When it comes to gambling – everybody, it seems, loves poker. Indeed, whether you are an occasional gambler or a seasoned expert – poker can be a favorite choice, whether played online or at a traditional casino. Knowing how the game works is one thing – playing like a pro is another. For this reason, this article will give some poker tips and advice for beginners seeking to become more skilled – and enabling them to become ‘pros’ at the game.
Play More Aggressively –
Whereas it is essential to gamble responsibly, and many players might suggest the opposite – playing more aggressively when it comes to the initial bets or ‘big blind’ on the hands you choose to play (see below), according to Nathan Williams – a 10-year poker pro, is very important. Firstly it gives you greater control over the hand or round, and secondly, it gives you greater control of the actual pot. On his site – Black Rain79, Mr. Williams suggests raising the ‘big blind’ up to three times on most hands. Bear this in mind.
Choose or Select The Hands You Play Carefully
While such advice seems to be in direct contrast to the advice given above, it is not. Firstly, even though it is important to play more aggressively so you control the pot and can win more, choosing the actual hand you are going to play or fold on is very important. According to Nathan Williams, this is a good poker strategy. In this light, it is essential for: ‘beginner poker players to keep it tight.’ So, choosing which hands you will play with and which hands you will fold on is very important. A general rule of thumb is that beginner poker players fold on 80%-85% of the hands they play. In other words, only continue betting and playing on hands that rank in the top 15%-20% of your hands. For this article, what this means is to make sure you are only playing good hands and folding on the rest. Later in this article, we will briefly discuss hand odds versus pot odds.
While this might seem like a strange tactic – remember you don’t want to rely on bluffing. Furthermore, if you are playing with strong pairs and a set of high cards to start, you might have more chance of winning. Also, you have more opportunity to play expansively or aggressively on the hands you have selected to play – and, even though you have forfeited weaker hands – folded on them – you can make up for this if you play sensibly on these hands.
Always Compare Your Hand Odds To The Pot Odds
Knowing your hand odds and the current pot odds is essential when it comes to poker. This might be one of the best poker tips or best pieces of poker advice available. In brief, according to Up Swing Poker: “Pot odds represent the ratio between the size of the total pot and the size of the bet facing you.” For example, if the overall pot in the game is $2 and your opponent bets $1 (making the ‘pot’ $3) – your pot odds will be 3-1. Knowing this and comparing such an odd to your hand odds can help you determine which hands to chase down and which not to do. In brief, a player’s hand odds in poker are determined, according to Wikipedia, as: “the number of ways does not draw a hand, against the number of ways to draw it.” Look at the table with a hand’s odds (and statistics) below. So, only chase down hands or continue to play if your hand’s odds are better than the pot odds – In the case given in this example, two pairs or more.
Knowing such odds can also help you determine how to bet more successfully – and surely may help you become a better poker player. As promised, here is the table, adapted from Wikipedia:
|Hand||Distinct hands||Frequency||Probability||Cumulative probability||Odds against|
|Royal flush||1||4||0.000154%||0.000154%||649,739 : 1|
|Straight flush ||9||36||0.00139%||0.0015%||72,192.33 : 1|
|Four of a kind||156||624||0.02401%||0.0256%||4,164 : 1|
|Full house||156||3,744||0.1441%||0.17%||693.1667 : 1|
|Flush||1,277||5,108||0.1965%||0.367%||508.8019 : 1|
|Straight||10||10,200||0.3925%||0.76%||253.8 : 1|
|Three of a kind||858||54,912||2.1128%||2.87%||46.32955 : 1|
|Two pair||858||123,552||4.7539%||7.62%||20.03535 : 1|
|One pair||2,860||1,098,240||42.2569%||49.9%||2.366477 : 1|
|No pair / High card||1,277||1,302,540||50.1177%||100%||0.9953015 : 1|
Studying this table and knowing a hand’s statistics can help you determine your best poker tournament strategy, or even just play better against friends or at a casino.
If this article was useful, be sure to read: How to play poker for Beginners?