Becoming a winning poker player is like learning a new skill. Here are 10 tips for players who are at the beginning of their poker journey:
1. Learn, learn, learn
If you want to become a consistent winner take as much time as possible to learn about the game and the strategies. You can do this by watching poker training videos or live streams, reading strategy articles, reading poker books or learning from people who are already good.
The single best advice I can give you regarding learning poker strategy is that you have to be patient. Poker is a very complex game and some of the strategy concepts are complicated and hard to understand.
People underestimate the time it takes to succeed as a poker player. Some of them think that If they read a book or two and then put it all into practice they will become great players. How many people when they went to college would’ve thought to walk up to the professor and say, I know the course is for a semester, but I think a week should be enough for me to get it. Gaining proficiency is the same in poker as in any other profession – it requires experience, and experience takes time.
A good idea would be to use a combination of study and practice. Learn some of the more basic concept and then keep playing until you fully understand how to implement them. A player shouldn’t spend time studying complex concepts without first mastering the fundamentals.
If you don’t know where to start or which topics to study first I would recommend you to join PokerStrategy.com, one of the best poker schools out there. The basic strategy articles, training videos and live coachings are completely free and you also gain access to a forum to discuss hands and strategies. Click here to sign-up now!
2. Use smart bankroll management
Good bankroll management is crucial for poker players. It is one of the most important parts of your overall strategy and is something you have control over. The number one reason a player goes broke is due to poor bankroll management.
Downswings are inevitable, so plan accordingly! Make sure you only risk a small percentage of your bankroll.
Set yourself strict bankroll management rules and do not deviate from them no matter what! Keep in mind that no matter how soft a higher stake game is or how big a higher buy-in tournament is, if your bankroll doesn’t allow it be smart and don’t play there. Don’t ever play with an amount of money that you’re not willing and prepared to lose.
3. Start small
As a beginner, play on the lowest limit possible. Your goal is to learn to play well and your decision making process should not depend on how much money you will win or lose.
4. Let go of the get rich quick mentality
One thing that new players desire is to get rich quick. One thing that new players do not achieve is to get rich quick.
The greatest players dedicate their life and put in the hard work to master poker. Mediocre ones are always looking for a quick and easy way, which doesn’t exist, so they waste their time searching with false expectations. When you stop googling things like: ”5 minute easy hand chart to win at poker” I can guarantee you are on the right road to becoming a better player. There is no get rich quick way and all potential shortcuts you may take will end up costing you way more time and money in the end.
“For me, the most important thing that helped to become a winning player was to study. I have read basically every poker book, watched numerous videos, and spent countless hours posting on poker forums online trying to figure out the optimal play in every situation. If you study long and hard, it is tough to fail at poker.” – Jonathan Little
Let go of the get rich quick mentality. Be patient, put in the work, and see what happens…
5. Use a poker notebook
A poker notebook or journal can be game-changing. Make sure you take notes while watching training videos, live coachings, reading poker books or strategy articles. “Researchers found that if important information was contained in notes, it had a 34 percent chance of being remembered. Information not found in notes had only a five percent chance of being remembered.” (Howe, 1970, in Longman and Atkinson, 1999)
When you are reading or listening, taking notes helps you concentrate. In order to take notes you must understand the text. As listening and reading are interactive tasks, taking notes help you make sense of the text. Taking notes does not mean writing down everything you hear; you need to actively decide what is important and how is related to what you have already written.
Writing forces your mind to connect the dots.
6. Prepare for your poker sessions
A good warm up routine helps you approach your poker session with calm, confidence and awareness. If you’re playing unprepared, you are preparing to fail.
Some good warm up routine examples for new players:
- Eliminate all distractions. (phone, TV, etc.)
- Revise your notes of a recent study session: write down on a piece of paper the subject you focus on and keep that in front of you. Also, use this to mark relevant hands to review later.
- Watch a poker training video.
- Make sure you had enough sleep: Being well rested and nourished may be more important to your poker performance than you think.
- Review long-term goals and set short-term goals for your day or poker session. These goals can be tactical, mental or other poker-related goals.
- Read a poker book or an article
- Read ThePokerMindset posts. 😊
Note: If you want to learn more about pre-session warm up routines and improve your poker mindset check out Elliot Roe’s A-Game Masterclass by clicking here.
7. Take full responsibility
One of the best advice I can give you if you want to become a great poker player is to take full responsibility and accountability for your results and actions. Understand that nothing is owed to you and nothing will be handed to you.
Whatever happens in your poker career, YOU are responsible for it. Don’t blame luck, the dealer, the poker software or the other players for your failures. The sooner you take full responsibility for your outcomes the better.
8. Work on your poker mindset
To become a great poker player you need a good strategy, that’s pretty obvious. What’s not so obvious is that you also need a good poker mindset. If your mind isn’t right you cannot play poker effectively.
The edges in poker are getting smaller and smaller, but there’s still a big advantage for those players who know how to consistently reach their mental peak. By all means, work on your mindset, it will pay off in the end.
9. You have to want it
Put in the hard work! Poker is that awesome and rewarding precisely because it’s so difficult to master. Learn to appreciate this! Becoming a winning poker player requires a tremendous amount of learning and practicing. Throw in the psychological aspects and you’ll see why most people don’t make it in this field. However, the good news is that if you have the perseverance, playing poker for a living is a reality for you.
True passion is a solid foundation for your poker career. Here are some of my favorite quotes on passion for poker:
“I love poker. I will always have a drive and passion for poker that far surpasses any feeling or emotion I’ve ever felt. I will get better. I will be the best.” – Linus “LLinusLove” Loeliger
“I am one of the lucky people who has been able to make a living playing a game which was always my passion.” – Phil Ivey
“I think it’s really important to listen to yourself. If you have true motivation and you’re playing the game for the right reasons – because you love it – you’ll naturally be motivated to play and naturally be motivated to work on your game.” – Jason Koon
10. Sign up to a poker training website
People ask me all the time which are the best poker courses. For a new player it can be so difficult to choose the right one. Here are two of the best poker training websites. Pokerstrategy is very good for both beginners and advanced players; RunItOnce for those who already have some experience with poker.
At the beginning of my poker career I learned to play at Pokerstrategy.com. It is the largest poker school in the world. There you can find poker strategy articles, training videos, live coaching sessions, news about the poker world, new promotions and a forum where you can discuss hands or ask for help. What is really good about this site is that they offer lessons for all skill levels, from newbie to pro. For beginners it’s probably the best place to start your poker education and become a better player. The good news: It’s FREE to join and a lot of the beginner strategy articles and training videos are completely FREE. Click here to join PokerStrategy Now!
With over 130+ Pros, 5000+ training videos(mindset and strategy as well) and an active community RunItOnce is one of the biggest poker startegy community in the world. If you are truly commited to improving your game and becoming a successful poker player consider subscribing to one of their plans.
Essential Plan: Build a solid fundation of your game. What you get: Unlimited forum access, 5 new Essential videos every week, Access to over 2200 Essential videos.
Elite Plan: Learn from the best players on the planet. What you get: Unlimited forum access, 5 new Essential videos every week, Access to over 2200 Essential videos, 9 new Elite videos per week, Access to over 3400 Elite videos.