Essential Skills for New Poker Players

When you think about poker, your first thoughts might be about winning huge pots or becoming a millionaire. But like any card game, the skill involved in playing poker is about making the right calls, raising, and folding at the right times to improve your odds of winning.

There are many different versions of poker, but the basics all involve a dealer dealing players cards and then betting in rounds over a set number of hands. The player with the highest five-card hand wins the pot.

In the early stages of learning poker, a new player’s first priority should be to develop their understanding of the game’s fundamentals. Then, as they gain more experience, they can begin to open up their ranges and mix things up.

To start with, the new player should learn to read their opponent’s tells. These are not only the physical cues like fiddling with their chips or wearing a ring, but also the way the person plays the game. A player who raises often with a high-quality hand might suddenly call when someone raises with an overpair on the flop, for example.

Another essential skill that a new player should pick up is the ability to calculate and estimate the expected value (EV) of their own and their opponents’ hands. This can be done using a number of different methods, but one of the easiest is to make use of online poker calculators. Over time, new players will begin to develop an intuitive sense for these types of calculations.

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