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Before you join an online poker table…consider


Bet Limits

You really want to pick a table with limits you can afford.  When you consider that you will be posting 2 blinds per round, that’s 30% of hands at a 5 person table where you’ll need to cough up a blind on a deal.  Ideally you should enter the game with at least 5x the upper bet limit to ensure you have a chance to get into the game.  So at a $5 - $10 table, you’ll need a $50 bankroll.

Be very wary of no-limit tables if you’re no to poker.  Getting sucked into a drawing hand can be devastating to your bankroll, particularly if you end up having to go all-in.


Table texture

It always pays in poker to get a good feel for the type of players at the table before you join.   Who’s conservative, who’s aggressive, who’s loose and who is a downright lunatic.   Knowing who you’re up against is invaluable in a showdown.  It is also important in picking your seat at the table.  You should try to have aggressive players sitting to your right, so you are in a position to fold marginal hands when the before the betting gets too expensive.   Timid and passive players are nice to have to your left, since they tend to fold when you’re betting aggressively to try and bluff the table.



A poker game should never be viewed as a quick in – out game.  Set aside at least an hour…preferably 2, so that you get a chance to get a feel for the players you are at the table with, and have a chance to really get into the game.  If you only allow yourself a half hour or so, you will probably end up posting a few blinds, seeing a couple of flops and maybe winning hand or two.  But in the end you will probably only contribute to the pot.


Have a go  - you’ve got to be in it to win it

There’s no point playing poker with an ultra-conservative mindset.  The extreme of this is never getting involved in the betting and simply handing over blinds until slowly but surely you bank roll is depleted.

Like any form of gambling, approach it as a chance to win, but be prepared to lose and take a chance or 2.  In order to win, you can’t be too afraid to lose.  Put another way, “you can’t play with scared money”.


Starting Hand Standards

While the flop has a big impact on the outcome of a game, it is also true that your opening hand is pretty important, and not all opening hands give you an equal opportunity of winning.  Practiced poker players give considerable thought to what starting hands warrant not folding in given circumstances.  This standard is referred to as starting hand standards.



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