5 Tips for Your First Week of Poker
Welcome to the wonderful World of Poker. It's a great game that's fun and exciting to play. As your poker journey continues you will meet new friends and experience the thrills and excitement of battling it out against other opponents at the tables and winning their chips!
If you are completely new to the game then there's a lot to take in. In this article we will offer you five simple tips to get you started and ease you into the game. We will assume that you are a player that has just found out about the game and you are looking for some help to get you started. These tips can also be used by players that already know the basics of the game but are finding it hard to make progress and feel like they could benefit from starting off from the beginning again.
We must remember that even the most accomplished and successful poker pros once started off where you are right now. That's right, it might be hard to believe but that guy you see on the television making tens of thousands of dollars at the tables once started off exactly where you are right now, at the very beginning.
So take a look at the 5 tips below for you 1st week of poker and digest each of them one by one. Consider these tips as the foundation stones on which you will build yourself a long and successful poker career.
Tip Number 1 - Join a Poker Community
Poker is a much easier game to learn if you have a place to chat and discuss about different aspects of the game with other like-minded players. When you join a poker community like PokerStars School you will have access to a poker forum where you can post your questions about the game and have them answered by experience players who understand and are happy to help out a new player. Another good idea is to keep a poker blog as you continue on your journey. This is a great way to track your progress and over time you will be able to look back at older blogs you've made and you'll see just how much of an improvement you've made. A poker blog also makes you honest as you'll make more effort when you know that others will be reading your posts.
Tip Number 2 - Find Good Quality Resources for Learning Poker
The internet has thousands of sites offering videos and courses to teach you strategies for playing poker. Sometimes however, quality is better than quantity and it's better to find just one or two places that offer the very best resources. Trying to absorb too much information at once can be a bad experience and won't help you improve. It's much better to choose just one really good video during your 1st week and focus on learning the concepts of that one before moving on to the next.
Tip Number 3 - Play within Your Limits
Decide how much money you are going to spend during your first week of poker and stick to that. As you learn more about the game you will often hear poker players talk about their 'bankroll'. This is the amount of money they have set aside for playing poker. You will also come across the term 'Bankroll Management' and this is a crucial skill to learn. It's advised that new recreational players should only risk 10% of their bankroll at once, so if you have $100 in your bankroll you should not buy-in to a tournament of more than $10 or sit at a cash game table with more than that amount. As a general rule only play at a limit that you feel comfortable with and wouldn't be too upset if you didn't make any cash after playing. If you feel that a buy-in is too high and that you can't afford to lose this money then don't play it. You don't want this to be a reason to make bad decisions while playing.
Tip Number 4 - Review and Analyze Your Play
Reviewing play from your previous sessions is by far one of the best ways to improve your game. During your first week you might find that you just want to do nothing else only play poker but this is a mistake and a bad habit to get into. It's advised that for every 2 hours you spend playing at the tables you should spend 1 hour studying the game, either watching videos or reviewing hands you've played during a previous session. If you are unsure if you've played a hand correctly then you should ask a more experienced player what they think. One easy way to do this is to post the hand in the poker forum that you've joined and ask if you could have played it any better. You'll be surprised by just how many people will respond to you offering tips and you should take their advice onboard.
Tip Number 5 - Be Respectful and Have Fun
Poker is a game that is enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of players from every corner of the world and it's a great way to meet new friends. It's important however to have respect for each other and to treat others nicely, especially players that are new to the game and are still learning the basics of it. Sometimes you might come across a player that is having a bad session or a player that you've just won a large pot against. A player like this might be tempted to berate you in the chat box but don't make the mistake of getting into a confrontation with these players. If they are insulting you simply block their chat and remember, as they are busy blowing off steam in the chat box they are not focusing on the current hand in play. It's much better to ignore the chat and focus on the hand that you are playing and the decision you are making right now in the moment. Don't get distracted by nuisance chat!
Some other little tips that will help you along the way.
Avoid dwelling on bad beats - sometimes a player with a worse pocket pair than you have actually ends of winning the hand, that's poker. Bad beats will happen but the biggest problem begins when players let bad beats affect them to the point that they are no-longer focused.
Don't sit still - Do at least one thing each day that will help you improve your poker game, either post a hand in a poker forum, write a poker blog, or watch a video. Each time you do you are putting yourself one step ahead of the competition.
Take a day off - Poker can be so exciting that we don't realize just how much time we are spending playing or learning. Overload can be a bad thing and it will eventually burn you out mentally. Schedule some off-time into your week and you'll find that the time off has recharged your poker batteries and you are ready to go again for the following week.