You will find that as a beginner you’re going to go against other beginners in many cases, but you will find some advanced players as well from time to time. You’re always going to learn and have to figure new things out in this game, but while you’re still starting out you need to find a strategy is easy to learn and follow through and then stick with it. We’ll cover the way you should approach the game as a beginner below, but in the meantime make sure you stick with the micro stakes tables while you’re still learning. The better players will often choose to stay at the higher limit tables, so by sticking to the ones with very small limits you give yourself a better chance at winning.
Beginners need to understand rather quickly the fact that a game of poker is not just about luck, it’s about skill and strategy as well. It’s also not always about bluffing, so you have to understand how the game is played and the fact that some players are aggressive while others are playing a tight game.
One of the main things you can do to start forming a strategy for yourself is to learn abut the odds and percentages that are involved in the game. Know what the best hands are to start with and learn the odds so you know them as soon as you see the combination of cards. By practicing you will be able to make quick decisions and calculations. You will have to learn the odds of getting the right combination of cards on the flop and other elements that allow you to make informed decisions and not rely just on luck.
Once you do know the odds and you have an idea when you need to give up and when you should stick with it, work on your discipline as well. The right strategy will allow you to recover eventually, as long as you apply it correctly. Even if you go through a streak of bad luck, keep going and make sure you don’t stray from your chosen strategy. If mistakes are made, learn from them and don’t repeat them in the future.
Money wise, a short stack strategy would probably be better for a beginner, allowing them not to risk a huge amount while they’re still learning the ropes. The amount you take to the table is about the equivalent of 20 big blinds. The decisions you make will mostly be pre-flop and on the flop, consisting in raise, fold and all-in.
One thing you have to adjust for is the type of table you’re at, sometimes being a loose and other times a tight strategy. For the micro stakes tables chances are that you’re going to find yourself at a loose table, but know how to play a tight game as well if you want to give yourself a good chance. This is known as changing gears, being able to go from one strategy to another and becoming unpredictable for the other players at the table. You can do it once you’re familiar with both loose and tight play styles.