Getting Started With Poker As a Bettor
As an avid sports bettor, you may have come across a little ol’ card game called poker from time to time.
Poker has long been one of those games that is sometimes surrounded in mystery – how do the top players become so profitable? Is it difficult to learn and play? And so on.
The advent of digital gaming over the past couple of decades has somewhat demystified poker, transforming it into an online pastime that any adult with a working internet connection can participate in. While the game itself remains a challenging mindsport, increased access to poker resources has meant that more and more sports bettors are adding the game to their arsenal of betting tools.
If you’re looking to get started with playing poker, read on to discover crucial tips that will set you off on the right track.
Types of Games
Whether online or offline, there’s an almost exhaustive range of poker games that you can play. From different poker variants to gaming formats and straightforward cash games, it can be difficult to know where to begin.
As a poker beginner, one of the best ways to get started with the game is by participating in poker freerolls. Although popular with players of all experience levels, these games have no buy-in fee but still allow you to compete for cash prizes so they're perfect for novices.
Much like a standard poker tournament, freerolls have different levels of play with increasing blinds/ante bets etc, so the opportunity is there to develop your strategy and potentially pick up a prize purse depending on how far you progress.
Rules and Hands
If you’ve gone as far as sitting down at the felt, it’s safe to assume that you’ve at least brushed up on the basic rules of poker. The rules themselves are fairly straightforward to learn, so what you really need to focus on as a beginner is to get to grips with poker hand rankings.
You may already have a fair grasp of the different poker hands that are playable in a game, but are you able to utilise your knowledge to initiate and hold your position during a game? Understanding poker hand rankings won’t just give you knowledge of what cards to play and when, it will also help you when it comes to analysing the potential hands that your opponents could be holding too.
As in sports betting, a crucial part of developing as a poker player is to establish proper bankroll management from the outset. Yes, poker skills and an evolving strategy will contribute to success, but they only form part of the puzzle. Having a disciplined approach to money management will take you a lot further in the game than any inherent talent for the cards.
Even the best players in the world have gone broke on occasions and bad bankroll management has stopped talented players from progressing beyond a certain point. The importance of bankroll management can’t be stressed enough, especially when you’re just starting out in the game.
While bankroll management itself deserves an article all on its own, one simple rule of thumb to keep in mind from the moment you start playing is to never bet more than you can afford to lose. Set a limit for yourself when it comes to wagering and stick with it, even if the wins are coming in and profits are riding high.
Poker plays out in ebbs and flows; think of your bankroll as a life raft that will see you through when the waters get particularly choppy.