Be the "Fish" How to Master Poker as a Newbie

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 01:04
Diving headfirst into the world of poker, whether that is online poker, home poker, or live poker, can be a slightly intimidating experience. However, as with other games that combine skill and psychology, such as chess, the key to getting to grips with poker in the early days is to understand that your status as a newbie can actually hand you an unexpected advantage.

Swim Like A Fish, Sting Like A Jellyfish!

The reason for this is simple: as a newbie, you may find that you naturally fit the description of what 888poker call a “fish”. The fish is usually the player with the least amount of experience at the poker table, but the trick to using this to your advantage is actively embracing the fact that you’re a newbie to the environment you find yourself in. So, don't try and overplay your hand or try to become the dominant character in the game against your better judgement. Conversely, choose to sit back calmly, and watch as the big boys take each other on and, in the midst of all their bluster, watch them start to lose sight of where you are in the game and what your intentions are.

Being an inexperienced yet astute fish at the poker table means that you can simply swim along happily, taking advantage of the hands you feel fully confident in but not giving into the temptation to rush headfirst into situations where you don’t feel comfortable.

Being the fish capable of having an unexpected sting in your tail will allow you to, as 888poker put it, “make a difference” in the game through being a “model of restraint”.

Learning To Manage Situations

Flexibility and sensible decision making is crucial to the success of a fish at the poker table, whether online, at home or in a physical casino environment. This sensible decision making, however, needs to carry through to far more than poker strategy if, as a newbie, you want to establish yourself in the game.

For instance, making careful decisions with regards to bankroll management is essential. As such, learning to lose without feeling the burn or the need to chase back your losses straight away is crucial. The same rule applies whether you wish to stay a fish for the long-term, or develop your newbie status to become one of the other personality types at the table; after all, even a shark like Phil Ivey needs a sensible bankroll management strategy just as much as the littler fish.

Simple bankroll management tips for newbies include picking the variant of poker you choose to play carefully (remembering to understand the financial differences between starting a game online and at a physical table in a casino). This may mean ruling out games like Pot-limit Omaha to begin with until you feel more confident in your bankroll management skills.

Above all else, the key to starting out in poker is understanding that your greatest perceived weakness, your lack of experience, can in fact be turned into your greatest strength.