If there’s one concept that poker players need to know about, it’s definitely going to be hand potential. Think about it — one of the biggest reasons that you might have busted out of a tournament is that you thought you had a better hand than what you really did. That means that you’re going to really need to think about the type of hands that you want to play, and what you want to accomplish with that.
So let’s start with the pre-flop, shall we? You’re going to need to always look at the strength of your hand as it is right now. Sure, you might be tempted to play that 75o because you could connect to a great straight draw, but the truth is that the odds really aren’t in your favor.
You should look at not only the hand that you have, but how everyone else is betting. Before the flop comes down, someone going in with a strong bet means that they probably have a pocket pair of some kind and probably at least TT or better. Some people will bet hard with 44 or 55, hoping for triplets as the flop comes down. It’s up to you to decide how things are going to go, because if you don’t plan ahead, you won’t stay in the hand very long.
A common newbie mistake is not folding when it’s a great time to fold. You’re going to need to fold more than you play at times, and this can make you feel weak and embarrassed. There’s nothing to feel embarrassed about. It’s just the game of poker. You’re going to have to play the game in order to move forward. You’re going to have to love the game. The game is what it needs to be — focus on playing your best hands and folding the crap. Yes, you might feel like other people get to play crap and you don’t. However, everyone comes into poker with different intentions. Your intentions might be that you really want to do big things in the world of poker, but you might find that you have a lot of learning to do before you can pull that off. It’s tempting to get discouraged, but remember — everyone started out right in your shoes. The poker greats that we talk about a lot all started where you’re at, and there’s nothing to feel bad about. It’s just a matter of knowing where you stand and where you really want to go from there.
Thinking about all of your options is always a good thing — why not get started today?