Are you starting a new hobby and interested in poker tips for beginners? The pandemic has had a fascinating effect on poker worldwide. First, it caused the shuttering of casinos and led players online. Then, when lockdowns ended, people returned to live poker in droves, with some tournaments having reported record participation in 2021 and tours like the WPT and PGT having established worldwide activity once more.
At the same time, as we’ve witnessed a clear return to live poker, numerous online platforms have also reported growing player bases. And it’s the online variety of the game that can make for a particularly great outlet for busy dads!
Online poker offers an experience you can dive into for much-needed “me time”. However, you can also leave and return to it as needed, playing a game or tournament here or there when you get the chance. But, you need to know what you’re doing to really enjoy it.
So if you’re a busy dad who’s recently (like so many) gotten into online poker, or you find the hobby appealing now, read on for a few of our tips for how you can get the most out of it.”Click To Tweet
Figure Out Where To Play Poker Online
If you’re new to poker, the thought of playing online can be a little daunting. Where do you start? How do you know if a poker site is safe and reputable? And what about poker tips for beginners?
First and foremost, you’ll need to find an app or platform to play on. And the main consideration here is whether or not you want to play for real money. If so (even if it’s just as a hobby, with small sums), it’s important to remember that, as of this writing, the only states with legal poker with real stakes are Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Across those states, platforms like Ultimate Poker, WSOP.com, and PokerStars (the most prominent online poker brand) support real-money play.
Meanwhile, if you live in a different state, there are still plenty of high-quality platforms that closely imitate “real” online poker with play-money stakes. Sites like GGPoker and 888poker allow you to play online in environments that feel like some of the aforementioned paid platforms.
At the same time, apps like Zynga Poker and WSOP bring simplified online multiplayer poker to mobile devices. There are subtle differences between all of these options in terms of game options, interface and presentation, and so on. But ultimately, it’s best to try a few and find the one you personally feel most comfortable with.
Here are a few other things to keep in mind when looking for a poker site:
- Look for sites that are regulated by a reputable gaming authority and licensed. This ensures that the site is operating legally and is subject to strict oversight.
- Check out the poker room’s reputation. Read player reviews and look for complaints about slow payouts or other issues.
- Consider the site’s software features. Some poker rooms offer helpful features like hand histories or spectating mode, which can be helpful for improving your game.
- Take advantage of bonus offers! Many poker sites offer welcome bonuses or other promotions to new players. These can give you a nice bankroll boost to help get started.
Try Different Poker Styles
As you go about finding a place to play, you may also want to try out different styles of the game itself and figure out if there’s one that appeals to you more than the most. If you don’t seem to be winning as much as you’d like, here are a few poker tips for beginners that might help you turn things around:
The main varieties of poker –– Hold ’em, Stud, and Draw –– have differences that almost make them feel like different games entirely. Namely, Hold ’em involves a player receiving their own “hole cards” and the dealer laying out community cards that all can use. Stud games involve players being dealt a series of cards, with some facing up and others facing down. And Draw games (the simplest) involve each player being dealt their own hand and then having a chance to exchange a given number of cards from it.
As you go about sampling these varieties, keep in mind that if you’re playing online, you’ll find different types of games and tournaments. For example, a freeroll tournament is a tournament that doesn’t require an entry fee, and a heads-up tournament is a 1-on-1 poker game.
Online poker players often tend to gravitate toward “Sit & Go” tournaments: quick rounds in which you can leave and go to another table as soon as you lose your chips. As with choosing a platform to play on, it’s best to experiment with different types of poker and figure out your personal preferences.
Study Popular Poker Strategies
Poker isn’t just a game of luck; there are strategies, too, that can increase your chances of winning. There are also plenty of ways to study those strategies, including watching tutorials (from amateurs and pros alike), catching up on televised or recorded tournaments and watching the pros, and taking an online Masterclass (legends Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu have both set up such programs), or –– perhaps most productively –– reading some books on the subject.
Some of the most popular books you can check out to improve your poker game include “Harrington on Hold ’em” by Daniel Harrington, “The Theory of Poker” by David Sklansky, and “The Mental Game of Poker” by Jared Tendler. This last book is particularly interesting; as one review explains, Tendler “investigates the emotions and learning processes that underpin our choices and performance,” –– effectively diving into the psychology behind how people play.
Understanding that can help you assess your game better and find opportunities for improvement.
Poker rounds can be long, and most people tend to play for at least a few hours at a time (though, as we mentioned, you can come and go if dad duties come up!). This means that you’ll need a comfortable setup to really enjoy your experience.
Here are a few poker tips for beginners that will help you enjoy your experience:
- The first step here, which we’ve recommended in the past, is to look into a gaming chair –– preferably one with some lumbar support and maybe a cushion for your neck.
- Additionally, make sure that it’s adjustable, so you can change the height (your knees should be at a 90-degree angle).
- There’s more you can do for your comfort as well, from adjusting the temperature to standing up for the occasional break. But gaming chairs are built for long sessions at the computer, and the right one will help you both enjoy and focus on your online poker better.
Set Up The Room
Apart from a comfortable chair, you can also look into making the rest of the room as comfortable as possible. If you want to establish a true poker den for yourself, one option you can look into is blackout curtains. While this can sound like a fairly involved step, it has its uses.
Blackout curtains are double-lined, “tightly woven” fabrics designed to block out light. They can also insulate the room from outside noises and help you maintain your chosen temperature. All of which can help you zero in on poker without discomfort or distractions.
As for some simpler changes, you can also invest in an ergonomic mouse, a fan or heater, and various lighting. All of this can help you to set your poker experience up just the way you like it.
There are a few things to keep in mind if you’re just getting started with online poker. First, poker is all about odds and probability. If you take some time to learn the basic concepts, you’ll be better positioned to make decisions at the table. Second, don’t get too caught up in the competition. Poker is meant to be enjoyed, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself to win. Finally, remember to have fun and stay within your bankroll. If you stick to these basic poker tips for beginners, you’ll be sure to enjoy your new hobby.
Plenty of people have pursued new hobbies throughout the pandemic, and for many, that has meant diving into online poker. For a busy dad, it’s a hobby that makes quite a lot of sense (pursued responsibly, of course), and by keeping all of the above in mind, you can get the very most out of it as an enjoyable side hobby just for you.