Have you ever wanted to get into Poker but being put off by the complex nature of it? If you have, you’re not alone. Whilst the card game is always featured on TV and in film, it can be quite off-putting for the casual gamer.
Yet it needn’t be. Poker isn’t all about stern poker-faces and card-counting, it’s also about fun and it can be an incredibly engaging game, even for those with little to no knowledge of it. Here we take a look at some of the most simplistic ways to get into the card game and analyse just how hard it is to become competent at poker.
Striving for excellence
If you want to become adept and poker and start making money from it, then, like anything else, you’ll have to put in the hours to reach a high-level. There are over 2.5 million different hands that you can have in a 52-card game of poker.
So, safe to say, you’ll never know every possible outcome in your hand. Yet even if you did, you wouldn’t be guaranteed to be a poker success. The game isn’t just about getting the right combination of cards, it’s about reading other players too.
You’ll have to learn when to stick, when to go all-in, when someone is bluffing or when to go defensive. It’s a complicated business. If you play a minimum of 10 hours a week for 12 months then you COULD reach the stage where you become a competent player.
The best way that you can get into poker is by playing with friends. You don’t have to go to a casino, you don’t have to pay big bucks and you don’t have to have a high-level of skill – unless your mates are professional poker players.
Set your stakes low, agree to play after the football or later on in the evening and set a friendly atmosphere.
In the process you can have fun, bond with your friends and start to understand the game a bit better. Not only will you start to know the best hands and how they can be used, but you’ll start to read body language which is arguably the most important part of poker.
Be it FIFA, stocks or poker, there’s always one way to ensure you have the best chance possible, that’s researching. If you’re playing FIFA Ultimate Team, you’re going to research the best value players that fit your style right?
If you’re investing £1 or £10,000 in the stock market, you’re going to do at least basic research as well. It’s the same for poker. You can make sure you’re fully prepared for a game of poker by putting in the hours researching the game.
There are plenty of websites that you can use to learn about poker hands, mathematical chances and strategies before you take the first plunge into playing. As the saying goes, Failing to prepare is preparing to fail!
Okay, so none of your friends are in to poker and you can’t particularly be bothered doing all the research that you need to. You just want to play right? Well, before you put on your suit and book a taxi to your nearest casino, look online.
You can recreate the exact same vibe of a casino from the comfort of your living room sofa nowadays. Online you can play simplistic games like TXS Holdem Pro, tailoring the game to your budget without feeling embarrassed stood next to the high-rollers. This enables you to build up your confidence before making any brave moves. Just make sure you bet within your capabilities, if you’re a novice, make sure your stake is commensurate to this.
Like the above, you can play real-time games on web-based gambling sites from your phone, but you can also play for free with no risk of losing money. On both Android and iPhone there are a number of poker apps that let you practice against an AI with virtual currency.
After playing with friends, the next step is often playing poker against the computer on your phone. That method ensures there is absolutely zero risk (unless you want there to be) and maybe even more importantly, zero shame.
Nothing can be more embarrassing than going all-in because you think you have a great hand, only to discover that your hand was pretty rubbish. You then have to sit there and watch as your chips are taking away and all the other players’ chuckle to themselves.
If you’re playing on your phone against the AI then there’s no way you’ll be embarrassed, and most importantly, you can learn from your mistakes in a safe environment at a time of your pleasing.
Poker is an incredibly complex game and it’s not to be taken lightly by new players. Unlike roulette and blackjack, you can’t just go in to a casino and have a flutter with a basic knowledge of the game. If you do that, you’ll quickly find yourself out of pocket and drowning in a sea of shame.
The best way to enjoy poker is when you have an understanding of the game of feel confident in your abilities. In order to do that, you’ll need to do your research first. Read up about poker hands and strategies, watch YouTube videos of professional players and look up bluffing techniques.
Once you’ve done that, practice with your friends, play poker on your phone or tablet and iron out all of your mistakes against the AI. After that, move on up to online poker, playing against other players from a similar level and once you’ve mastered that, head on down to Monte Carlo Casino and win your millions.