How Сan Even Beginners Win at Poker?

03 Apr 2024
03 Apr 2024

Poker is a gambling game where luck plays a significant role in the short term, but over the long term, it evolves into a game of skill with a weighted strategic element.

Poker offers a greater degree of freedom than chess, allowing for the development of various strategies tailored to individual players. In this article, we will explore the fundamentals of poker before delving into advanced strategic concepts. We want to say that even beginners can win at poker by understanding the fundamentals.

Learn the rules first

Before diving into poker, it's essential to grasp the rules, including concepts such as hand rankings, side pots, kickers etc. For guidance on Texas Hold'em rules, a simple Google search for 'Rules of Texas Hold'em' will provide the necessary answers, typically found in the first link.

By memorizing the following key concepts and practicing them at microstakes online or your local casino, even beginners can quickly advance their skills!

Know the purpose of your bets

Understanding the purpose of your bets is crucial in poker. Two key concepts to grasp are value and bluffs.

Value involves betting or raising when you have a stronger hand than your opponent's calling range, while bluffing entails betting or raising with a weaker hand to try to make your opponent fold.

Therefore, when playing poker, it's important to consider whether your bet is aimed at value or bluffing!

Narrow down the hands you play

Just because poker sometimes can be slow and boring doesn't mean you should play every hand your dealt.

Playing too many hands preflop can lead to difficult situations later on and ultimately result in losses. The optimal strategy suggests playing around 20-25% of hands, meaning you should participate roughly once every four hands on average. Additionally, it's advisable to open-raise around 2.5-3x of the big blind.

For those of you unsure which hands to play, I suggest utilizing tools like GTO Wizard for learning.

Do not donk bet

If you're thinking, "I've got a strong top pair! Let's bet. I've got a middle pair! Let's bet!" then you need to be careful. What was your action in the previous street? Was it call or bet/raise?

Betting before the player who bet or raised in the previous street is referred to as a donk bet, and it's generally considered a suboptimal play.

Even with a strong hand, donking can often reveal to your opponent the strength of your hand.

While there are situations where donk betting (aka 'lead betting'), can be effective, which is advanced players learn, beginners should refrain from donk betting at all. Instead, if an aggressor is in position, they should check 100% of the times.

Fold when necessary

Even if you have a strong hand like top pair, consider folding if you believe you're likely to be behind your opponent. This heavily minimizes your losses.

Poker is a game of comparing the strength of each other's hands. It's not about what your hand is, but rather how strong it is compared to your opponent's.

For instance, even a strong hand like a straight can be worthless if your opponent holds a full house.

Be aware of when to fold and do so when you assess your hand as weak.

Know the poker maths

In poker, each player is dealt 2 cards, and there are 5 cards on the board drawn from a deck of 52 cards. By doing the calculations, you can assess the likelihood of completing various hands.

Understanding key poker maths provides guidance on how to approach different situations.

Terms like equity and pot odds might be unfamiliar and daunting at first, but committing them to memory will enable you to make mathematically sound decisions while playing!

Think about your opponent's cards

Once you have divided your bets into value and bluff, stopped donk bets, narrowed down your preflop ranges, and learned the various maths involved in poker, it's high time to think about your opponent's cards.

The method of thinking about your opponent's cards is called hand reading, that involves narrowing down the range of possible hands for each action to determine the most likely hand.

Learn from someone who is good at it

Learning from players who are better at poker than you is one of the best ways to improve. However, always keep in mind that in poker, there is no one correct answer.

The optimal solution in poker will vary each time.

Even with the same board and the same hand, the optimal play will differ depending on the opponent.

Of course, when you don't know what kind of player your opponent is, it's good to stick GTO, but any opponent always has leaks that can be exploited.

This is the essence of poker: being able to read your opponent's playing style and adjust your strategy accordingly.

When learning poker from someone who you think is better than you, choose someone who can give you advice from a variety of perspectives, rather than someone inclined to impose rigid theories upon you.

You can choose your poker coach for any level and discipline at Getcoach. All the coaches are approved professionals.


At first glance, poker may seem like a game where the luckiest person wins. However, as you play hundreds or even thousands of times, it becomes evident that poker is a game where skill ultimately makes the difference between success and failure.

In this article, we provided fundamental concepts that beginners should grasp in order to surpass the majority and improve their game.

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