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How do you get started playing poker?

December 19, 2018

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New to poker and want to know how to get the best start? Read our tips about how to best learn and play the game online.

The best way to learn to play poker is to open a table on a site like Replay Poker and experience how the players interact and how the betting works.

The best way to learn to win at poker is to read coaching books or forums online, get in a solid volume of play, study your own games and the way you played them (win or lose), and talk to other players about their ideas and strategies.

Here a few milestones you might like to aspire to:

1) Learn the rules

Start with learning hand ranking, and concentrate on a single game variant, such as Texas Hold’em.

Once you’re comfortable with the rules and recognize some of the nuances, you can begin to set yourself goals to climb the ladder to poker proficiency.

2) Play for fun, but remember: Poker is for keeps!

Many people who win in a social game or have a good run in a small home game begin to wonder if they have what it takes to play cards for money and turn it into an income. Nearly all who try are destined to struggle, and often waste time and money which would have been better spent elsewhere. Sadly, this may even include you in the beginning, but hard work and commitment are the best tools, and who knows where things may lead!

3) Get better

Make sure you’re good enough before you add new games or move up in stakes!

Sometimes you just might not like the game you started with, and that’s understandable. Hold’em can be monotonous, and multi-card games like Omaha or Seven Card Stud can offer a different challenge. That said, if you can’t win in the straightforward games, it doesn’t bode well for the more complex variants.

4) Review your decision making

Always, ALWAYS, look back at your important decisions. Look back at your winning hands as well as your losing ones. It’s easy to concentrate on other people’s bad play or good luck and forget the common denominator in all your hands is YOU.

Game selection is a decision as well. If you can’t beat a particular game even with your current A-game, you must learn to adapt and choose your battles.

5) Keep records

If you play different formats, such as ring/cash tables as well as tournaments, you should keep track of how well (or badly) you fare at each. You should try to either improve or stop playing your weak games and exploit your better ones.

6) Practice, practice, practice

Keep playing (in games you can afford!). Remember bankroll management guidelines if you’re running bad, so that you can ride the variance. Learn from your mistakes and learn how to profit from your opponents’ mistakes.

7) Keep it real

Playing poker professionally is described (even by many accomplished players) as a hard way to make an easy living. Doing it full time with no other income is a risky business for them in a highly competitive and volatile environment.

Doing it for fun is rewarding, too. You will find yourself challenging better and better players as you rise through the rankings.