Share this on

Poker is truly amazing. It teaches you how to focus under pressure, develops your strategical reasoning skills, and provides new challenges every time you learn a new game.

When trying out a new game, follow these simple rules to get a jump-start, and you may end up with a profit in your first session.

Master the Rules

This one goes without saying, but you will be surprised how often players miss this step. I’ve heard many complaints when players jump from Texas hold ’em to Omaha without realizing the differences in the rules. If you make this mistake, you are almost sure to start off by losing.

What’s more, you might decide to try Stud, Razz or one of other games that could be completely different to what you are used. So spend some time familiarizing yourself with betting rounds, positions or even hand rankings, which can differ from one format to the next. To put it simply, do your homework.

Play Just One Table

When starting in the new game, your goal is to learn strategy and improve, not to grind it. Therefore, concentrate on playing one table, absorbing all the information and learning from it.

Leave multi-tabling for the future and stick with playing one table until you feel super comfortable with everything that is going on. Until then, concentrate on your opponents, how they are playing, what hands they have at showdowns, etc., and learn to outplay them.

Start with Low Stakes

While you are new to the game, the best way to familiarize yourself is starting with low stakes. Jumping right into higher stakes will cost you a lot of money and will not help you in any way. Moreover, starting in play money games or freerolls is a disastrous idea as well, and you can be sure that you will not learn anything there.

Remember, you are not here to make a profit. You are here to simply learn the game, so stay concentrated on the right things. Starting with small stakes will help you feel more comfortable, and give you a chance to see the dynamics and whole picture of the game without losing a lot of money.

Moreover, it will let you follow the best practices for poker bankroll management, one of the most important steps for success.

Take Time to Make Decisions

Making decisions too quickly without thinking them through is a bad habit in every game, but when you are just starting to learn, it could easily kill all your potential winnings.

It is essential to take enough time and think through your decisions at the beginning because you could be overwhelmed with a ton of new information. Before deciding what your move is, always take into consideration hand rankings, positions, ranges and your opponent’s play.

Play Your Opponent

Probably one of the biggest mistakes that many players make when starting out is not paying enough attention to the opponent. Everyone knows the saying, “Play your opponent, not your cards,” and it applies in all poker formats.

Therefore, when you master the rules and start to get a feel of the new game, try to adjust your strategy against different opponents and you will have much better results.

Summing It Up

Learning a new game is a fascinating experience, and you can make it more pleasurable by starting in the right way. If you are ready to learn and want to find more info, look at the best poker tips for beginners and start your journey today!

Related Articles

Tadas Peckaitis

Tadas Peckaitis is a professional poker player, author of the free poker book “Play ‘A’ Game and be the Boss at Your Poker Table," and poker coach at He is also a big fan of personal effectiveness and always trying to do more. Tadas shares his knowledge about both of these topics with his students and deeply enjoys it.