13 back-to-basics beginners tips to help put the fun back in poker - Acura ILX Forums ILX Club
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-05-2018, 03:27 AM Thread Starter
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13 back-to-basics beginners tips to help put the fun back in poker

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1. Dont expect to lose, but plan to. Poker is an imperfect game, and no matter how well you play theres no guarantee youll come out ahead. Sure, over time skill will prevail, but to put the odds in your favor would require such a large sample size of hands that youd have to be an insomniac. If you go to a poker game with $200, plan to lose it all, consider it the cost of an evening on the town. If you win, great; if you lose, no big deal.

2. Smile at the table, tell a joke, chat with other players, enjoy yourself. Dont waste your days off of work turning poker into another job. Theres no reason to stare down other players or to gripe about someone elses bad play. Of course, if youre playing with close friends, heckle at will, but dont belittle lesser players just because you can.

3. Listen to bad beat stories, but never tell one; nobody is listening anyway. Poker players are selfish in nature, they have to be. No matter how brutal your story is, other players are just waiting to one up you. Change the subject or be an observer.

4. Know the rules and know when its your turn to act. Theres nothing worse than a player who slows down the game by not knowing when the action is on them. If you dont want the other players to hate you, pay attention. It will keep the game moving and other players will appreciate the courtesy. That said, be flexible. Sometimes amateur players make amateur mistakes, especially in home games. For help getting started there are a lot of how-to poker books on the market; one that I would recommend is Phil Hellmuths Play Poker Like the Pros.

5. Win graciously, buy a round after the game. A broke loser always appreciates a free beer.

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6. Lose graciously, buy a round anyway. If you cant afford to buy a round after the game, you had too much money on the table to begin with.

7. Learn games other than Hold em. You dont need to be a HORSE expert, but learn how to play Omaha and Stud, and learn one fun variation for dealers choice for home games. I personally like Pineapple, a sort of hybrid of Omaha and Hold em where players are dealt three hole cards, only two of which play with the cards on the board, so your hand will change over the course of the action.

8. Chat up the dealer and be sure to tip. 99% of the time the dealer is the most interesting person at the table. Dealers catch a lot of grief rarely get credit and theyll appreciate a friendly conversation. Heck, you might learn something. If they dont appreciate the conversation, theyll appreciate the money and pretend to enjoy the conversation; its their job.

9. Invite the ladies. Boys nights are for, well, boys. Women are just as good at poker, and a night of cards, cigars, and bourbon will make for a unique date. Added bonus: If you go bust, at least youll have attractive woman to talk to on the rail.

10. Dont wear sunglasses or attempt other wardrobe gimmicks. Trust me, the table sees right through you.

11. Take it like a man. If you lose, or if you catch a bad beat, recognize that poker is full of life lessons. Shrug it off, learn something. A bad night at the poker table is nothing more than a handful of lemons

12. Get comfortable handling chips. Like the old basketball coachs method of making players dribble a ball wherever they go, bring chips to work, to dinner, anywhere. Its one less thing youll have to think about at the table. Try learning at least one trick too. There are plenty of good how-to videos on YouTube for chip shuffling, flipping, and twirling.

13. Drop the hammer, always drop the hammer. Theres no better feeling in poker than taking down a pot with 7-2, the worst starting hand in no-limit Hold em. If you lose, which is likely, at least youve announced to the world that you came to party.

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