How to Learn to Play Poker – Some Tips and Lessons from Experienced Trainers
Poker is the most popular card game that requires players to pay attention, patience, mathematical calculation, and a bit of luck. You can learn to play from scratch in a few hours, but to fully understand the game you have to practice regularly.
There are many varieties of poker, which are united by common combinations and trading rules, but in some elements they differ.
A typical online poker table – in this case, a PokerStars knockout tournament
What a beginner needs to know to play poker
Learning poker at home for dummies is best started with Texas Hold’em. A deck of 52 cards is used to play. There are two to ten people at the table.
Each round of trade, the participants in the deal decide whether to stay in the game or withdraw from the fight for the bank in that round.
There are two ways to take the pot:
1. Collect the strongest combination and show it at the opening 2. Bluffing your opponents, i.e., forcing them to throw their stronger cards into a pass.
Poker combinations in Texas Hold’em
To make your first steps in Texas Hold’em correct, it is important to know the poker combinations: their seniority and the rules of picking. Let’s list them in order of strength:
- Senior Card . An infrequent situation where no opponent even has a match or an older combination.
- One Pair . Two cards of the same value.
- Two Pairs . Two hits of a pair .
- A set (triplet) . Three cards of the same value . Five cards whose values are in order. For example, 6-7-8-9-T.
- A flush . 5 cards of the same suit (values are not important).
- Full house . A set and a pair. For example, A-A-A-6-6.
- Four of a Kind . Four cards of equal value.
- Straight Flush . Combinations of a straight and a flush, where five cards of the same suit go in order. For example, diamonds 4-5-6-7-8 . This is the strongest combination in Texas Hold’em. A particular case of a straight flush from a 10 to an Ace.
What are Blinds and Positions in Poker
To make the game at the poker table more active, rather than being reduced to waiting for pocket aces, there are mandatory bets:
- Small Blind (MB). This is Posted by the player seated first to the left of the dealer’s position. Usually, the MB is half of the big blind. A Bet is Posted before the start of the Hand.
- The Big Blind (BB). This is Posted by the next player to the left of the MB position, also before the Hand starts.
- Ante. In some tournaments and cash games it is mandatory for all participants of the deal. Usually, it is equal to 0.1 BB.
In poker, an important role is played by the position at the game table. It is determined by the position of the dealer’s button (button), which moves clockwise one place after each hand.
Let’s consider a classic table for 9 people:
- Blinds. The first two positions to the left of the batton, where mandatory bets are placed.
- Early position (EP/UTG). The next two positions. These are considered bad positions, because on the postflop, the first word will always go to the poker players on the EP.
- Middle Position (MP). The next three positions after the early positions.
- Cut-Off. A seat in front of the dealer. A player in this position “cuts off” opposing Blinders and the Dealer with a Bet.
- Button. This is the most advantageous position in poker, because this player is the last to act on all betting streets (except the preflop).
Call, Raise, and Pass: Types of Actions
Participating in a hand involves active actions. They may be as follows:
- Fold (pass). Refusing to continue the Hand. You are not losing any more Chips in this Hand.
- Check. To change hands. You Refuse to Raise, but you don’t mind seeing what the Dealer will put on the Table without investing any Chips.
- Call. Calling the opponent’s Bet. You call a trap to hide the strength of your Hand, or you wait for one more card to make your Hand.
- Raise. Raising your Bet. Usually used to collect chips from your opponents, or to knock all of your opponents out of the Pot.
A Poker Hand consists of several levels of Betting, where players tell each other the strength of their Hand by Betting or Folding their starting Hand.
- Preflop. The very beginning of the game, with only blinds and the dealer dealt two pocket cards to each player. It’s up to the player to the left of the big blind.
- Flop. Three Community Cards appear on the table. The strength of the starting hands changes. The first word is up to the player to the left of the small blind or the first active player to the left of the big blind.
- Turn. The Dealer reveals the fourth Community Card. Bidding is based on the rules of the previous Street.
- River. The fifth Community Card is dealt. Bidding is conducted by the rules of the Flop.
- Showdown. If after the RIVER bidding, two or more opponents continue to fight for the Pot, they open their pockets. The dealer looks to see whose combination is stronger – and gives him the chips.
The 5 most effective ways to learn poker
Texas Hold’em is a dynamic game where new mathematically sound concepts are constantly being invented. The game in poker rooms and offline is changing. And if you don’t educate yourself, you won’t keep up. This will lead to a gradual decrease in profits.
We tell you about the top 5 effective ways to learn poker:
- Classes with a trainer.
- Training at a school or foundation
- Working independently with poker software
- Discussing hands on a poker forum
- Watching VODs
Gym Classes with Coaches
Personal sessions with a coach in any sport are a mandatory part of the learning process. An experienced coach analyzes your game, gives recommendations and shares his experience.
In poker not every professional player is a good teacher and vice versa. Teaching requires public speaking skills as well as the ability to explain even complicated things in simple language.
The Poker Teaching section of the GT Forum has many offers from private coaches as well as schools and foundations. Study the reviews of each, see examples of training to see if they are suitable for you or not.
Training at a school or foundation
Networking within the community is an important step on the way to becoming a poker player. Poker schools and foundations give you the chance to work as part of a team without feeling like you’re alone. Most classes here are in groups (although there are also individual classes).
A special feature of learning in foundations or teams is the possibility of beckoning. The format implies that the organization will invest money in the player, and he will share the profits with the school.
If you choose this way of learning, the hobby of poker turns into a job, because in most foundations a full-fledged contract is signed with the player, where the obligations of the parties are spelled out. One of the main requirements is to play in optimum condition and to play a certain number of tournaments in a time interval.
Working with auxiliary programs
Poker programs are a universal solution that allows you to hone your own game, analyze the hand, find out the odds of the pot on a particular board, etc.
Working with them is an indispensable element not only in the training process, but also in the game session:
1. Display HUD on monitor screen 2. Recreate the situation in a particular hand in the replayer 3. Show statistics for selected hand 4. Calculate pot odds for different hands, etc. 5. Change the look of the table.
Discussing deals on the forum
The most accessible way to improve your own game is the discussion of deals in the forum. All it takes is the desire to analyze different situations and a little free time.
Professionals and amateurs alike often share interesting deal situations in their own poker diaries. You can start your own forum thread where you can share session results, cool draws, or debate the meaning of life.
Watch educational videos
The previous generation of professional poker players grew up with specialized literature, because even 10 years ago information was not so easily available online.
Today many professionals give free lessons, stream their game sessions, record training videos (VODs), and help new community players develop.
Most books are no longer relevant, because poker has made several seven-mile steps in its development. But VODs and streams from experienced players are a real opportunity to watch how professionals play, learn from them how to reason, think with ranges, adopt other important qualities. You can find Russian-speaking poker players’ streams right on the main page of our site.
It is located under “Best of Forum” and “Popular Topics”.
How to learn to play poker quickly
There’s really nothing difficult about learning to play poker quickly from scratch and on your own. All you need is a good source with structured information where you could get all the necessary knowledge, at any of the stages of becoming a professional poker player.
We’ve prepared exactly such a section for you which will show point by point how to learn how to play poker from scratch until you reach a professional level where you can make over $500 a month in profits. Just choose a level that suits you, or, better yet, take the time to go through all 18 steps from the beginning to the end, refreshing your memory of things you already know and learning new ones.
Not familiar with the rules of Texas Hold’em, not knowing poker combinations by heart, and not good with terminology? Then this is the place for you.
You are a beginner at poker, but you haven’t made good progress yet. In that case, you should take a good look at the following sections.
You’ve been playing poker for a long time, you’ve beaten big limits, you know the software and you want to move on? No problem, we’ll help you.
If the theater starts with a hanger, poker starts with learning the combinations, terminology and basic rules of Texas Hold’em (the most popular type of poker). Take a good look at this section of poker school before you start playing at the poker table.
In this article you will find descriptions of all poker combinations with pictures and clear examples for Texas Hold’em.
This is a great opportunity to make your first money from scratch with our free tournaments with a small number of participants.
Register in the poker room and get real money in your account to play, it’s a great way to start playing without investing your own money.
Subscribe to the official PekarStas YouTube channel and don’t miss any new videos. It is a great opportunity to improve your gaming skills!
Congratulations! You have passed your first course – for beginner players! You are not your first day in poker, but you haven’t gotten good results yet. To learn how to play poker, take a good look at the following sections.
Are you already familiar with all the basics of poker and want to learn how to make money playing poker? Well, we have good news for you, by studying this section thoroughly from start to finish we give you a 100% guarantee that you will stop gambling and start playing in the black.
Choosing a poker room is not an easy process, you need to compare many offers and we will help you sort it out.
We give a 100% guarantee that after studying all the articles in this section you will become a successful poker player.
In this section we have prepared for you the best poker books, which can be useful for players of any level.
On this page you will find the most important information on the main tool for all poker players Holdem Manager 2.
In this section you can find a lot of free videos in Russian from poker coach PekarStas
Congratulations! You have passed the second course – for advanced players! You obviously know a lot about poker, but to become a real professional you need to read the last section.
If you’ve been playing poker for a long time and you’re good at it, but you’d like to improve your skills and take your game to the next level, increasing your win rate by a few bb/100, then take a look at these sections.
This is a card library of over 1,000 articles on poker strategy, divided into three sections: pre-flop, post-flop and theory.
Exclusive poker video courses in Russian from the most famous foreign professional poker trainers.
I suggest that you take a closer look at the “plushies” on poker training with coach PekarStas.
Every week on Tuesdays PekarStas holds poker streams on which plays live sessions with detailed comments on his actions on the limits from 10 to 200NL.
If you rake over 300+ a month we are ready to offer you the best conditions with max rakeback in popular poker rooms.
After studying all the steps of poker school, we can confidently say that in overcoming the low limits of online poker, you should not experience any difficulties.
Poker is one of the most popular card games today, played by millions of people around the world. One of the factors of its popularity, is a very easy entry threshold, which allows anyone to learn to play poker from scratch in just one evening and does not require any specific knowledge. At the same time, on the contrary, it will take a lot of time and effort to become a PRO poker player. In this section you will find both the information for the beginners who would like to learn the basics of poker from the zero, and for those who would like to become a professional player and are looking for a structured material for the step by step growth.
How to learn to play poker from scratch
First of all, in order to learn how to play poker, you need to learn the rules of poker, poker combinations, and understand the basic terms you may encounter at the poker table.
In fact, the initial stage of learning can be mastered in one evening and rather quickly consolidated in the future simply by regularly playing Texas Hold’em.
In order to learn how to play poker well and at least stop losing, you need to have patience and approach this issue responsibly. Try to devote regular time to learning, and after you pass the initial level, connect and practice by taking advantage of freerolls or no deposit bonus.
Where can you learn to play poker?
The best places to learn to play online poker are rooms which offer freerolls or no deposit bonuses and you can find such poker rooms on our website through the links provided on this page.
Also we recommend to pay attention to the rooms where you can get free poker lessons from our site which will also make the process of learning this game much easier for you. These are primarily poker rooms such as partypoker, 888Poker, GGPokerOK, PokerKing and Unibet.
How to Learn to Play Poker Professionally
If your goal is to play poker professionally, which will allow you to make money playing the game, then be prepared to spend a lot more time and effort learning poker strategy. At least all of the basic information discussed before should already be on your subconscious level by this stage.
In order to learn to play poker professionally you will need to make sure you spend enough time studying the A to Z section of the poker school and poker probabilities, without knowing them it is difficult to imagine any serious success at all. To finally reach the level of professional poker game and poker income you will be able to use the actual poker strategies and video poker lessons from PRO trainers.
That’s not to say that the process will be “easy and unclouded”, but even in today’s online poker environment, learning the game yourself and reaching the PRO poker level is still achievable and realistic if you put the necessary effort and discipline into it.