Poker can be an extremely addictive game that takes a lot of time and dedication to master. It is also a game of extremes, and many players go from being break-even beginner players to million-dollar winners on the pro circuit. The divide is not as wide as some people believe though, and often it is just a few little adjustments in strategy that make all the difference.
Learn relative hand strength
When you’re a beginner, it’s important to understand that your hands are only good or bad in relation to the other player’s. It’s all about the situation. For example, pocket kings might look strong in isolation but a weak kicker on the flop will usually spell disaster. This is why you need to study the tendencies of your opponents and understand what kind of hands they tend to play.
One of the best ways to improve your odds of winning a hand is to play it aggressively. This will help you force weaker hands out of the pot and raise the value of your own. However, you must be aware of the risk involved and only put money into the pot when it has positive expected value.
Always play in position and be careful when bluffing. As a beginner, you’re still learning relative hand strength and it’s easy to get caught out when you try to make a big bluff in the early stages of a pot. As a rule, only bet the amount you can afford to lose and keep track of your wins and losses.