Basic Poker Strategy: 9 Top Tips for Beginners

by | Jul 20, 2022 | Poker


Poker is not only a card game for amateur players. For many, it is also considered a career path. The internet offers many poker tips to build your basic poker strategy and get you started with online poker. Everyone can learn how to play poker.

However, you won’t advance to the next level simply by playing online poker games. It’s essential to look into fundamental poker strategies. It would be best to distinguish between what you should be learning as a beginner and what poker knowledge is helpful for a more advanced or professional poker player.

For a start, we have collected some of the top poker strategy tips for beginners in Texas Hold’em.

9 Top Poker Strategy Tips for Beginners

If you are still in the early days of your poker career, getting your hands on some valuable poker tips can be very beneficial. Here you can find some of the most important poker tips for beginners, saving you a lot of money and time when playing Texas Hold ’em.

Tip 1: Know the Rules, Hands and Positions

We can’t stress enough about it; it’s crucial to learn the basics before joining the big poker tables. It’s not just reading through the basics but instead spending some serious time understanding sequences of a round in poker and especially the individual poker hand rankings.

Study Poker Hand Rankings

Regardless of your intention of why you want to start playing, making it worth playing requires this knowledge. Do yourself a big favour by studying poker hand rankings, as you don’t want to find yourself in the middle of a hand and struggling with whether your hand has the quality to beat your opponent’s hand.

Understand Poker Positions

In addition to developing your basic poker strategy, it’s essential to look into poker positions. Please pay attention to your position at poker tables as it’s crucial for your action-taking. Any position allows you to watch your opponent – whether they bet or check, how long it takes them to decide, and what sizing they are using. Consider this strong poker knowledge as it supports your own decision making. Remember, a later position allows you to open more hands and pressure your opponents.

And while we are looking at the fundamental learnings of a poker game, consider reading up on some poker tips about poker odds, pot odds and implied odds in our Poker Odds guide.



Tip 2: Play Poker at Low Stakes

This poker tip can be found on many poker sites. Especially, as a beginner poker player, you need to take this one seriously. It’s pretty standard in online poker that players show less interest in playing at low stakes. While you are still developing your poker skills and building your poker strategy, it’s vital to play responsibly to prevent you from losing too much money.

Playing at lower stakes allows you to feel more peace of mind and keeps you in control of your bankroll management. It gives you the freedom to take risks, play differently, and experiment with weaker hands without losing vast money. Such lessons will help you develop your skills, and while earning more confidence, you’ll automatically increase your stakes.

As long as you play at the lower limits, you’ll also be playing against players just starting their poker careers. As long as you are playing beginner poker, you’ll have a real chance to learn how to play poker and develop a feel for the game. It’s worth taking risks sometimes, however, if you truly want to build a strong basic poker strategy and poker base in general, take it slow in the beginning.


Tip 3: Use your Position to study your Opponent’s cards

As mentioned before, your position is a significant factor to be considered. By sitting in a later position, you can play more hands and increase your chance of winning more cash. Your position is especially crucial when you play cash games or tournaments.

Let’s simplify that particular poker tip: Play tight from early positions, widen up when coming closer to the button and steal the big pots when you are there.

The Most Favourable Poker Position

The most vital position is at the button as you’ll be able to play much more hands than from any other position. Evaluating your position well takes some time. Therefore, please pay close attention to it when playing poker and keep a close eye on your opponents.

Be Attentive During the Game

It takes experience and a more advanced skill level to suggest what poker hands your opponent could play. However, start monitoring other poker players by watching their actions at their respective positions post-flop. Make a mental note of how long it took the other poker players to decide, as it could indicate what they are holding.

Reading opponents takes a lot of practice, and therefore, take your time to develop this skill. Remember, there won’t be a guaranteed way to get perfect in it. Even advanced poker players can underestimate their opponents and make a huge mistake in their decision-making.


Tip 4: Start Playing One Table

Don’t get carried away! Poker beginners need to be entirely concentrated when getting into the world of poker. Build your basic poker strategy before jumping into something that would, most probably, be too overwhelming.

These means do not get into multi-tabling for the time being. If you play Online Poker multi-table, you should already have a more advanced skill level.

Pick one table at a time and practice all studied information in depth.


Tip 5: Practice Bluffing slowly and learn to Fold

Another beneficial basic poker strategy tip is only to play when you have an actual hand and fold when you don’t. Many online poker sites write that as soon as players enter real money games and use bluffing way more often. Especially in beginner poker, that’s almost a guaranteed way to lose more money than expected.

Stay Focused and Stay Alert

If you notice a passive opponent, who keeps calling and then starts raising out of nowhere, that’s the right moment to consider folding. This also means that a top pair poker hand should be folded. For beginner poker players, it can be hard to let go of these hands, but it’s something you need to learn if you want to advance in your poker games.

Bluffing won’t occur as often when playing against other beginner poker players. However, as soon as you play online poker against more advanced players, it will pay off for you to fold one pair hands.

Don’t forget, though, that not all opponents are passive players. It would be best to observe the poker table to learn the difference between a passive and an aggressive opponent. Adapt your poker strategy according to what actions are taken at the poker table.


Tip 6: Don’t be afraid of an Aggressive Poker Game

If you want to win cash games or poker tournaments and go home with the big pots, you need to play and bet. Tournament poker is aggressive and slow playing is not an option. And as you get the hang of the basics of game theory, you will also learn when it’s time to up the aggression at the poker table.

To Be Aware Of

New players tend to be too cautious and confused about when to check and when to bet and call when looking into tournament strategy articles. Even when holding a solid starting hand, they might consider it a weak hand and are not going out more aggressively and raise.

For example, when sitting at a full table, you want to push players without a winning hand and get the opponent to fold. Know the value of your hand at all times and up your poker game by making them pay to see those cards.

Remember, playing aggressively grows the pot. Don’t be afraid to play it if you have a winning hand.


Tip 7: Play with Patience

In the previous poker tip, we explained the aggressive nature of poker. However, playing aggressively doesn’t mean not thinking. As you know, poker is also a game of skill, regardless of which of the poker variants you are playing. One of the most critical poker tips is to fold far more hands than you play.

Use Every Second of The Poker Game for Your Own Benefit

Don’t get fooled. This is not a boring way to participate in a game. It’s part of your basic poker strategy and basically your insurance. Keep in mind that most hands dealt aren’t winning hands. If you are not holding a solid hand, you fold immediately.

Instead of getting lost in thoughts, use the time to study each move of your opponents. The good part of not worrying about your hand is monitoring the other poker players.

Wait for the moment where poker odds and pot odds are in your favour and go after it aggressively.


Tip 8: Learn Online Poker Lingo

Part of your basic poker strategy should be learning the poker lingo used. It can be overwhelming to get used to this language as a beginner. However, try not to get frustrated before you even start.

Ease yourself in it, and like learning any other language, it’ll become more apparent over time and with practice. Get started by absorbing some basic terms and build up your vocabulary gradually. Each time you come across a new word, look it up or even ask fellow players at the table. Don’t shy away from learning from others. Remember, everyone started the game at some point.

Commonly Used Poker Terms

To give you a head-start, here is a list of some commonly used poker terms and what they mean:

  • Backdoor: Used in community poker where a player makes a hand on the turn and the river. Also referred to as “catching a runner”.
  • Bad Beat: Means ‘bad luck’
  • Gutshot Straight: A player has the middle two cards of a straight as his pocket cards. Also referred to as an “inside straight draw”.
  • Kicker: A nickname for “high card”.
  • Muck: The pile of folded and burned cards during a hand. In some cases, it also refers to players folding.
  • Nuts: The best possible given hand on the board. It can change through the course of the game.
  • Ragged/Rags: A flop that doesn’t help anybody gain an advantage
  • Rainbow: A flop that contains three different suits. Indicates that a flush isn’t possible.


Tip 9: Play Responsibly on your Poker Journey

This might be one of the most crucial poker strategy tips for beginners. Do not underestimate the poker game and pay close attention to the mental game.

When playing poker, you need to focus on many things all at once. It’s not unusual to feel frustrated at times and overwhelmed. However, it’s essential to keep your emotions in check and avoid distraction.

Playing driven by emotions will lead to permanent losses, leading to even more stress and frustration. It’s important to plan for when things won’t work out as you wished for.

Remember, even though poker is considered a game of skill, it is still a game of luck. While you learn, stay aware of that fact and not neglect your mental health by chasing a dream.

SkyCity Online Casino is well aware of the potential problems of excessive gambling. Therefore you may read more about responsible gaming here.


Advance your Gameplay

Even if you become one of the advanced players, you’ll never stop learning. Keep reading up on how to play poker more and more professionally – keep studying poker odds, poker hands, and opponent’s range. As you progress, feel free to move on to the advanced strategy article.

The poker world is moving fast, and therefore, your poker strategy needs to improve regularly.


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