Practicing Poker

Overview of Practicing Poker

The world is full of geniuses and poker is no exception. Some people are inexplicably able to play professional poker even without much learning, but this is only a handful of us. The rest of us have to play the game over and over again in order to become winning players. Learning to play poker is like building a house, as both require solid foundations. A solid foundation in poker is the basic understanding of everything needed to start playing.

1.      Create a Solid Learning Plan

Even when talent is clearly lacking in a person, they can still break even consistently while building that solid plan that is essential to learning the game of poker. This doesn’t take much understanding outside of winning hands, betting knowledge, and a little bankroll management strategy. There is a slew of information on the Internet, in books, and in magazines that is sufficient to guide a new poker player, so that he can enjoy the game and be happy with himself. There are even dedicated schools of poker that can be found very easily online, most online poker sites offer an arsenal of information on how to play online poker.

2.      Exercise Self-Discipline

Even after absorbing as much poker strategy knowledge as possible, don’t expect to become successful overnight. Success comes only with dedication, focus, and self-discipline. Players without self-discipline rarely manage consistent wins despite their strategic know-how, and if these types of players do win big, they lose big just as often. So, if a player cannot have the discipline to throw away poor starting hands, then all the poker knowledge in the world can help them. Learning just the basic poker strategy, and more importantly implementing it, is enough to bring you a handsome secondary income.

3.      Understand the Objective of the Game

The ultimate objective of poker is to capture the pot and win the money. The pot is comprised of the bets the players maker during a hand. Each time you wager a bet, you have to hope that you will either get the best hand or have the poker face to pull off a bluff that makes other players think you hold a strong hand, so they end up folding their hands, leaving you to take the pot without even showing your hand.

The best hand is the highest combined value of five cards. Besides knowing when to bet, it is also important to know when to release a hand that seems to be beaten. Poker is not just about winning money, but also saving as much as possible.

4.      Practice, Practice, Practice

If you read about how poker pros hone their game, you will find that they want to put in hours and hours of practice, playing as many hands as they can to experience every possible hand combination they can. Practicing online at the low-stakes or free play tables is one way, but to really get the foundation of poker, you should practice live to complement your online play. If you don’t live near a casino, you can start regular a home game with stakes as high or as low as your friends can afford.

5.      Poker Chips

If you are going to practice poker at home, you really should invest in a set of real poker chips. Poker chips were originally clay. Over time they have changed and now they come in plastic or a durable composite, the latter being more preferred of the two. The chips come in a wide range of patterns and colors. For security purposes, the edge spots and designs that you see on the chips are made to vary. The colors stick to a set of dollar values that is as old as the existence of poker chips. A white chip is the alternative for $1; red chip for $5; green chip for $25; black chip for $100; and purple or lavender chip for $500. Of course, you can set your chip values at any amount you wish.

6.      Count the Players

Poker is not a solitary game, and the number of players typically ranges from two to 10. In most poker rooms, a seven-card poker game like Razz or Stud is played by eight players and for Texas Hold’em, there are usually nine or ten players.

7.      The Deck

Poker is a card game, so a deck is obviously needed. The standard deck for most forms of poker contains 52 cards. The joker is added to the 52-card deck in the case of Draw and Lowball. The joker is not really a wild card, but in Draw poker, it can complete a straight or flush, or serve as an additional ace. In Lowball, the joker serves as the lowest card that doesn’t pair the player’s hand. Here’s an example: if you hold 7-6-2-A-Joker, this is the same as holding 7-6-3-2-A.


Online poker is great for its convenience, inventive technology use, and many other benefits. However, everything is virtual including the gaming experience you get, so vary your studying between practicing live and online, reading books and online strategy guides, and watching live poker and watching poker on television.

Thanks to technology, Internet gamers are getting an increasingly more realistic poker experience. This has become possible because online poker rooms are powered by software that can simulate realistic experiences, but nothing can provide the underlying poker practice you get when holding real cards and chips in your hands.