Top 10 Poker Tips
By All The Real Poker Players
Sometimes, you can quickly get a handle on a game by asking a mix of players with different styles and backgrounds for advice. Here are the top ten poker tips we got from one evening of playing Texas hold'em poker.
At a recent game of Texas no-limit hold'em with a group from widely diverse backgrounds (one played frequently in high stakes games, one had years of playing experience, one had a mathematical background and was programming statistical odds for poker hands on his computer, and two others were regular occasional players), we had an opportunity to get their top playing poker tips – the things that people often overlook, under appreciate, or don't consistently do.
1) Patience pays off most in head-to-head playing if you don't have a lot of experience. Head to head battles often have one player significantly weaker in chips than the other, and will therefore often have several all-in calls. Experienced players can trust their luck, and their read of their opponents, and will call an all-in hand with less than stellar cards in the hole, knowing that the flop, turn and river can often make for surprising finishes. Waiting until you have a solid high pair or ace-and-face combo in the hole gives the highest odds to winning an all-in call head to head.
2) More patience – waiting until you have a strong hand means less participation but a better winning percentage and more chips if you bet appropriately. Texas hold'em poker competitions on TV mislead people into thinking that every hand is filled with action, but let's be honest: rounds of people folding aren't very exciting and don't make good TV viewing so are often edited out.
3) The easiest way to get better is with practice. Luck is always a factor in any card game, but with practice you get experience, and with experience you can learn to maximize your winnings and minimize your losses.
4) Here is another important poker tips. In casinos, don't touch cards until the dealing's done. It's the best way to not only show respect for the other players, but also to get an extra glance at each to learn a little more about their personality and read their tells. In any tournament, it's better to keep your head in the game and not worry about being the first to pick up.
5) When sitting on the big blind, you should always ride your cards to see the flop - only pause to consider your hole cards if another player raises the bet. You've already paid to see the flop, so even horrible cards can be made into a winner with a good flop.
6) The little blind poses a bit more of a problem – you've already paid some money into the pot, and it won't cost as much to see the flop, so you can consider going in on a weaker hand than you would want to call the blind normally. For example, a seven and eight of spades is a good hand for the little blind to call, however, some non-blind players may not feel comfortable calling the blind on those cards.
7) By the same token, don't play out of turn – checking before your turn gives too much away to your opponents. Don't fold as soon as you see a bad hand, as it may not look so bad after the rest of the table folds ahead of you, or you may feel a lot more comfortable folding after another player goes all-in.
8) Your first option, and one often used incorrectly at the wrong time, is to check on a round of betting. This forces the other players to either bet, letting you watch the following action for raises before revealing whether you want to continue or not. If you are on the hot seat and in the first position to bet and find yourself with a weak hand, always check rather than simply folding. Here's the catch of the poker tips; you could get lucky, and have the rest of the table also check, giving you a free look at the flop.
9) Always watch the flop – higher cards that your own hole cards weaken your hand's strength. Hands with an ace in the hole are considered very strong hands for this same reason.
10) With the above in mind, when you have an ace in hand, you really should go in to see the flop, especially if your off card is either of the same suit or even relatively high, a seven or higher. The ace is the highest card on the flop, so the best to pair up or to have as a kicker.
Hope you enjoy and benefited from all the poker tips above.