Poker, and especially Texas Hold’em Poker, has seen a dramatic increase in popularity in the past decade or so thanks in large part to Chris Moneymaker’s win of $2.5 million at the 2003 WSOP Main Event. Whether this is your first gambling game to play or not, you surely need some beginner poker strategy to help you when you play. This article will do just that for you. We assume you're playing Texas Hold’em since this is the usual Texas Hold’em game that beginners learn when first learning how to play poker.
It is assumed that you know the basic rules of Texas Hold’em Poker. But to refresh your memory, it is a community card game played by 2 up to 10 players. Players bet on the value of their poker hands, which are different combinations of cards. To make their hands, players can combine their personal cards with cards shared by all players (these are referred to as “community cards”). As cards are dealt, players take turns betting, raising the bet, or folding their hands.
Because players are not required to show their cards except in a showdown at the end of the game, when two or more players are left, it is possible to “bluff” or pretend you have a good hand when you don't. Most hands in No Limit Hold’em don’t see a showdown, and so you don’t necessarily need to the best hand to take down a pot. Bluffing is a crucial aspect of the game you will need to get better at if you expect to be a winning player.
Poker is so popular nowadays that even celebrities play in poker tournaments and win. Major poker tournaments have expensive entry fees so usually only professionals who've been playing (and winning) for a long time can join. But thanks to the Internet, amateurs can earn seats there by winning satellite tournaments online, which are held at major US online poker sites in the lead up to the major tourneys. Now you can play poker against the best and worst players in the world without having to fork out a lot of money. Once you learn some beginner poker strategy such as what you’re learning here, there's no excuse for you not to play this great game.
Please note that this page generally assumes you are playing Texas Hold’em ring games. Ring games, as opposed to tournaments, are what you play in casino poker rooms, but you will also find these games at online poker rooms. You can join whenever there's a vacant seat and leave anytime you're not in a hand, which makes them convenient and fun to play, especially the shorthanded games since they provide more action.
Strategy for tournament poker is often different and situational, so you shouldn’t be using cash game concepts when playing in tournaments. You’re playing short-stacked in tournaments a lot of the time, unlike ring games where you generally always have a 100 big blind stack or bigger depending on how the session is going.