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Things I wished I knew before I started with online poker

Obviously you can learn as you go along, but it might be more fun to learn some of the basic truths or as some may call them, clichés. These guidelines mentioned here should be viewed from a beginners perspective, not an experienced player and are mostly valid in micro stakes games. In the beginning you need to rely on strategies, guidelines and other forms of mechanical playing aids but as you get more experienced you will develop a "feel" for the game that will help you make a lot better decisions depending on the situation and the opponent. You should also consider not to become too predictable, but when just starting out I feel one of the most important things is to avoind all the costly mistakes that so many new players seems to love to make.

Online Texas Hold’em Poker clichés

      • Evaluate your own skills and be honest about your level as a player
        o Poker is a learning game composed of experience and knowledge of odds
        o When starting out you need to be careful not to loose all you money before you has a chance to learn and improve your game - play at the lowest stakes and always within your limits.
      • Patience
        o Acknowledge that you will be folding most of the time
        o Not every hand is playable – if you think it is you are probably relying on some measure of luck, which can be fine but also costly
      • Assess your current mood when playing
        o Consider not playing at all when you are irritated, stressed or annoyed
        o If you find yourself being distracted during the game, take a break and if your concentration doesn’t improve – quit altogether
        o If luck doesn’t seem to go your way consider not playing anymore today – tomorrow will give you new possibilities if you keep your money today
      • Things doesn't even out over time!
        o There is no such thing as “the long run”
        o Every bet you make counts and you cannot count on better luck later
        o You need to adapt your playing style to the circumstances
      • Consider the workings of probability
        o Coin tossing should always give you 50-50 odds but just because the coin just showed heads doesn’t improve your chance for a tail in the next toss very much. The probability says so, but the coin doesn’t have a memory and it might show heads a hundred times more
        o Transferred to the table it means that the player, who just had a pair of aces in the previous hand, can easily have a straight, a pair of kings or even a pair of aces in the current hand! It may be improbable, but if a player normally receives 3 very good hands out of a thousand, they can just as easily be consecutive
      • Only play strong hands
        o From 1-5 depending on your position, maybe even 6 if no one shows strength
        o Alternate calculate starting hands as 2,5 plus 0,5 per seat after BB up to 6
      • The flop should strengthen your hand or at least offer a strong draw possibility
        o In general it’s fit or fold
        o Don’t proceed after the flop without a strong pair + kicker or a sure winning draw possibility
      • Starting hands
        o 169 reasonable possibilities depending on your position
           Pairs
           Connecting cards
           Gapped cards
           Suited connectors
           Suited gapped cards
        o A+K as a starting hand and a flop with either A or K will render the strongest possible pair
        o This is also why A, K or Q plus small side card seldom wins – someone is likely to have a higher kicker
      • Be aware of your opponent’s possibilities with the flop, turn and river
        o If they appear strong there is a good possibility that they have exactly what you fear
        o Watch out for check-raises
        o Don’t worry about the bluff possibility unless you have strong reasons to suspect that AND your hand is strong
        o Cautious betting and folding can prove inexpensive compared to calling a suspected bluff
        o Be very certain that you have considered all your opponents possibilities before you act, when the opponent is showing strengths
      • Don't always defend SB, or even BB
        o While it might seem inexpensive to see the flop, you should not call when your cards are weak
        o You should definitely never call a raise on a weak hand, especially if it wasn’t the dealer who raised
      • When losing, slow down – considerably
        o Only play the strongest hands (1-2)
        o Play with caution and don’t overplay your strong hands unless you’re absolute certain it is the strongest possible hand
        o On a losing streak your image will suffer - consider changing table
        o Never loose your cool – tilted players tend to loose a lot of money in a short time. If you are tilting – take a break from the game
      • While important, bluffing is not all that vital to the poker player
        o Know your opponents when bluffing
        o Some players call every bet even with weak hands and cannot be bluffed
        o Consider that many poor players thinks they have to challenge every bluff as a safe guard against future bluffs
      • Never but too much pressure on yourself by playing at too high stakes
        o It will cripple your playing style and make you take foolish decisions
        o Don’t gamble with money you cannot afford too loose – better players should expect to win on average, but sometimes they loose as well

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