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Poker Strategy for Beginners: Go From Bluff to Boss in 2024

Poker Strategy for Beginners Go From Bluff to Boss in 2024

Still a newbie learning how to play poker and feel a bit lost with all the bets? Fret not! Our guide on poker strategy for beginners is here to help you gear up for your first few poker games. From basic strategy to playing mind games with your opponents, we’ve got you covered.

Ready to pop in and learn a few tips and tricks in the card game? Then keep on reading to up your very first poker games!

Poker Strategy for Beginners: Win Your First Game!

Increase Your Poker Knowledge

poker strategy for beginners - increase poker knowledge

This probably goes without saying, but the top poker strategy for beginners is understanding that knowledge is power. Brush up on your poker skills by learning all about the highs and lows of poker variance (turn the tide on this slightly luck-based game). Or even learning something as simple as the poker chip values and how likely you are to push those chips in an all-in situation.

Once you polish up what you already know about poker and learned newer things about it, you’re bound to be well prepared for your first few games!

Play Your Hands with Confidence

Got a decent hand? Play it to win! Be aggressive by raising when you enter the pot. As the first one in, always raise. A good starting point online is 3 times the big blind, potentially higher in live games. The benefit? Aggression seizes control of the pot, giving you the betting advantage after the flop.

Think About Your Position

Poker Strategy for Beginners: Poker Positions
Poker Strategy for Beginners: Poker Positions | Credit: tightpoker.com

Want to win more at poker? Our poker strategy for beginners is to play from a position of strength!

Acting last after the flop gives you incredible control. You can analyze your opponents’ moves and make strategic decisions about calling, raising, or bluffing based on the information they reveal. They’ll be playing blind to your strategy. Play more hands closer to the button to dominate the table with this powerful position.

Want to learn where you can seat yourself better? Here’s a quick rundown on poker positions at the table:

  • Button (Dealer): This player has a white “Dealer” button and acts last in each betting round.
  • Small Blind: Seated to the left of the button, the Small Blind makes a mandatory bet before any cards are dealt.
  • Big Blind: Seated to the left of the Small Blind, the Big Blind makes a larger mandatory bet before any cards are dealt.
  • Under-The-Gun (UTG): Next to the Big Blind, UTG acts first pre-flop facing the most pressure due to limited information.
  • UTG + 1: Seated to the left of UTG, UTG+1 also acts early pre-flop but with slightly more information than UTG.
  • Middle Position: These players have a slight advantage compared to early positions as they get to see more actions before acting themselves.
  • Lojack: Seated to the left of Middle Position, Lojack is a mid-range position.
  • Hijack: Two seats to the right of the button (or one seat to the left of Lojack), Hijack is another mid-range position.
  • Cut-Off: One poker strategy for beginners when finding the right position? Be the cut-off! It’s the last player to act pre-flop before the button, the Cut-Off has a positional advantage over earlier positions.

Observe Your Opponents

Another poker strategy for beginners that wins you the game every time is to assess the opponent. Don’t just focus on your own cards in poker – read your opponents, too. Having a good hand is great, but folding becomes strategic if you suspect a stronger one across the table.

Imagine holding a straight, but the flop shows four of the same suit. If your opponent goes all-in, is your hand still the best? Think about it!

Keep Bluffs in Check

poker strategy for beginners - keep bluffs in check

Hold the bluffs! Against weak players, patience is key. These folks love calling with junk, so resist the urge to bluff constantly. A pre-flop raise followed by a continuation bet on the flop is fine, but if they call, slow down on the turn and river with air.

Discipline is key – check or fold when you have nothing. At lower stakes, patience and waiting for strong hands will make you a big winner against recreational players.

Don’t Chase Draws Too Much

Don’t be lured by those incomplete hands!

One important poker strategy for beginners is that drawing hands like potential flushes or straights can be tempting, but chasing them against a big bet is a recipe for trouble. With small bets, a call might be reasonable to complete your hand. But always prioritize folding over a hefty price tag for that missing card.

Play Against Bad Poker Players

It might seem like a poker strategy for beginners no-brainer, but many forget this golden rule: You win more against weaker players!

Imagine being the world’s 10th best poker player. Playing against the top 9 wouldn’t make you much money, right? Choose your games and tables wisely—just like you choose your cards.  Good table selection = finding those “fishy” tables where you can shine.

Play Within Your Budget

Don’t jump in the deep end! Beginner poker = beginner limits. Higher stakes can be tempting, but remember, they come with tougher competition. A poker strategy for beginners—and probably the most important one—is to know that it’s smarter to learn at lower limits where you can afford the learning curve.

Focus on building your skills before tackling bigger challenges, and keep a leash on that bankroll. Start small, and once you’ve built up your skills, you can try your hand on some bigger chips to throw!

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