7 Beginner Poker Tips – Avoid the Common Mistakes

It’s really difficult to find beginner poker tips that actually lead to winning money at the table. In fact, most of the beginner Texas Hold’em tips that I see out there focus solely on how to play poker. Like when to bet, check, or fold, which, while important, do not necessarily translate immediately into making someone a winning player and avoiding mistakes.

To that end, my goal for this video is to give you the advice I wish I had been given when I was a beginner. Understanding each of these 7 beginner poker tips will hopefully make learning much easier by allowing you to preempt the mistakes that many beginners fall victim to.

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1. There Is No Such Thing as Luck

If you want to maximize your chances of becoming the best player you can possibly be, then you need to check your belief in luck at the door. Now, don’t get me wrong, over the short or even mid-term anyone can be lucky or unlucky and run over or under expectation. What you simply must not believe in is the possibility that someone can be predestined for good luck or bad luck.

2. Play in Position as Much as Possible
Position in poker means you either act first or you act last. When we talk about playing
“in position” we are talking about acting after your opponent. My number one poker fundamental is to try and play in position more than your opponents. This gives you an informational advantage that sets you up for success.

How do we play in position more? The simplest way is to play less hands in early position and in the blinds and to play more hands in the seats at the table that will likely have you playing in position, namely the cutoff seat and button.

3. Poker Tells Are Overrated
“reliance on some kind of tell big mistake”
If you have ever watched people play poker in movies or on television, you would think that the way to win is to learn someone’s “tell.” While physical mannerisms do occasionally play into the decision-making process for a live player, it is only one very small piece of the puzzle when it comes to hand-reading and adjusting to other players. The truth is that learning timing tells and betting patterns are much more reliable tips in figuring out what your opponents are doing.

4. Become a Student of the Game
Since you are watching this video, you are probably the type that understands the value of study in becoming good at anything. In poker, constantly improving and working to eliminate your leaks is imperative to success. I have found that the best way to do this is to compartmentalize the game into smaller, more manageable elements. Rather than trying to work on everything at once, it’s best to focus on one thing at a time.

To aid in your study, there are a few software programs that I recommend:

Poker Tracking Software
An Equity Calculator
Hand Analysis Software
Table Management Software.

5. Tight Is Not Right
To play tight means to play very few hands and wait on so-called “strong” hands to get involved. While this will certainly make a losing player lose money slower, it will really do nothing to help you become a big winner in today’s games. Yet still, you will hear this tired old phrase thrown around every once in awhile. Learn to understand that winning at poker is about playing a style of game that best fits the “table dynamic,” which is mostly determined by the types of opponents you are currently playing at any table. That usually entails playing the opposite style of the other players and the key is learning to profile them and take good notes.

6. Always Consider the Aggressive Play First
Fold equity is one of the most powerful concepts to understand. Basically, it is the amount of money won through aggressive actions such as betting or raising. It does not require that you show down your cards. If you never bet or raise, then you are missing out on a lot of profit.

Based on the money won through fold equity, anytime you are contemplating an action in poker you should always consider the aggressive play first. Only if the aggressive play is not profitable should you even consider a passive play like checking or calling.

7. Memorize a Default Poker Strategy
I’m sure you’ve heard that adjusting to your opponents is one of the most important skills to develop as a poker player. Even so, before you can adjust you have to have a baseline from which to adjust from. I call this a “vacuum strategy,” which basically just means how you play when you have absolutely no information.
For new players, the best way to get started developing your own Texas Hold’em strategy is to begin with a very basic gameplan. Then, as you gain experience, incrementally add on more advanced concepts into the mix. Within no time you will be exploiting your opponents like a pro.