How to get started playing poker

Playing poker is a popular leisure activity but it does take time to master. Happily, there are a number of things that can be taken into account from the get-go in order to make this process simpler and slightly faster.

The very start of poker is to actually sit down and learn the basics. Rules of play, how many cards are dealt and of course the different winning card combinations and their order of importance. There’s no use diving into poker if you think a pair beats a Royal Flush, now is there? Once these basics are mastered it is then time to do some analysis. Watching other players can be very useful and it is also important to remember that playing online is different to playing in the flesh so make sure you have decided which form you are going to play. Stick to one variant and learn all the details for that.

It is also important to be able to control emotions when playing poker. It can be a stressful game, but anger and sadness can quickly cloud judgment, bringing you to your knees faster than you can say “poker”. With this in mind it is important to try and establish a focused and calm mind during play and if you can’t be calm, learn to walk away.

Don’t play every hand and don’t bluff all the time. These are two key areas that most beginners fail at. Many newcomers get excited by being part of the game and will stay in play long after they should either in response to their hand or their bankroll.

This brings me to the last point. Always play well within your means and at the same skill level as yourself. Going outside of both will only bring you to ruin in a very quick manner and neither will help you improve your game in any way.