Sunday, May 23, 2010

Breaking Into Poker: The Progression

If you're new to poker but are intent on learning more and becoming more successful, you will want to follow an escalating path that continues to challenge you while teaching you the necessary lessons of poker. These lessons will change at each stage of the game, and the amount of risk will likewise change. Here is a basic map of progression that you will want to follow.

Start with play money. No, play money players do not play real poker. They play a game that could often be called "let's just bet and bet and see what happens." You should not consider the tactics these players employ to be normal, nor should you concern yourself too much with advanced tactics. The point at this stage of the game is to play enough that you learn all the basic rules, and get a hang of the timing of play.

Move on to limit games. No limit is a far more risky game that requires many more tactics. Playing low limit games, such as the penny tables available on sites like Caesars Online, will allow you to take on some risk and learn a little about how people play limit poker.

Proceed to no limit games. No limit games are far more challenging and are riskier. They open you up to a world of possibilities, one of which is excruciating pain. This will allow you to learn about effective bluffing, good reads on your opponent, and more. Start at very low limit tables and move your way up as you get a grasp on the game.

Playing tournaments can be a good way to manage your time and money while learning the game. A dollar can buy you into a tournament at many online sites, and those tournaments can last quite a while. Remember though that table players play differently than tournament players!