4 Things You Need Know When Playing Poker


We all have that friend that we are trying to convince to join us on the Poker table that may not understand the game but could probably be persuaded to join.  Share this post with them so that not only you add more money to your game but think back to the time you learned the ropes when you started.  These 4 basic principles are all you need before sitting down at the table.

How to Play

The first thing they will need to know is How to Play.  Watch this video to get the basics out of the way. (Go watch the Video, I’ll wait ..)

Basics – Now that you’ve watched the video, you should have the basics under your belt and your now eager to sit down at the table and make some money.

Edicit – One thing most training videos don’t cover is Poker edicit.  There are a couple of the most important unspoken Poker rules that need to be followed every time you site down at the table.

1. Don’t act out of turn.  Wait until it is your turn to throw your hand in or place your bet.  The reason you shouldn’t act out of turn is because you could change the result of the players action that acts before you, which takes away from the integrity of the game.  Example: lets say you fold out of turn before the player beside you acts, the player now knows that your not a threat to win the hand, which increases his/her percentages in winning the hand.  It isn’t fair to others at the table that your impatience could ultimately cost them money.  Always wait until it is your turn to act.

2. Don’t talk about your cards while others are still involved in the hand.  If your talking about a hand you “should have played” and making it obvious that you would have made a strong hand, then you’re influencing action between the remaining players that actually have money involved in the hand.  Example: The flop comes out (K-K-2) and you folded K-2, your throwing your hands up in the air and whispering to your neighbor that you would have made a full house, others involved in the hand now know that their opponent is less likely to have a K.  Always wait until the hand completes to discuss the what ifs or what nots.

What Stakes to Play

This is probably one of the most important, managing your bankroll and playing stakes according to that bankroll. Example: If you have a $1000 bankroll to play with, you should be playing $1/$2 (buyin $100 min to $300 max).  This will allow room for variance when you lose your entire stack to a bad beat and have a bankroll that allows you to rebuy.  It is important to know How to Stay Tilt-Free during the often occasion of a bad beat and profit after rebuying.

Buyin amounts – Rule of thumb is buy-in 60-100 big blinds, no matter the stakes. (example: $1/$2 blinds, $2 is the big blind and average buyin should be $120-$200 on a standard average.  If the buyin amount is not calculated correctly or your playing higher stakes than your bankroll, you have much less room for error.  Which means, if you lose your entire stack due to a bad beat you will have less rebuys and reduce the chances at getting your money back.  Make sure that you manage your buyin amounts appropriately to stay in the action.

Difference between Tournaments & Cash Games

Tournaments: More technical Poker is being played and there is more pressure to gain chips in a timed setting.  In tournaments the blinds are constantly going up and you have to continue to be agressive and use position to your advantage to make plays even when you have nothing.  For beginners, I wouldn’t recommend starting in this setting until playing a few Freerolls on the Top Receommended Poker Sites.

Cash Games: Players are playing in a more relaxed setting and aren’t fighting against a time clock.  The ultimate goal for cash games is the win 10 big blinds per hour, on average.  You can play a tighter game and pick and choose the hands and spots that you want to get your chips in the middle with.  The best part about this is when a player is eliminated at a cash game table, there is always an eager player waiting to put their money on the table and join the action.  Cash game at the appropriate stakes would be the recommended choice if just learning the game of Poker.

Understanding Variance & Tilt

Understanding that just because you are “supposed” to win doesn’t mean that always happens.  In fact, bad beats happen quite often to everyone.  The important part is learning How to Stay Tilt-Free and giving yourself an opportunity to get your chips back, while keeping a clear mind.  A bad beat shouldn’t change your style of play nor your Poker behavior.  Often times a player will lose a hand where they were a heavy favorite and panic as if they need to play catch-up and try and get all their chips back in one hand just like they lost all of their chips in one hand.  This will only lead to long-term loss and keep in mind, there is always another day and another table to join if things don’t happen as planned the first try.

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