9 Tips for a Poker Room Beginner

Posted on: February 13, 2017

As a first time, or newbie poker player, going to play at your first poker room can be a nerve-racking experience-you’re not sure what to expect, how to play your best strategy, or even some of the general rules of the table. This is completely normal and a common way that most newbie poker players feel going into their first casino or poker room, so you can relax a little!

The good news for all new poker players out there who are feeling nervous about their first trip to a poker room, is that there are a variety of ways to counteract those nerves by preparing yourself with some of the best poker tips for newbie players!

Here are the top 9 tips for newbie poker players to remember for their first casino trip:

Always study your hands by writing them down

One of the best ways to improve your play no matter how long you have been playing poker, is to write down all the hands you play and sit down later to study those plays and identify all potential weak spots that you can improve. Review them with an experienced poker player if possible for even better insight.

Those so called, “exploitable” games can still be profitable for newbies

Playing in low-stakes games for poker players can be a win-win if you play your cards right against the right players. A low-stakes cash game like $1-2 and $2-5 no-limit Hold’em usually provides plenty of less skilled players who will basically give you their money if you’re patient enough. Remember though that this exploitable style of play won’t work as a long term strategy or against seasoned players.

Going for broke isn’t a good strategy

One of very first rules to live by as a newbie poker play (or any poker player for that matter) is to never gamble with money you can’t afford to lose. And since poker is all about taking risk when necessary, playing with your rent money is always a bad idea.

Know who you’re playing against

Now that you’re playing in a live poker room or at a casino you’re going to face the whole gamut in terms of types of players and styles of play. A big part of your game should focus on learning how different players will play in different situations so that you can respond accordingly.

Follow the money, not the live tells

This means that you should focus on the betting patterns of the other players and not their physical tells. While the physical tells are important you shouldn’t rely on them when making decisions about your hand, rather focus on the patterns they reveal to you.

Never lose sight of the action

No matter where the action is on the table or when your turn is, you should always have an eye for what’s happening and be watching every player on every street. That way you know the story of every hand, don’t play out of turn, and have a stronger grasp on the game and a better feel of each player.

Dealer errors can happen-always protect your chips

This means that you shouldn’t give up your cards until you’ve officially folded or someone has secured the pot, the reason being that even the dealers are subject to human error and can on the rare occasion, make a mistake that puts the chips in the wrong hand so always pay attention.

Know the house rules!

In addition to knowing the basic game rules you should also be familiar with the house rules, or the rules unique to the casino or poker room you’re playing at. Poker newbies are often surprised when they learn of a rule only after breaking it, so observe your fellow players, ask questions, and look to find out the house rules before dealing in.
Sign up for a player’s card

Newbie players often forget or simply don’t know of how beneficial a player’s card can be when they play at a casino or poker room. Many casinos will offer a sign-up bonus when you register for a player’s card, which can end up earning you some extra cash by the end of the night, in addition to giving you access to member discounts and special offers!