15 Actionable Poker Tips That Help You Win

Poker is renowned for its deep and intricate strategy. The basic rules are elementary, meaning beginners can quickly learn poker. However, while the game rules and mechanics are simple, poker strategy as a whole is not. There’s a lot to consider in the typical game of poker, from enemy playstyles to board state to your position at the table. These things also change over time, so no two poker games are the same. That gives poker an element of suspense since nobody knows what could come next. It also means players must constantly adjust their strategy, considering all those changing factors.

While poker strategy is complex, you shouldn’t be too overwhelmed as a beginner poker player. There’s a lot to learn, but you have endless resources online, from poker forums where you can chat with other players to written poker guides like this. Moreover, you do not need to know many advanced concepts at the beginner level yet. They will be necessary as you move up in stakes, but for now, you can just focus on having a fundamentally solid strategy. To help you with that, here are 15 poker tips you can instantly implement in your games and see success with.

Photo by Pixabay

Stop open-limping

One of the easiest to fix and most common bad habits for beginner players is open-limping. Open-limping is when you enter the pot pre-flop by calling the blinds and not folding or raising. That has numerous consequences for your pre-flop game plan. It is a passive action, so it doesn’t accomplish anything like raising. Raising would deter others from entering the pot, give you a chance to win the pot outright, and give you information about others’ hand strengths based on how they react to the bet. Limping encourages others to join the pot, greatly reducing your chance of winning.

Pay attention to position

Your position at the table is one of the most important things to keep track of in poker because it decides when you act relative to your opponents. Acting first, known as being out of position, is a massive disadvantage because you cannot see your opponents’ actions and have to make yours blind. Likewise, acting last or being in position gives you a significant edge over your opponents since you can see all their actions before making your own. Some things you can do in position include playing more hands, bluffing more often, and controlling the size of the pot.

Play fewer hands

Many beginner players play too many hands, even mediocre ones. While you shouldn’t stick to playing only the strongest hands as that makes you too predictable, playing too many hands is difficult to do profitably. Playing too many hands is a waste of money and involves too much risk. Lowering the number of hands you play might reduce your potential profits, but it makes you far more consistent.

Photo by Unsplash

Play more aggressively

Another mistake beginners make is not realizing how important aggressive play is to poker. Aggression is essential for a variety of reasons. It gives you a second way to win the pot, which is not reliant on getting a good hand and making it to the showdown. It also helps reduce the number of players in the pot pre-flop, as the more players there are, the lower your chances of winning. Finally, it forces players to decide how to respond to your bet. Whether they call, raise, or fold, they give you valuable information about their hand strength.

Always be prepared to fold

Many players despise folding. Folding feels so final, as you know that once you fold, you’ll never be able to win the pot. That line of thinking could make you rationalize making bad bluffs and playing hands that were never meant to be played. In reality, folding is the ultimate tool the pros use to minimize their losses. You’re never meant to win every hand, and some starting hands like 2-7o are never used, even as a bluff, purely because of how weak they are. Folding more often will allow you to cut your losses instead of taking a bad hand to the showdown and losing thanks to a failed bluff. That also applies to the blinds, as many players are reluctant to give up their forced bet so easily. While you should defend your blinds and can call raises more often, thanks to the forced bets, you must still be prepared to give up if your hand is terrible. It’s better to lose a blind than to lose half your stack playing a mediocre hand.

Use poker tracking software

One of the biggest advantages of online poker is the use of poker tracking software. These specialized programs analyze your gameplay and give you detailed stats that can help with analysis. These stats show your common habits and potential weaknesses for you to fix. Finally, they show these stats for people you play against often, allowing you to exploit their mistakes.

Never force yourself to play

A good mentality is severely underappreciated for playing poker. No matter how capable you think you are, you cannot play poker if you don’t want to. Forcing yourself to play poker significantly negatively impacts your gameplay and your life outside of poker. Your gameplay quality goes down if you’re tilted, and you will often make careless mistakes that could irritate you even more. If you’re forcing yourself to play poker all the time, you could become addicted, wasting both your money and time.

Photo by Unsplash

Where to play poker

We hope this article taught you how to play poker better thanks to the given tips. If you want to practice, you should play on sites like GGPoker, the world’s largest poker room. GGPoker offers games of all stakes, meaning there’s no reason to be worried as a beginner or player with a small bankroll since you can play on micro-stakes tables. They even offer the poker tracking software mentioned above for free, so all you need to do is sign up!