Poker tips for beginners

Dale Pinchot
4 min readApr 9, 2022

These beginner tips will not make you an expert poker player in ten minutes but they will help you get on the right path to being a successful poker player.

Photo by Marin Tulard on Unsplash

1] Do not play too many cards.

Amateur players often make the common mistake of not being selective with their starting hands. Do not fall for the trap of believing that any hand can win. While this may be true, certain hands are more likely than others to win and can help you win more, while others will cause you to lose more.

Be selective in which hands you choose to play. This article will help you to select starting hand. A good starting hand selection is key to any winning poker game. It’s important to learn it!

2] Don’t be too cocky.

Another misconception about poker is that it’s necessary to bluff in order to win. Although you may be able to see some spectacular bluffs at the WSOP shows and they are edited to highlight the tournaments, this gives the wrong impression about the frequency with which top players bluff.

Bluffing in poker may not be as important as you think. It is best to learn how to play poker well, rather than trying to fool your opponents. While it is okay to make occasional bluffs, the true art of knowing when you should bluff comes with practice and knowledge.

3. Think about the cards of your opponent.

Poker is a game where you must consider the strength of your opponent’s hands and not your own. Although it is great to have a large hand, you should fold if your opponent has a stronger hand.

A straight, for example, is a good hand. But, if your opponent has four cards of the same suits on the board, and you push all in, are you still convinced that you have the best hand?

4] Play against people worse than yourself

Although it may seem obvious, you’d be surprised at how many players ignore this simple principle. It makes sense to be better than your opponent in order to win the long-term.

It would be unprofitable to play at the same table as the top 9 players around the world if you were the 10th-best player in the game.

5. Think about your position.

The Texas Holdem table position is an important aspect of poker. When you’re the last to act on a hand, such as when you are on a button, these are the best positions. This allows you to learn about the hand before it is over to you.

A good position can make a losing hand winnable. No-limit Texas Hold’em is a game where position plays a greater role than you might think. It can be even more important than the cards and can make or break a hand.

6] Pay attention and be attentive to the game.

Watching your opponents play in every pot is the best way to learn tells. Even if you’re not playing in the hand you can still focus on the game and understand the play of your opponents.

You will be able to see the moves that players make when they don’t have the best hands and the moves they make when their hand is better. You will have a better chance of beating your opponents the more information you can gather from them.

7] Do not jump in at the high limit.

As a beginner, there are two reasons you should not play for too much money.

First, players with higher limits are more skilled than those who play at lower levels. You have a lower chance of beating them, and it will cost you a lot to learn the game. Second, limit your play to what you can afford. Limits should be set so that you don’t lose money.

Even if you have the best strategy, bankroll management is essential to winning.

8] Do not pay too much for draws.

You may find yourself holding half of a hand that is just one card short of completing your straight or flush. It is not profitable to chase these draws if your opponent is betting heavily.

If your opponent is betting only a small amount, it might be a good idea to call in order to make your hand. If your opponent’s bet is too large to justify calling, don’t call. The Pot Odds Strategy Guide provides detailed information about how much to call for draws. SPOC (Simple Pot Odds Calculator), is a free and hopefully very useful tool that will help you decide whether to call or not.

9] Suited cards don’t look all that great.

Over-valuing suited cards is a common beginner mistake. This can even be made by intermediate players.

Flushes can be more common than you might think. If you limp with your two small suited cards you could lose all of your money to a flush. It doesn’t make your hand better if you have the same cards as your opponents.

This slight improvement is not enough to justify calling for pre-flop raises. Learn to fold small suited cards. This will save you money over the long term.

10] Learn the rules.

It is obvious that there is no substitute for knowing the rules. It is not a good idea to call all-in on a player thinking your straight beats his flush and then lose all your chips.

If you don’t understand the basic rules of poker, there is no way to be a successful poker player. You should also be aware that each casino and card room may have its own rules. Before you start playing, make sure to familiarize yourself with these rules.

About Dale Pinchot

Dale Pinchot is a professional poker player from Yardley, Pa. He has competed in tournaments all around the world including the World Series of Poker.

To learn more about Dale Pinchot, visit his featured profile.