If you only take a few pieces of advice about playing poker then make sure you take on board these ten tips below as they will ensure that you can enjoy playing responsibly while trying to win at the tables.
1. NEVER repeat never – play with money you can’t afford to lose
Set yourself a limit either monthly (best) or at least a total amount you can afford to lose – and don’t go beyond it – if your happy to play with what you’d have spent on a couple of nights at the pub then set that as your monthly limit on your account (most poker rooms have settings for this).
Managing to blow your annual budget in one night doesn’t bode well – face it, your shark food and you need to read up and improve before you throw more cash away.
If you set a monthly recreational budget then you will either lose money you can afford to loose or you will win steadily – your will have a good time either way.
Never try to win back your losses by cashing up the rent or anything else you need (link gamblers anonymous & addiction page) – you won’t play optimally and you will surely only lose more.
2. Fold, fold and fold again
Solid starting hand selection is where you minimise your losses and maximise your wins – long term this is more important and effective than getting a few short term lucky wins
3. Don’t be a calling station
If your calling bets just to stay in a hand on the off chance you’ll catch a lucky card or two – you wont – yes you see it all the time but trust me it won’t happen when you need it to.
Generally don’t call a bet unless you would have raised it. And if you’d have raised it – then raise it.
4. Action junkies are your friend
Make money from them but don’t become one – changing gears is one thing, needing a miracle is another
5. Pure bluffs rarely work, especially online
Certainly not at lower limits – there will always be someone happy to look you up with a better hand or more outs or complete junk – SODS LAW says even they will probably out draw you – then your on tilt and that’s just a world of pain waiting to happen.
note: well calculated semi bluffs are a different matter – that’s poker.
6. Don’t blow your bankroll
So your doing OK in the low stakes games – why not head up a level or two? If your finding fish and making money moving up too soon could be costly, your suddenly going to find your shark food and that nice little margin you’ve built up will be gone – remember poker is one long game not just one session or one hand – you need to have sufficient to balance the fluctuations in your bankroll.
Remember your giving them a chance of a free card not you.
If you wouldn’t bet or raise maybe you should be folding – you should either be checking tactically or not checking at all.
Don’t bother – mixing drink and poker is like mixing drink and sex – you think your brilliant but in the morning the results will tell you different.
9. Mood, chasing loses, taking a break & walking the dog
Don’t even think about playing poker if you not really in the mood. Don’t play if your thinking more about your money than the cards in front of you. Take a break if your not playing well. Don’t try to squeeze in a session – if your thinking about work / got to walk the dog / make an appointment – leave the cards for another time – you’ve probably just saved a load of your bankroll – just as good as a win.
We all see it and we all get bad beats – pick yourself up, chill out and forget that hand – concentrate on the next one – if its duff then fold it.
Don’t screw yourself up over it and don’t play like a moron for the next 10 minutes cashing up and throwing away your money just because someone got lucky.
And don’t bitch about it to them online – if the table is lose which is a good thing you don’t want someone who just got lucky re-thinking his game ‘cos you told him he was a retard. Sometimes they get lucky – congratulate him on his luck and that way he’ll call you next time – when you got him beat.