Just like anything, when you first decide to play poker, you might feel a little overwhelmed.
But don’t worry, you aren’t alone! There has been a considerable increase in the number of people who are playing poker for the first time.
When you are careful and spend some time distinguishing what will help and what won’t, you can save both time and money.
- Learning poker rules and hands
- Beginners tables
- Understanding payment methods in gambling
- Finding the best games for you
- Playing when in a good mood
- Understanding odds
Rules and Hands
Before you sign up for any online accounts, spend some time researching the rules of poker. More specifically, focus on the type of game that you want to play.
The rules can be pretty basic; the sticking point for many can be the poker hand rankings.
Rankings to understand:
- A royal flush: 10, jack, queen, king, and an ace in the same suit
- A straight flush: 5 cards in a sequence, all in the same suit
- Four of a kind: four cards that are the same denomination (for example 4 5’s, this would be one from each suit)
- Full house: three cards of one denomination, and two of another (example: 3 Kings and 2 5’s)
- Flush: five cards of the same suit
- Straight: five cards in sequence but from any suit
- Three of a kind: three cards with the same denomination and two unmatching cards.
- Two pairs: two sets of two cards; the fifth card can be anything. (example: 2 8s and two 4s with a jack).
- One pair: two cards the same, and three unmatched cards
- No pair: all cards are different
Once you master these, you can start moving forward.
But what about the rainbow rag flop from I Love You, Man?
- The flop: when the first three community cards dealt simultaneously
- The rag: low cards
- The rainbow: different suits
You don’t need to worry about that just yet, though!
Typically, if your opponent has a good hand or is confident in the hand, they will likely check quickly. But you can’t always rely on that.
Many online and land-based poker places will have the option to play for free. This allows new players to get a feel for the game without being worried about more experienced players.
Getting a firm grip on the rules and how good your hand is, is best done without any cash in play.
After some time playing no-stakes and free tables, it is time to try your luck with some cash.
One of the most important things is to find an online poker website that accepts your payment methods.
Look for a website that accepts:
- Apple Pay
The more options you have, the easier it is to arrange your poker cash pot. It is usually a good sign that they are above board too.
Often these payment methods are fast and effective where there are complaints, and your money is well protected.
For an extra layer of protection, you should ensure that you can see a padlock in the URL bar. Or that the website address starts with HTTPS.
The HTTPS is an indicator that your information is protected.
The best games
As a beginner, you should opt for slower-paced games. Poker does come in regular, turbo, and hyper-turbo speeds.
There are a few variations as mentioned earlier, and you will need to pick one to practice and learn first.
Texas Hold ‘Em is one of the most popular and often recommended for new poker players. You might branch out and try other games too, but it is always worth learning this one.
Once you have selected the type of poker, you will need to choose a format.
- No limit cash games – for those who like adventure and don’t mind losing big.
- Multi-table tournaments – larger prize pools, but you have to learn to roll with the punches because a single bad hand can remove you from the tournament.
- Sit-n-go tournaments – single table tournaments that have smaller prizes but that makes it easier to win – you’re only ever playing 8 people.
- Fixed Limit Cash Games – a slow and steady progression, and usually a medium-sized pot up for grabs.
Over time, you will want to start experimenting with multi- tabling. This is where you are playing multiple games at the same time.
To do this, you will join a few poker games and use multiple screens or windowed tabs on your computer to switch between the matches.
Good mood only
If you start a game in a bad mood or feel agitated, it can be all too easy to make an irrational decision. When this happens, you are more likely to lose more money than you had intended.
Even playing when tired can cause a few mistakes that you may not have ordinarily made.
Playing when you are in a relaxed and responsive state of mind means that you can put all of your poker skills to use.
It is normal to be excited or hyped up about playing a game of poker. However, before you take that seat, take a moment to compose yourself.
A few deep breaths can help you concentrate and really enjoy playing your online poker match.
Bluffing a big part of playing person in person and online. But bluffing online takes a different skill set. You will need to quickly read the player types at the table and adapt.
Understanding your odds
Since we mentioned playing Texas Hold ‘Em as a good start for your first poker match, we will work with the odds on that.
- Two overcards – 6 outs
- Flush draw – 9 outs
- Gut-shot – 4 outs
- Flush draw & gut-shot – 12 outs
- Straight fish draw – 15 outs
An out is an unseen card that could improve your hand and help you win if drawn. To get a quick indicator if you have a good chance of winning, times your out by two.
There is much more to working out your poker odds. It is worth putting significant time into researching the odds for your specific type of poker game.
A final and crucial point is to relax and take it slow. You have plenty of time to learn how to be the poker champion. Online poker is a lot of fun, and within a few games, you will begin to get the hang of it!