Last updated on March 31, 2019
We move onto p today and there is only one real word we can apply to this later, that’s right, poker. Poker is the reason we are all here, the reason you are looking at this website and the reason I decided to put this site together in the first place. It’s one of the most popular card games around the world and it’s easy to see why.
Why Start Playing Poker?
This is a very good question and one I get asked a lot by friends and newer players. Poker is a great game to play for two main reasons; it’s fun and brings people together and you can win money out of it. Poker is more of a social game then it used to be and you can now buy sets online and in shops, have friends over and have a decent amount of fun.
On the more serious side this is now a massive industry and poker is a job for a lot of people. There are so many free offers like the ones you see listed on this site, which means you can start enjoying poker services for free and at very low financial risk to yourself.
Poker is also a great game because it can help you to meet some lovely people. Many friendships have developed through the game and it also helps if you are talking to more experienced players than yourself. As long as you are not a main rival, you can approach a better player and they should be happy to help you.
Playing Poker as a Job
Playing poker as a job is not as easy as it sounds or seems. Firstly, you need to have the time and the patience to play because there are going to be a lot of hands and games where you lose and you need to be mentally strong enough to cope with this and not quit quickly.
You need to have a very good bankroll before you can start playing. It will sound cliché but you need money to make money in poker. You will not get sponsors offering to pay for your entry into tournaments until you have proven yourself to be successful over a long period.
This means you’ll be paying your own way for a while.
Poker is a very competitive game so when you first start out, you need to know the right direction to head in and the right steps to take to become a better player. Follow these steps and you will slowly start to work your way up through the stake limits and towards your goal of playing poker for a living.
Step One – Practice
Practice every second of every free moment you have. Play for cash through your poker room but also utilise the many free poker games across the internet as well as some great PC games. Do this regularly and you will start slowly picking up winning tips and a winning mentality.
Step Two – Talk to Others
There are going to be players using the same poker room as you who are a lot more experienced than you. Any decent poker room will allow you to chat in the middle of a game so you can ask for tips, ask why players played a certain hand in the way they did and any other poker questions you can think of.
Step Three – Fun
If you are having fun while you play then you will stand a greater chance of being successful. Fun doesn’t come simply through winning, it comes through enjoying the basics of playing poker online and if you manage certain things in the right way your fun factor will be increased.
Step Four – Control your Money in Poker
You need to be able to control your cash in the right way while you play poker. One of the things new players have told me in the past is that they are put off from playing because they don’t know how to manage their money. Set up a bankroll and ensure that any winnings are placed outside that bankroll.
Step Five – Reading Cards
You need to learn how to read cards because this is a basic way to helping you win more hands. There is no secret way of doing this, it all comes through practice. Reading cards is effectively looking at your own hand, looking at the community cards and trying to work out what your opponents may have based on how they are betting.
Mixing up your poker strategy is something I’ve talked about before and as we’re moving onto s today, it seems as good time as any to go over old ground. Strategy is everything whether you’ve been playing poker for years or if you’re first starting out in the card game.
You need to be able to mix up different strategy styles without much change in appearance. The simple reason for this is to make yourself unpredictable to your opponents who will be looking to try and nail down what sort of player you are.
How to Mix up your Poker Strategy
There is no right or wrong way when it comes to mixing up your strategy in the middle of a poker game. The best way to cover this angle is through practice and experience. Try playing a lower stakes game and use one or two different styles during that game. Low stakes games are great for trying out things like bluffing where the financial risk to you isn’t huge.
In terms of how to actually change your poker style, just look at the situation and play accordingly. If you are in a good position then play aggressively, if you are in a weak position then limp or play defensively to try and stay in the pot hoping that a card is going to come out of the pack which helps you.
Different Types of Poker Strategy
There are a few different styles you can use when you play poker; aggressive play, defensive play and passive play are the most popular. You can use these in the situations mentioned above. Strategy itself brings bluffing into the equation and also things such as control and position.
Control is when you bet to take control of a game. You become the aggressive player at a table or in a poker game and you can judge what sort of hands your opponents have based on how they react to your bet. Having the best position in poker is a crucial strategy because if you are the last to act, you have the benefit of seeing what everyone else has done.
If you have position and everyone checks round to you, you know that no one has a killer hand. Even if you are sitting with a weak hand yourself, you know that a medium sized bet will probably cause all of the players left in that game to fold.
It’s the letter r for today and I’d like to look at raising which is seen as the most glamorous and exciting move in a game of poker. A raise has the ability to scare off your opponents and let you take control of a game but it can also give away the fact that you’re sitting on a brilliant little hand.
When to Raise in a Game of Poker
The best time to raise in a game of poker is when you are dealt a good starting pair of cards or when you hit a good hand off of the flop. A raise shows your opponents that you have a decent hand and if they want to back their own hand and continue, they will need to add more cash into the poker pot.
You should only ever raise when you are confident you have the best hand at the table. Look at the cards which come out and how your opponents are betting. Work out the hand or hands that your opponents may have or may be gambling on and play your calls and raises from there.
It’s always worth a little raise in poker when you are sure your opponent is trying to hit a flush or a straight. A raise will quite often cause them to fold but their odds of hitting that flush or straight are slim and if they call that’s potentially more cash in the pot for you.
When to Re-raise in a Game of Poker
The best and only time you should re-raise in a game of poker is when you are sure you have a better hand than the opponent who is trying to take control of the pot. Only ever re-raise after you have looked at the cards and the outs and worked out that they can’t possibly beat you.
If this is the case then re-raise as many times as you like because you know that the cards which are going to be turned over in the heads up are going to be in your favour. You could go all-in as the ultimate re-raise but once again you have to be very sure that you can’t be beaten.
Testing the Water in Poker
Testing the water is a little tactic used by some poker players to try and see what sort of hand everyone is holding at the table. Testing the water will commonly be a small raise, maybe a quarter of the pot to see if anyone calls hoping for a better hand or raises because they have a great hand.