Five tips for the rookie to veteran poker player

Whether you're new to online poker tournaments, moving up in the ranks or are a seasoned veteran of the sport, winning is your ultimate goal. There are plenty of strategies unique to playing online to master; read our top five tips to help play your best hand yet.

Master the poker basics

Get the basics right, and all else will follow. An important part of poker strategy is keeping track of your chips and how your stack compares to blinds (forced bets). Remember you can’t buy more chips in tournaments, so this amount matters to your overall gameplay.

Next: don’t recklessly flash the cash. You don’t want to blow your whole budget on the wrong buy-ins and try not to bluff too early - you could give away your hand.

Preparation is key

Think you could win a million on your first seat at the table? It’s unlikely, as in this game of skill you need to practice.

Start with low stakes, one-table tournaments before attempting multi-table play. Take part, and succeed in, a number of these tournaments before challenging yourself at a higher-stakes game.

You’ll want to know your different opponents too, and by analysing different play styles you’ll become a better player against your peers. In poker, rookies are usually known as ‘fish’; amateurs who can be spotted a mile off. You don’t want to be that guy.

Refine your playing strategy

Once you reach intermediate levels of play, focus your inner James Bond to improve your poker playing strategy.

At this level, you should be comfortable to loosen up at the middle stages and won’t get caught out during the exciting bubble phase of the tournament. This is when players are just a few spots away from the jackpot and are trying not to get busted (eliminated).

Follow the poker greats like Fedor Holz who use the ‘tight and aggressive’ playing strategy known as TAG. You should be very selective about the hands you play and always look for clever ways to spot other players’ weaknesses.

Success at the final table stage

Reaching veteran status? You’ve likely made it to the final table a few times at this point. By now, you should have graduated to more aggressive play to hoodwink your opponents.

Remember the goal here is not to get busted. Make sure you steal the blinds at every opportunity you get as this is when they are at their biggest. And keep your eyes peeled for any unsuspecting ‘fish’ still in play.

Raise your stakes to win big

If you want to become a poker pro and leave behind your 9 - 5, you’ll need to play at least 150 tournaments. Don’t be discouraged: the best time to get started is today!

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