bluff catcher.
#4 – Don’t throw good money after bad
In poker sometimes things just don’t go your way. I have been guilty of throwing good money after bad before too. One card can change and ruin a hand and sometimes it can be extremely frustrating and we end up calling additional bets even though we know we are beat.
So, if a hand takes a nasty turn and you think you are beat, just muck your hand and move on to the next. Poker and life don’t always go our way.
#5 – Pay attention to the table
When you are first learning texas hold’em it can be challenging enough to remember your cards. You can have major advantage if you pay close attention to the flop and other players. After every flop you should know what the best possible hand could be, and you need to gauge how strong your hand is by comparison.
This is a more advanced tip, but one you will never stop using and one you MUST have to win at texas hold’em.
#6 – Don’t Play mad, sad, or tired
Poker is a challenging game and it will take all of your mental energy to focus and play your “A” game. Never play when you are sick, angry, or upset because you will not be able to play poker effectively.
This tip seems obvious, but I know many players that have blown their poker bankroll after a fight with their “old ladies”.
#7 – Pay Attention to other players
Of course this proves impossible when playing online poker, but when you are playing “live” poker you should be watching the other players especially when you not in the hand. Watch players when they bet, wins hands, lose hands, etc. everyone gives off tells and information and these bits of information will help you win more money playing poker.
#8 – Play within your bankroll
This is another tip that will hit home with a lot of players. I’ve known plenty of friends that have tried to play $1/$2 NL with a $200 Bankroll which is only 1 buy-in. When they take a bad beat or make a mistake, then lose their bankroll and have to start over.
Of course I tell the students I coach that it is ok to take a shot at higher limits if there is a good game, but you should never be able to lose your bankroll because of a few bad beats. You need to have a cushion.
#9 – Play Games you understand
This tips applies more now than ever. For the past few years Texas hold’em has dominated the casinos and online poker rooms. Now players are moving towards mixed games like H.O.R.S.E., RAZZ, 5 Card Draw, Omaha, and The 8 Game.
These are all great games, but they have much different rules, odds, and strategy than texas hold’em does. so make sure you do plenty of research before you sit down at one of these games.
#10 – Games are supposed to be fun!
This is the most important tip for me and many players i know. Sometimes we all forget that poker is a game and games should be fun. If you are not having fun and enjoying playing poker, then don’t play! You might just need some time off, but do not let poker affect your life and well being.
Poker is a great game and meant to be enjoyed and can be very rewarding. it it important to keep this in mind sometimes when things are not going well at the tables. Poker is a game and money is how we keep score.
Anyway, that is my top 10 Poker tips, I hope some of these are useful to you and will help you keep things in perspective while you are playing Texas hold’em.