Poker is an exciting game that is worth discovering. It has enormous layers and delving into them is quite an experience. That’s why a poker fan who realizes the complexity of the game is almost always encouraged to go one step further.
But one should not experiment wildly. Training is necessary, as well as analysis and experimentation. Therefore, it is advisable that you dedicate yourself not only to learn the rules of poker, but to know how to apply them and to identify all the factors that can end up playing a determining role in the game.
Phases of a poker round
The first thing to keep in mind if you want to know how to play poker is that each round is divided into several parts.
The first part is the preflop, which starts when all players have been dealt two cards. It is a game in which the position you occupy at the table takes precedence, in addition to the cards dealt and the community cards, which start as three once the bets have been matched.
When the second round of betting ends, the first three community cards are drawn, called FLOP. Here the players start to handle their own calculations.
The next round is called TURN, and is the penultimate round.
By adding a fourth card to the three FLOP cards, four community cards will be revealed, and only one card will be left to complete the quota.
At this stage of the game, each player must be clear about the real possibilities of his cards, and play accordingly the last round of betting, which leads to the arrival of the last face: the RIVER.
With the river, the final phase, the fifth community card is revealed. With these five and the two that each of the players has in hand, they must look for the best hand to beat the others.
When the betting rounds are over, the showdown takes place, where all players show their hand to see who will win the pot.
The importance of the positions at each moment of the game
In poker there are very clear rules regarding the dynamics of the game. The positions are one of the key elements that determine the style of play of each player, and that allow you to change the way of seeing the games, since each one has its pros and cons.
The first thing you should know is that playing tight is almost always the right thing to do, given your little experience. It is always better to play few hands and to play them well. In fact, it is normal to play very few hands, it is the basic rule of every self-respecting poker player.
Keeping in mind what each poker position implies is crucial. It is essential that you keep in mind that, in a poker game, the style of play of the same player can change a lot depending on what his position at the table is.
The UTG (Under The Gun) is the first to speak, his position is the one that goes just behind the big blind of the mandatory bets. In UTG, for example, the player is usually more conservative because he is the first to speak preflop. He goes in the blinds, so he is the one who is most compromised.
The positions of the mandatory bets: Big Blind, Small Blind, Dealer and UTG are rotating in turns and are marked by the chip called BUTTON which represents the DEALER’s position at the table, and in which position, the player who holds it will always be the last to bet/speak.
Other considerations if you have little experience
In poker, rules are everything. Always keep this in mind throughout your career, because your reputation can be tarnished if you are ever tempted to use dirty tricks to win. It is not the first time, nor will it be the last, that a professional player is caught cheating, which would put him in a very delicate position for the future, being banned from casinos and official poker competitions.
Some professional players recommend, on the other hand, to embrace a more aggressive style of play. This is known as TAG (Tight Aggressive / Conservative Aggressive) and, although it has to be very measured to avoid overplaying, in reality what it seeks is to prevent players from becoming self-conscious. It is important to be prudent, but also to keep in mind that, if you don’t take risks, you will miss many good opportunities.
This is where strategy design comes into play. It pays to be aggressive at the moment of being aggressive, just as it is important to learn to differentiate between an aggressive tactic and a foolish one. Keep this in mind to measure your winning ratio, your probability of winning the pot and your chances at each moment of the game.
If you are on a roll, congratulate yourself because your dedication is surely paying off. But don’t overestimate yourself: always keep in mind that you still have a lot to learn and that there will always be room for improvement. If you have just started and you haven’t even made the step to the professional series, be sure that, no matter how much you know how to play poker and the rules are familiar to you, there will always be a stronger player than you, so don’t be overconfident.