More and more people are playing poker. Some play in a casino, but many more are playing online for the added flexibility that gives, meaning that you can play poker at any time to suit you and for any size of stake that you wish. If you’re new to poker, whether online or offline, it can seem a bit confusing at first as there are many forms of the game available to play, but Texas Hold ‘Em is one of the most popular varieties, and it’s a great place to start. If you’re a Texas Hold ‘Em beginner, here are three tips to help you quickly get up to speed.
1. Practice, Practice, Practice
When you first play poker, of any variety, you’re sure to be up against players who are more experienced than you. That can give them a significant advantage, so if you’re playing for cash, you could find yourself out of pocket. That’s why it makes sense to practice the game for free before playing for a stake of any kind. You won’t be able to do that in a casino, but specialist websites let you play popular casino games online, including poker. When you play poker online, you’ll be able to play for free, and the practice hours that you put in at this stage can pay real dividends later on.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Fold
Texas Hold ‘Em is one of the most exciting card games that there is, which explains why it’s so popular right across the world. It’s easy to get carried away by the excitement, especially if you’re a novice player, but that can lead to costly mistakes. Perhaps the most common mistake is to play too many hands, so don’t be afraid to fold if it seems you have little chance of success. Take a close look at your two cards and the first three community cards, known as the flop. If you have no connections, or even merely a low pairing, it may be better to fold and save your stakes for better opportunities to come.
3. Look for the Warning Signs
Poker isn’t only about making the best of your own cards, it’s about learning to read your opponent’s play and calculating what kind of card they have. It pays to be especially cautious in the opening few deals, as you can then keep a close eye on your opponents and note whether they are an aggressive risk-taking player, and whether they are likely to bluff or not. If a previously cautious player keeps raising the stakes, that’s a warning sign that they are likely to have a very strong hand – especially if the community cards have the potential to be joined up into a straight or flush. In this circumstance, be ready to fold, even if you’ve already placed a stake.
Playing poker for free at an online casino will bring your game on rapidly, especially if you learn to read your opponents and remember not to be tempted into playing too many hands. It’s also a good idea not to bluff too much or you’ll soon be found out, and not to raise low suited cards too highly as there could well be an opponent with higher value suited cards ready to make a better flush. Above all, have fun.