Beginner Poker Lessons: Strategy and Decision-Making

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Decided to start playing poker? Awesome! Let’s review some of the key metrics of the game, how to get the most out of them, and how they might just help you in your life when you’re not even at the poker table. Let’s dive into some poker lessons!

Hand Selection and Decision-Making Skills

When you first ‘get what poker is’ you’ll soon realize that at every round you’ll have the chance to play or pass when dealt a new hand and as the round progresses. Here poker players have to make a judgment call on whether their hand is still worth proceeding with. That will depend on the cards themselves, the community cards, and the behavior of the opponents at the table.

This is just like in the real world where you are faced with a decision. You might want to order food in as you’ve had a bad day and want to celebrate with a takeaway. You’ve got to consider who else is eating, what they want, what you want, and the availability of takeaway restaurants in the locality.

While this decision might not be the most taxing or consequence-laden, it echoes other processes which are more serious like contract negotiations and business meetings. Poker can teach you how to broach such decisions carefully and successfully – as well as handle risk management concepts as you understand what can be gained and lost from poker.

Positioning Can Be Everything

When you approach a table, consider where you sit. While it might seem to be an innocuous aspect of the game, it has a decent amount of bearing on a hand. If you’re only behind quick decision-makers you’ll have less time to think about your own play. If you’re toward the back, then you can enjoy more time to think through your strategy.

Just like the poker table, positioning in social settings can contribute to the success of an encounter. One of the most pertinent examples is a dinner party or excursion to a restaurant.

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Where you sit and who you are next to and surrounded by can have a big impact on how the occasion plays out. It’s best to balance it out so that parties who know one another can interact while subtly introducing new people to one another. Of course, you probably shouldn’t introduce a seating plan as that’s just weird.

Reading Your Opponents and Other People

A lot of poker success can be attributed to the abilities of top players to read their opponents’ actions and expressions. Understanding why they folded, knowing why they raised, and using that in tandem with an assessment of their play style, will ensure that they read the opposition well.

This can be harder to do online but it’s not impossible, so you can try this premium selection of new online poker sites that offer real money games and you’ll notice patterns of play and small tells that can still give you an advantage.

Such practices can also be brought into play away from the poker table and into the real world. If you can read how your co-worker, partner, or anyone else is feeling you’ll be able to truly connect or even manipulate them.

Obviously, you shouldn’t extort people like in poker, that’s just wrong. But you should use these skills to better empathize with your loved ones and better network with others.

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait (And Those Who Later Seize the Moment)

Poker is many things as a card game. Exciting, a display of mental resilience and fortitude – but one thing it is not, is a rampant exercise in speed. No successful poker player has ever rushed a game. If you’re playing socially with friends with nothing but good times exchanged, then maybe you can brazenly rush through hands but for most, poker is a patient game. It’s about assessing the contemporary table landscape.

That said, there is a limit. You can’t JUST wait for the right time. At one point you will need to strike and play your best poker game. It’s about finding the balance of patient play and knowing when to go hell-for-leather.

This resembles tactical planning and even some time management processes which can help any poker player in the real world. Whether it’s being patient with that love interest of yours (not hassling them with multiple Whatsapp messages) or knowing when to seal that business deal – poker can help you understand when to wait and when to act.

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Darrik Ferranti
I'm a crypto and blockchain geek. That interest has recently driven me to get into online betting using crypto. Writing about those topics is a good way for me to learn more while helping our audience learn at the same time.