So you’re new to the game of poker, at least in the casino scene, and you’re nervous and unsure of what to expect from your first experience? Welcome to the rookies poker club, where every poker player has started and eventually graduated from!
Walking into a casino for the first time can definitely be an overwhelming experience and what with all the stimulating distractions, it can be hard to get your bearings the first time you sit around a poker table. To make things a bit less hectic and stressful for your first casino poker game, we have put together a list of tips and advice to make the game a little less intimidating for all you poker rookies out there!
Check for a wait list
Believe it or not, many casinos do take wait lists for poker rooms that you can look up online before leaving for the casino, saving you the waiting time once you get there. This can be beneficial to you because it saves you the time you would be waiting around the casino, losing money on other games that you could be spending on poker.
Focus on what you came for – the poker
Casinos are supposed to be distracting places, but it’s going to be in your best interest to stay focused on what you came for – the poker room. While there is certainly nothing wrong with trying your hand at other games like Blackjack for example, do your best to avoid those distractions and focus all your playing energy on poker.
Learn the rules so they don’t surprise you after it’s too late
If you want to give yourself the greatest chance of succeeding as a poker player you first need to learn the game and how it’s played before jumping in head-first. Start with the basics if you have never played before by doing the necessary research; while there are a variety of different styles of poker, the goal is ultimately to win the maximum number of chips by having better hands than your opponents.
*Don’t be afraid to ask questions either
*Take advantage of free lessons, or watch tournament game play to get a feel before diving right into game play
When dealing with money, put the cash on the table
As a general rule, casino employees are not supposed to handle cash directly from player’s hands, so try to get into the habit of placing the money on the table every time you need to exchange cash.
*Speaking of money, it can also save you time to buy the chips before heading to the table so you don’t need to get them from the dealer
Keep your cards visible and protect them!
By placing your chips (or anything really) on your hand during the action, you are communicating to the whole table that you’re still in the action. If another player throws their cards down and they hit your unprotected cards then your hand is dead, no questions asked.
Everyone starts somewhere-don’t overthink your first time
Even the pro’s had to start as rookies one time or another, so don’t set your sights too high for the first few times you play live poker at a casino. Also remember that the game of poker has a bit of a learning curve to it, so don’t interpret your lack of skill as a sign that you should quit!